NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday directed attachment of Sahara Group’s prime property worth Rs 39,000 crore at Aamby Valley near Pune for realisation of money to be paid to its investors.
A special Bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said the drastic step was needed to force Sahara and Roy to expedite the payment of the balance Rs 14,779 crore.
The court also asked the Sahara Group to provide to it within two weeks, the list of unencumbered properties which can be put on public auction to realise the remaining over Rs 14,000 crore of the
principal amount of around Rs 24,000 crore that has to be deposited in the SEBI-Sahara account for refunding money to the investors.
The court noted that out of the principal amount, the group has deposited around Rs 11,000 crore and it has to deposit over Rs 14,000 crore more. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) told the Bench that the interest on the principal amount until October 31, 2016, would lead to a liability of Rs 47,669 crore on the Sahara Group.
Meanwhile, Sahara on Monday deposited over Rs 600 crore in accordance with the January 12 order by which extension of time beyond February 6 was refused.
During the hearing, the court did not buy the contention put forth by Sahara’s counsel and senior advocate Kapil Sibal that the amount should be realised in accordance with the roadmap provided by the group, which suggested that the deadline of July 2019 will be adhered to.
“No small token amounts,” the Bench observed, adding that the balance amount of over Rs 14,000 crore can be realised by public auction of Sahara’s unencumbered properties which are free from litigation, mortgage and any charge. The court has slated the matter for further hearing on February 20.
“The fundamental question is that the court (Supreme Court) found that the money collected by you from XYZ etc was in violation of the rule,” the Bench observed while not accepting Sibal’s plea that he
should be given at least a minimum of two hours to explain that the apex court judgment against Sahara was “ex-facie erroneous”.