In a big blow to beleaguered businessman Subrata Roy, The Supreme Court today directed attachment of Sahara Group’s prime property worth Rs 39,000 crore at Aamby Valley in Pune for realisation of money to be paid to its investors.
The apex court also asked Sahara Group to provide 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.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, which will hear the matter again on February 20, 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 bench, also comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri, was told by SEBI counsel Pratap Venugopal that the interest on the principal amount till October 31, 2016 would lead to a liability of Rs 47,669 crore on the Sahara Group, which today deposited over Rs 600 crore in accordance with the January 12 order by which extension of time beyond February 6 was refused.
The apex court had said failure to pay the said amount would lead Sahara Group Chief Subrata Roy going back to jail.
The top court was not in agreement with Sahara’s counsel senior advocate Kapil Sibal that the amount should be realised in accordance with the roadmap provided by the group, which suggested 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 litigations, mortgage and any charge.
“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 judgement against Sahara was “ex-facie erroneous”.
“It’s a question of a core verdict,” the bench said, while referring to the August 2012 judgement by which the Sahara Group was asked to make refund to the investors.
( Source – PTI )