SAHARA-BE – SAHARA – A Press Report !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Amby valley ATTACHED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Special Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi and A.K. Sikri ordered Sahara to place on record a list of unencumbered properties which would be put up for public auction to recover over Rs. 14000 crore the group owes as principal sum towards its debt.
The SEBI lawyer submitted that the interest towards the debt currently stands over Rs. 36,000 crore.
Justice Gogoi asked why the court should even bother to ask Sahara for a list of other auctionable properties when the group already has Aamby Valley, which has a declared worth of Rs. 39,000 crore.
The court recorded that Aamby Valley was itself “substantial” enough for the recovery of the amount and the Apex Court attached the group’s jewel-in-the-crown standalone real estate asset in Maharashtra — Aamby Valley property
Justice Gogoi said the Supreme Court had had enough of assembling every other week to collect “token amounts” from Sahara, and would now want a sure shot way of ensuring that Sahara settled its debts without dragging on.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, for Sahara, pleaded that Ambi Valley was the group’s cash cow and the main source of generating revenue.
“If you take away all my resources, I will not have anything to generate money. What will I tell my banks?” Mr. Sibal asked.
“This is not a question of banks. This is a question of obeying court orders,” Justice Misra replied.
Justice Misra observed that the only way to ensure compliance was to get the list of properties in Sahara’s possession which have absolutely no encumbrances whatsoever.
Justice Gogoi succinctly put to Mr. Sibal, “Either you speed up your schedule of repayment or we will go ahead with the auction of your properties to settle your debts. The 2019 roadmap is too long.”
“Don’t do this. There are businesses there (Aamby Valley). There are hotel resorts. Already there is a restraint order on the property from this court…” Mr. Sibal argued.
“An attachment is different from mere restraint… You say you want to keep Aamby Valley. God help you. Then give us other properties which we can order to be put up for public auction and fetch money,” Justice Misra observed.
“I need some breathing time. I need two weeks time to identify these properties for the list and fetch the Rs. 14,779 cr towards the principal amount,” Mr. Sibal submitted.
At one point, Mr. Sibal submitted that he should be heard for two hours before the court passes an order.
“Look at how much time we have given you… It has been over a year. And even now Mr. Sibal wants two hours?” Justice Gogoi snubbed.
Justice Gogoi repeated that first Sahara should file the list of encumbered properties which can be put up for auction.
“Once the properties are auctioned, then we will have to see how much of the Rs. 14000 crore need to be paid to all and sundry depositors… There are over 30 applications in this court from various persons who claim to have paid you money…. then once payments are made, we will release Ambi Valley…. But first the money,” Justice Gogoi explained the court’s plan.
Mr. Sibal claimed 85 per cent of the investors have been paid. “So once Rs. 14000 crore is got from the auction and put it in the Sahara-SEBI account… Who will the money be paid to?” Mr. Sibal asked.
“We will deal with that then… first the money,” Justice Gogoi repeated.
The court asked for the list of unencumbered properties by February 20, the next date of hearing.
Meanwhile, Sahara paid an instalment of a little over Rs 600 crore on Monday. The court in the previous hearing had refused to give it any extension to pay the amount, and even threatened to send Sahara group chief Subarata Roy back to Tihar Jail.
“We are not sending you to custody because you have paid the money,” Justice Misra observed.