The Supreme Court on Tuesday warned the Sahara Group that it would auction its prime property worth Rs 39,000 crore at Aamby Valley in Pune if Rs 5092.6 crore is not paid by the company by April 17 as promised.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra also directed the international real estate firm, which had shown willingness to buy Sahara’s stake in New York- based Plaza Hotel for USD 550 million, to deposit Rs 750 crore in the SEBI-Sahara refund account instead of the apex court registry to show its bonafide.
“We will auction your (Sahara) Aamby Valley project if the money is not deposited within the stipulated time period as promised,” the bench, also comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and AK Sikri, observed.
The top court had earlier directed attachment of Sahara Group’s prime property for realisation of money to be paid to its investors.
The apex court had also asked Sahara Group to provide it within two weeks the list of “unencumbered properties” which can be put for public auction to realise the remaining over Rs 14,000 crore of the principal amount of around Rs 24,000 crore that has to be deposited in the SEBI-Sahara account for refunding money to the investors.
The court had on November 28 last year asked Roy to deposit Rs 600 crore more by February 6 in the SEBI-Sahara refund account to remain out of jail and warned that failure to do so would result in his return to prison.
It had on May 6, 2016 granted a four-week parole to Roy to attend the funeral of his mother. His parole has been extended by the court ever since. Roy was sent to Tihar jail on March 4, 2014.
Besides Roy, two other directors—Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary—were arrested for the failure of the group’s two companies—Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL) -- to comply with the court’s August 31, 2012 order to return Rs 24,000 crore to their investors.
However, director Vandana Bhargava was not taken into custody.