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Sahara Group moves Supreme Court, asks Aamby Valley auction be put on hold

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-08-2017 Priyanka Mittal

New Delhi: Sahara Group moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking to put on hold the auction of Aamby Valley, a Pune-based township developed by it.

The matter was mentioned before a bench headed by justice Dipak Misra, who said that the matter would be taken up at a later date.

Kapil Sibal, counsel for Sahara, urged the court to push back the publication of the sale notice and asked for more time to review its payment plan.

On 25 July, the court had directed the official liquidator of the Bombay high court to initiate the first two steps of the process to auction Aamby Valley. This would include publication of the sale notice of the property and the satisfaction of the KYC (know your customer) norms to be submitted by prospective bidders.

The court had also asked the Sahara Group to deposit Rs1,500 crore in a dedicated Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) account by 7 September.

It was, however, clarified that the auction process (beyond the first two steps) would be stopped if Sahara furnished the payment in time.

The court has been recovering money from the group in instalments. Sahara has paid Rs16,000 crore till now.

The markets regulator moved the apex court in August 2014 to recover Rs36,000 crore from Sahara to refund investors who purchased securities from two group firms.

As part of the last recovery, Sahara was required to deposit Rs552 crore, of which it deposited Rs247 crore. The remaining Rs305 crore is part of the Rs1,500 crore that it has been directed to pay under the latest instalment.

The firm has so far deposited Rs1,747 crore with the Sebi-Sahara refund account towards an assurance of payment of Rs2,000 crore given to the court by Sahara India chief Subrata Roy on 27 April.

Two cheques, dated 15 June and 15 July, for Rs1,500 crore and Rs552 crore, respectively, had been handed over to the court.

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