Supreme Court attaches Sahara's Rs39,000-cr Aamby Valley properties

Subrata RoyThe Supreme Court finally issued orders to attach the Sahara group's Aamby Valley properties in Lonavala, Maharastra, estimated to be worth around Rs39,000 crore, after the company failed to refund Rs14,000 crore in principal amount collected from millions of investors.

Sahara today finally admitted in court that it had paid only Rs10,000 crore to market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and has still to pay an amount of Rs14,000 crore as principal money collected from investors.

Subsequently, the apex court ordered Subrata Roy-led Sahara group to furnish a list of properties which were free from litigation and mortgage so that it could be put into public auction.

Now these properties will be kept under the supervision of the court and nobody will do anything with these properties till the next date of hearing in the case, on 27 February.

The Supreme Court had earlier extended Sahara Group chairman Subrato Roy's parole till 28 November after Sahara paid another Rs200 crore into the Sebi's account in October as directed by the court.

The apex court had first granted four weeks' custody parole to Roy to perform his mother's last rites, which was extended further on various pleas.

Roy had been in Tihar jail since 4 March 2014, till his mother's death on 6 May 2016, for not complying with the apex court's orders in connection with a long dispute with the market regulator.

Sebi had moved the Supreme Court alleging that Roy had failed to comply with the 2012 SC order directing him to return investors more than Rs20,000 crore with 15 per cent interest thereon that his two companies Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd and the Sahara Housing Finance Corp Ltd had raised through optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCD) in 2007 and 2008.

Sahara, once among India's high-profile firms, had in the past made several failed attempts to raise the bail money using its prized overseas hotels that include the Plaza in New York and Grosvenor House in London.

Sahara then also said it had paid more than 80 per cent of the dues to share-holders, but Sebi disputed that and said the company has not paid more than Rs10,000 crore.