New Delhi: Capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a contempt plea against the Sahara Group alleging obstruction in the Aamby Valley auction process.

The matter was brought before a bench headed by justice Ranjan Gogoi, who said the case would be forwarded to chief justice Dipak Misra, who would take a call on when the matter would be heard.

In August, while asking the Sahara Group to deposit Rs1,500 crore in a dedicated Sebi account by 7 September, the apex court had clarified that the Aamby Valley auction process would be stopped if the company furnished the payment in time.

Kapil Sibal, counsel for Sahara, had sought more time for the company to deposit the money and told the court that it would submit two post-dated cheques of 11 November to ensure payment. This request was rejected by the court.

The Aamby Valley auction process began on 14 August with the official liquidator inviting bids at a reserve price of Rs37,392 crore.

The markets regulator moved the apex court in August 2014 to recover Rs36,000 crore from Sahara to refund investors who had purchased securities from two group firms. Sebi had asked the court to appoint a receiver who would sell Sahara’s properties and raise the money. The court has been recovering money from the group in instalments.

As part of the last recovery, Sahara was required to deposit Rs552 crore, of which it deposited Rs247 crore. The remaining Rs305 crore was part of the Rs1,500 crore that it was directed to pay under the last instalment in August.

On 25 July, the court directed the official liquidator of the Bombay high court to initiate the first two steps of the process to auction Aamby Valley. This would include publication of the sale notice of the property and fulfilment of the KYC (know-your-customer) norms to be submitted by prospective bidders.

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