The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Sahara chief Subrata Roy to deposit Rs 1,500 crore – a part payment of Rs 24,000 crore that two group companies had raised from the investors – with market regulator Sebi to stall the auction of its lands in Aamby valley.
Directing the sum be deposited by September 7, the bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice AK Sikri permitted Roy to place before them a reasonable plan for the payment of balance amount over a period of 18 months – as he had himself sought.
As it cleared all the terms and conditions submitted by Bombay High Court’s official liquidator Vinod Sharma for floating a global tender to invite bids for the auction of Aamby Valley, the court said that if Sahara pays Rs 1,500 crore by September 7 and submits a plan, it would stall the process of auctioning Aamby Valley.
However, it was subject to payment of this sum, the court said, which also include balances of Rs 305 crore that Roy has yet to pay from his last installment that he was to submit by June 15.
“Both things would go together – if you pay the amount, then we will stall the auctioning process, the court told senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Roy, who tried to impress upon the court not to go ahead with the publication of advertisement inviting global bids as it would adversely impact the efforts by Roy to raise money by disposing of his other assets.
But Roy also told the bench that it was not possible for him to raise the amount and sought that he be given time till October.
Expressing his inability to raise Rs 1,500 crore, he said that he has sold his New York hotels – New York Plaza and Dream New York hotel.
On April 16, the court had asked the Bombay High Court’s official liquidator to evaluate and auction the Aamby Valley property of the Sahara Group and Sharma, in his report on its worth, said that its market value is Rs 37, 390 crore and the fair value is Rs 43,000 crore.
The next hearing would take place on September 11.
The Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd. and the Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited had raised Rs 24,000 crore through optionally fully convertible debentures in 2007 and 2008 and the top court by its August 31, 2012, order had directed Sahara to refund this amount with 15 per cent interest.