SC refuses to give more time to Sahara Group to deposit Rs 5,000 crore with Sebi
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear afresh a Sahara Group plea seeking more time to deposit Rs5,092.64 crore with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
The court had earlier directed Sahara to do so by 13 April and had threatened to auction the company’s flagship project Aamby Valley, if it fails to deposit the money.
A bench headed by justice Dipak Misra orally observed that the court will be compelled to auction Aamby Valley. Sahara expressed difficulty in disposing of some of its other assets to meet the court’s deadline.
In its plea, Sahara said that in spite of “subdued market conditions” it has received 163 expressions from 59 prospective buyers for 30 of its properties.
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.
Sebi 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 said this money had been raised from the public through unauthorized schemes. Sebi had asked the court to appoint a receiver who would dispose of Sahara’s domestic and offshore properties and raise the money.
As of now, Sahara is yet to repay over Rs14,000 crore to its depositors through Sebi.
The case will be heard next on 17 April.
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.