Blow to Sahara, SC orders auction of Aamby Valley
The Supreme Court also threatened to cancel Sahara chief Subrata Roy’s bail, asked him to be present in person on April 27.india Updated: Apr 17, 2017 19:39 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the auction of Aamby Valley, the prime real-estate project of the Sahara group, to recover Rs 14,000 crore the company owes to duped investors.
Spread over 10,600-acre close to the popular hill station of Lonavala in Maharashtra, Aamby Valley’s declared worth is Rs 39,000 crore.
“We want money,” the court told Sahara chief Subrata Roy, threatening to cancel his bail. Roy has been asked to be present in the court on April 27, the next date of hearing.
The court also slapped a fine of Rs 10 crore on Prakash Swami, the representative of a company that had offered to buy Sahara’s Plaza hotel in New York but failed to deposit Rs 750 crore as directed by the court.
The court had on February 6 attached Aamby Valley, saying Sahara’s proposed payment plan extending till July 2019 was too long. A bench headed by justice Dipak Misra had said the court would auction the property to recover the amount.
Sahara has so far paid a little over Rs 11,000 crore. In a proposal before the top court, it wanted time till July 2019 to deposit a balance of Rs 14,779 crore with the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
In March 2014, the court had sent Roy to jail after he failed to appear in response to its summons. He was given parole last year in May after his mother passed away. Since then the company has been depositing money with the SEBI to ensure he remained out of jail.
Billed as independent India’s first planned hill city, the valley comprises three man-made lakes and 11 water bodies in the picturesque Sahyadri range. A 1,300-yard airstrip and an international standard 18-hole golf course are its key features.
Favoured and used by business and Bollywood celebrities, the township also has multiple luxury restaurants and a lagoon with an artificial beach adjacent to the replica of Varanasi ghat for cultural programmes.