SC allows Sahara to sell 3 hotels, extends Subrata Roy's parole

The Supreme Court has allowed the Sahara group to sell 3 overseas hotels to Qatar Investment and also extended the group's chairman Subrata Roy's parole till 3 August.

The apex court, however, asked Roy to deposit an additional Rs300 crore, failing which he, along with two others, would be back in Tihar Jail. 

The bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur, Justice Anil R Dave and Justice AK Sikri also directed the release of Ravi Shankar Dubey who is still in jail.

"We had allowed the Sebi to sell 19 properties and three hotels and mortgage of the land of Aamby valley. We are informed not much have been achieved because of the condition stipulated in our earlier order," the court order noted.

While Sebi has said it has no objection to the modification of the earlier order and permitting Sahara to sell its assets, the bench said proceeds from such transaction after deducting expanses and tax at source should, however, be deposited with the market regulator.

The bench also permitted Sahara to transfer the $24 million it has in its Bank of China account to the Sebi-Sahara account here.

The court asked Sebi to file a status report on the amount received on the mutual funds, shares and gold of Sahara. The order came as Roy's counsel Kapil Sibal told the bench that Sebi was not giving the account of the proceeds from these.

Roy and his son-in-law Ashok Roy Choudhary were granted parole on 6 May this year to attend the last rites of Roy's mother who passed away the day before, on 5 May. It was extended on 11 May for two months on the condition that he would deposit Rs200 crore.

The Sahara chief along with two other directors - Dubey and Roy Choudhary - was sent to jail on 4 March 2014, for his failure to comply with 2012 order directing him to return investors' Rs17,600 crore with 15 per cent interest.

The group`s two companies - Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd and Sahara Housing Finance Corp Ltd – had originally raised an amount of Rs17,600 crore through optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCD) in 2008 and 2009. The Supreme Court by its 31 August 2012 order, had directed the SIRECL and SHICL to return investors money with 15 per cent interest. The amounts have crossed Rs25,000 by the time the apex court issued its last order.