New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday granted a 10-day extension to the Sahara Group for paying the balance amount of Rs709.82 crore out of the Rs1,500 crore the company had promised to deposit in the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi)-Sahara account.
A bench headed by justice Dipak Misra allowed Sahara an extension of 10 working days to deposit the balance and said it would be compelled to send chairman Subrata Roy back into custody if the company failed to pay by 4 July.
The firm has so far deposited a total of Rs790.18 crore with the Sebi-Sahara refund account. The company owes the money to investors who bought securities sold by two Sahara group firms through schemes Sebi said were illegal.
The court also cleared the way for the auction of 87 acres of land owned by Sahara in Haridwar and directed Sebi to conduct the process on or before the next hearing.
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Sahara’s counsel Kapil Sibal, informed the court that the company had sold its London hotel Grosvenor House to GH Equity UK Ltd for £575 million to clear its dues.
Vinod Sharma, official liquidator of the Bombay high court, told the court that terms and conditions for the auction of the Pune-based Aamby Valley project had been filed, and that the court’s approval for the same has been sought.
On 27 April, the court had accepted two post-dated cheques worth a total of Rs2,000 crore as an assurance of payment from Roy.
The two cheques, dated 15 June and 15 July, were for Rs1,500 crore and Rs552 crore, respectively. Roy will be sent to jail if the cheques are dishonoured.
On 17 April, the court had directed the auction of Aamby Valley after Sahara failed to deposit Rs5,092.64 crore with Sebi.
The case will be heard next on 5 July.
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.