Jolt to Subrata Roy: SC orders auction of Aamby Valley property; here's all you need to know
The bench also directed Roy and his group as well as Sebi to provide all necessary details relating to the properties to the official liquidator within 48 hours
The Supreme Court on Monday delivered a major blow to the beleaguered Sahara group chairman Subrata Roy, passing an order to auction its prime Aamby Valley township near Lonavala in Pune. The order came after the Sahara chief failed to abide by the court directive to deposit Rs 5,000 crore of the Rs 14,000 crore dues in the stipulated time frame. The top court had told the group earlier that no extension of time would be granted for depositing the amount.
Below are the key highlights of the Sahara-Sebi issue:
1) The Supreme Court bench comprising of justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri said the group had failed to honour the 21 March order, which asked it to deposit Rs 5,000 crore by 17 April. "As no amount has been deposited by the contemnor (Subrata Roy), we are inclined to go ahead with the auction of Aamby Valley City near Lonavala, Maharashtra," The Economic Times report said quoting the bench.
2) The SC appointed the official liquidator of Bombay High Court and said it must complete the exercise of valuation over the next ten days, and submit a report to the apex court. "We are sure all shall work in harmony to comply with the directions passed by this court", the report said.
3) The bench also directed Roy and his group as well as Sebi to provide all necessary details relating to the properties to the official liquidator within 48 hours.
4) The Court also directed its chief Subrata Roy to personally appear before it on 28 April, 2017.
5) In 2012, Sahara group had told the court that the Aamby Valley property was worth Rs 39,000 crore, but in a statement on Monday, it claimed the township was valued above Rs 1 lakh crore, and any attempt to sell the assets could result in a distress sale. “Sahara is committed to making the payment of Rs 10,000-crore-plus by July/August 2017 but the Hon’ble court is instead asking for the auction of Aamby Valley. Since the last hearing, the court is insisting on the auction. The market valuation of Aamby Valley is above Rs 1 lakh crore. Auctioning under distress will give the bidder undue favour/benefit,” The Business Standard report said quoting Sahara lawyer Gautam Awasthi in an email.
6) On the other hand, Sahara group claims that it has already paid Rs 22,000 crore to investors, and the additional Rs 12,000 crore it deposited pertains to duplication of payments. "The SC should understand and do justice, otherwise a 39-year-old company and bread and butter of its 12 lakh workers shall collapse," The Times of India report said quoting the group.
7) The court had last month ordered an international real estate firm, which had shown willingness to buy Sahara's stake in New York-based Plaza Hotel for $550 million, to deposit Rs 750 crore in the Sebi-Sahara refund account, instead of the apex court registry to show its bonafides.
8) The court had on 6 May, 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 4 March, 2014. The court had on 28 November last year asked Subrata Roy to deposit Rs 600 crore more by 6 February in the refund account to remain out of jail and warned that failure to do so would result in his return to prison.
9) Besides Roy, two other directors -- Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary -- were arrested for 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 31 August, 2012 order to return Rs 24,000 crore to their investors.
10) The apex court also asked one Prakash Swamy, an official who had filed an affidavit on behalf of MG Capital Holdings, a US-based real estate company, from leaving the country. The court has asked Swamy to deposit Rs 10 crore as costs and also directed him to appear in person on 27 April, 2017.
Subrata Roy's release effort: Sahara to sell London's Grosvenor House Hotel to Qatar for Rs 3,000 cr
Sale of Grosvenor House Hotel would fetch Rs 3,000 crore which would be paid to market regulator Sebi towards the payment of Rs 10,000 crore as directed by the apex court
Roy, who was present in courtroom today, had told the court that he will pay Rs 1,500 crore on or before 15 June and Rs 552.22 crore exactly a month thereafter.
More reports are coming in that the Sahara Group is pressuring investors to roll the money in OFCDs to other schemes - in contravention of Sebi/SC orders