Sahara Group moves SC, asks Aamby Valley auction be put on hold

Subroto Roy
Sahara chief Subrata Roy on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking to put a hold on the auction process to sell the group's Rs 34,000crore worth Aamby Valley property by the official liquidator of the Bombay High Court.

A bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, considered the fresh interim plea, mentioned by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi for an urgent hearing, and said that he would consult justices Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri and then fix a hearing date.

A special bench which has been dealing with the matter relating to the SEBI-Sahara payment dispute, comprises justices Misra, Gogoi and Sikri are part of

The senior counsel, representing the Sahara Group, said the auctioning process for the Aamby Valley property in Pune district of Maharashtra be put on hold as the group has a payment plan to offer.

The apex court had on July 25 asked the embattled Sahara chief to deposit Rs 1,500 crore in the SEBI-Sahara account by September 7 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. 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 around Rs 9,000 crore balance amount of the principal amount of Rs 24,000 crore.

Sibal, however, had said according to the group, the remaining amount was around Rs 8,000 crore and they had made all efforts to deposit the money.

Roy, who has spent almost two years in jail, has been on parole since May 6 last year. The parole was granted the first time to enable him 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 crore to their investors.

Another company director Vandana Bhargava was not taken into custody.

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