A Supreme Court bench of justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi and AK Sikri, on August 10, 2017, dismissed Sahara chief Subrata Roy’s plea, to put on hold the auction process of the group’s Aamby Valley property in Pune district. “The prayer of the contemnor (Roy) is hereby rejected,” the bench said.
During the hearing, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Roy, said that the auction process should be put on hold till September 2017, so that his client could arrange Rs 1,500 crores to be deposited into the SEBI-Sahara account. The bench, however, said that it will pass orders at an appropriate time.
Roy had, on August 9, 2017, moved the apex court, seeking to put a hold on the auction process to sell the group’s Rs 34,000-crore worth Aamby Valley property, by the official liquidator of the Bombay High Court. The apex court had, on July 25, 2017, asked the embattled Sahara chief to deposit Rs 1,500 crores in the SEBI-Sahara account by September 7, 2017 and said that it might then deliberate upon his plea, seeking 18 months more time for making complete repayment. The court had simultaneously approved the draft sale notice and terms to dispose of the property, prepared by the official liquidator of the Bombay High Court.
“The official liquidator shall publish the sale notice as given by him and the notice shall be published on August 14, 2017. The steps which are required to be taken for the publication of the sale notice, are allowed,” the court had said. The Sahara Group had earlier sought 18 months’ time, to repay the balance of around Rs 9,000 crores of the principal amount of Rs 24,000 crores. Sibal, however, had said that according to the group, the remaining amount was around Rs 8,000 crores and it had made all efforts to deposit the money.
Roy, who has spent almost two years in jail, has been on parole, since May 6, 2016. The parole was granted the first time, to enable him to attend the funeral of his mother. It has been extended since then. 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 August 31, 2012 order, to return Rs 24,000 crores to their investors. Another company director Vandana Bhargava was not taken into custody.