New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday accepted two post-dated cheques worth a total of Rs2,000 crore as an assurance of payment from Sahara India chief Subrata Roy.
The two cheques, dated 15 June and 15 July, were for a sum of Rs1,500 crore and Rs552 crore, respectively. Roy would be sent to jail if the cheques are dishonoured.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra also allowed Sahara to deposit the initial amount of Rs1,500 crore into the Sebi-Sahara account through electronic means on or before 15 June.
Roy, who was personally present in the court, submitted an affidavit giving an undertaking to honour the payment.
According to the official liquidator of the Bombay high court, the fair market value of Sahara’s flagship project, Aamby Valley is Rs37,392 crore.
Taking the process of auction of the Aamby Valley project a step further, the court directed the official liquidator to prepare a draft finalising the terms and conditions of the auction and submit it to the court on the next hearing for which he has been to be personally present.
Kapil Sibal, appearing for Roy, told the court not to sell Aamby Valley as it was the only option through which the company could generate money.
The court also sent Prakash Swamy to one month of imprisonment for reneging on his assurance given on behalf of MG Capital Holdings, a US-based real estate company that had sought to buy Sahara’s stake in overseas hotels, and then failed to pay Rs10 crore costs imposed on it by the court.
On 17 April, the court had directed the auction of Aamby Valley, located in Pune district, after Sahara failed to deposit Rs5,092.64 crore with the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). It owes the money to investors who purchased securities sold by two group companies through schemes that Sebi said were illegal.
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 January 2012, Sahara valued the property at Rs34,000 crore.
In March 2014, Roy and two associates were remanded to judicial custody after Sahara Group failed to comply with the court’s directions to refund investors. In May 2016, Roy and the two were granted parole by the court. This was extended to 17 April in February which stands revised to 19 June.
The case will be heard next on 19 June.
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.