March 1, 2017 1:05:46 am
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Sahara Group to deposit Rs 5,092.6 crore by April 13 in the Sebi-Sahara investors’ refund account to keep its chief Subrata Roy out of jail. A Bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra refused to give six months time to the group to sell its properties to raise money but allowed it to alienate 13 out of 15 assets, mentioned in the list furnished by it, by April 17 for processing refund.
“We permit the contemnor to sell the properties mentioned in part A (of the list), barring items 14 and 15, and any other properties mentioned in part B which are unencumbered and to deposit Rs 5,092.6 crore on or before April 7…in case, a substantial amount is deposited by then, this court may intend to extend the time,” said the bench, also comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri.
It further asked an international real estate firm, which has shown willingness to buy Sahara’s stake in New York- based Plaza Hotel for $550 million, to deposit Rs 750 crore in the apex court registry before April 10 to show its bonafide. At the outset, senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for Sebi, told the Bench that one of the properties mentioned relates to the stakes or shareholding of the firm in Formula One racing team Force India, and it should be excluded from auction. He said Sebi had tried to auction some of the properties mentioned in the list but it was unsuccessful and suggested that an e-auction could be done.
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