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Posted at: Jul 12, 2018, 4:19 PM; last updated: Jul 13, 2018, 2:05 AM (IST)

Sahara saves Aamby Valley as no buyer turns up

Top court says Subrata Roy has already paid Rs 20,000 crore and he will not run away for remaining Rs 4,000 crore
Sahara saves Aamby Valley as no buyer turns up
Subrata Roy. File photo

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 12

Sahara Group has managed to save its flagship property Aamby Valley near Lonavala in Pune district of Maharashtra after no buyer turned up to buy it during an auction ordered by the Supreme Court.

SEBI counsel on Thursday told a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra that the Aamby Valley auction has failed as no one responded to the tender notice inviting bids despite several advertisements.

"We will lift the order attaching the property after the company pays Rs 982.80 crore by September 12, 2018," said the Bench which also included Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice AK Sikri.

Senior counsel Vikas Singh, representing Sahara, told the top court that the company has already paid Rs 19,000 crore out of the Rs 24,000 ordered by the court and it was ready to deposit almost Rs 1,000 crore in the next three months by disposing of its land in Maharashtra.

Singh informed the Bench that two companies-Sai Rydam Realtors and Prime Downtown Real Estate-have agreed to buy 3 acre land owned by Sahara in Vasai, near Mumbai.

The Bench court asked the two companies to deposit a total of Rs 982 crore to buy Sahara's land.

The buyers - who gave a bank draft for Rs 100 crore on Thursday to the SEBI counsel during the proceedings - were ordered to present two further bank drafts for Rs 200 crore each on July 24 and August 16.

The remaining Rs 682.80 crore has to be deposited by September 12, 2018, the Bench ordered posting the matter for further hearing on September 14.

On a request made by Singh, it also allowed the company to manage the property for revenue generation to run Aamby Valley.

Angry over non-payment of money, the top court had on April 17, 2017 decided to sell Aamby Valley worth Rs 39,000 crore belonging to the Sahara group to recover money owed by the company to investors. Thereafter, it had turned down repeated Sahara's repeated pleas to halt the auction process being overseen by the Official Liquidator of the Bombay High Court. 

Sahara has been claiming that the actual worth of Aamby Vally-spread over 48 square km-was more than Rs 1 lakh crore but the reserve price of the property was fixed at Rs 37,392 crore. The sale by actual auction was to be held on October 10 and 11, 2017 but no buyers have come forward so far.

Sahara chief Subrata Roy was sent to Tihar jail on March 4, 2014. But the top court granted him a four-week parole on May 6, 2016 to attend his mother's funeral. His parole has been periodically extended since then.

On Thursday, Singh requested the court to withdraw the five policemen who were ordered to accompany Roy.

"These policemen can be withdrawn and put to some public service. There are lots of rape happeningMay be they can help prevent it," Singh told the Bench.

"Do you really think five policemen can prevent such incidents," asked Justice Sikri.

As SEBI counsel opposed the plea, Justice Sikri said, "He (Roy) has already paid Rs 20,000 crore. He will not run away for the remaining Rs 4,000 crore."

Singh repeatedly requested the Bench to ask SEBI to complete the verification exercise for which Sahara had paid Rs 50 crore. "It might turn out after the verification exercise that we have already paid more than when was due to us," he said.

The Bench said it will consider the plea on the next date after Sahara paid of Rs 982 crore.

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