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Sahara case: SC refuses to extend deadline to deposit Rs5,092.64 crore with Sebi

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-03-2017 Apurva Vishwanath

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to extend the deadline for Sahara India Group to deposit Rs5,092.64 crore with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) by 17 April.

“Deposit the money or Aamby Valley will be sold,” the court said in an oral observation. The bench of justices Dipak Misra, A.K. Sikri and Ranjan Gogoi asked Sahara in February to sell some of its properties and deposit the money.

The court also allowed MG Capital Holdings, a US based real-estate company to deposit ₹750 crores as earnest money in a bid to buy Sahara’s stake in the Downtown Plaza hotel in New York.

MG Capital Holdings has offered to buy Sahara’s stake for $550 million.

Sebi had moved the apex court in August 2012 to recover Rs36,000 crore from Sahara to refund investors who bought securities from two group firms. Sebi had asked the court to appoint a receiver who would dispose of Sahara’s domestic and offshore properties and raise the money.

In 2014, Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy was taken in custody after it failed to comply with the court’s directions. In an unprecedented move, the court had set Roy’s bail at Rs10,000 crore.

In May 2016, Roy and two of his associates were granted parole by the court which has been extended on request.

Aamby Valley is Sahara’s flagship project consisting of luxury resorts, man-made lakes and an airport. It is spread over 4,000 hectares in Maharashtra.

(Sahara has filed a defamation case in a Patna court against Mint’s editor and some reporters over the newspaper’s coverage of the company’s dispute with the Securities and Exchange Board of India. Mint is contesting the case.)

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