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SC begins process to auction Aamby Valley, asks Subrata to pay Rs 1,500-cr by Sept 7

Top court extends parole for embattled businessman as it indicated that it will recover the dues from Sahara by selling off its properties

india Updated: Jul 25, 2017 18:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sahara,Subrata Roy,Aamby Valley
Subrata Roy was in prison for two years after his company Sahara refused to comply with court orders to refund Rs 24,000 crore to investors. (HT file photo)

The Supreme Court directed former real estate and media tycoon Subrata Roy on Tuesday to pay Rs 1,500 crore by September 7 and ordered that a process be started to sell his company Sahara’s Aamby Valley project.

Aamby Valley, a Rs 39,000-cr township on the outskirts of hill town Lonavla, is one of Sahara’s flagship projects and the process to auction it increases the pressure on Roy, who has failed to comply with a court order to return Rs 24,000 crore to investors.

The top court rejected Sahara’s plea for more time to repay the money to SEBI. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi and AK Sikri said: “indulgence cannot be granted to Subrata Roy as indulgence leads to procrastination and it is the murderer of justice”.

The court also made it clear that they were going to recover the money due to SEBI from the sale of Sahara properties, but will not send Roy to jail. “We are clear in our mind, we will not send you to jail because you have money to pay,” the judges said.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Roy, informed the 3-judge bench that Sahara had sold off its hotels - Plaza and Dream Downtown - in New York.

Sibal also urged SC to allow Sahara to carry on business as it will allow the company to expedite payments.

“At least 18 months must be given to Sahara and it must be allowed to develop its properties so as to mop up good money”, said Sibal

There is a blanket injunction by SC against Sahara group companies from carrying out any business.

Former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for two Sahara companies, pleaded that these companies have nothing to do with the case and they should be allowed to carry on with their business. But this plea was rejected.

The apex court extended the parole granted to Roy till October 10 and fixed the case for further hearing on September 11.

Roy has spent almost two years in jail and been on parole since May 6, 2016. The parole was granted the first time to let him attend the funeral of his mother. It has been extended since then.

First Published: Jul 25, 2017 18:47 IST