Sahara sells Ahmedabad property to raise Rs464 crore

In the first property sale to raise money for the release of jailed Sahara India chief Subrata Roy, the group has sold approximately 4.21 lakh square metres of land belonging to its residential scheme 'Sahara City' in Ahmedabad to city-based developers for a sum of Rs464 crore.

"H N Safal and Goyal & Co are equal partners. We have purchased Sahara City for Rs464 crore. As per Supreme Court directives, we have deposited the amount into Sahara's SEBI controlled bank account," H N Safal's owner Dhiren Vora said.

`Sahara City', a residential scheme started by Sahara Group at Shela village near Bopal on the outskirts of the city, however, is riddled with controversies with several of its customers complaining that Sahara did not fulfill its promise of giving possession of homes even after they paid the full amount.

"We will build homes for those who have already booked their homes in Sahara City," Vora said.

Sahara, which has been looking for raising over Rs5,000 crore in cash needed to secure bail for Subrata Roy, opted to remain silent over the transaction.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed Sahara group to sell nine properties in India to enable it to deposit the Rs5,000 crore cash needed to secure bail for Subrata Roy, who has been in Tihar Jail since 4 March after he failed to appear at a contempt hearing in the Rs24,000-crore securities scam.

Roy who lost a long-running legal battle with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) over refund of over Rs24,000 crore collected ''illegally'' from nearly three million investors, has been ordered to deposit the amount with the court to secure bail.

The Supreme Court had earlier rejected Sahara's proposals to pay the money in installments but allowed it to pay Rs5,000 in cash and Rs5,000 in bank guarantees.

Sahara would be able to raise Rs4,298 crore by selling nine real estate properties in Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Chauma, Ajmer, Bhavnagar, Bhopal, Jodhpur, Pune and Vasai.

The court has directed Sahara to deposit the amount from property sale with the Securities and Exchange Board of India.