Aamby Valley owned by Sahara Group is ordered to be taken over by the Bombay High Court’s official liquidator as per the orders of the Supreme Court. The property would be the second which would suffer the taking over process after sebi. The chief of the company, Subrata Roy was not seeing eye to eye with the decision, so were trying to create hindrances in the process. After the obstruction process, not only the property would be occupied, but the chief of Maharashtra Police has been directed by the apex court to make sure that the process of handling over the property to the liquidator sums up within 48 hours.
The alleged impediments to the process of Aamby Valley’s auction performed by the chief of the company took the apex court in the direction of taking harsh steps and decisions for them. The Supreme Court also warned that if in future the act would be repeated by anybody then he/she would be held liable for scorn and can be ‘sent to jail’. The apex court also directed the Maharashtra Police chief to ensure that the property is handed over to the liquidator within 48 hours.
The incident as claimed by SEBI where the group had purportedly clogged the process by writing a letter to the Pune police was detested by the Supreme Court. The group raisied the issue of law and order at the main property.
Justice Dipak Misra in a meeting of his bench on the obstruction process by the group as accused by SEBI said, “the group should not have entered into a communication with Pune’s Superintendent of the Police (Rural) on the issue since the auction has been ordered by the top court.”
Justices Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri, two members of the bench comprised for the issue said, “If any impediment is caused in the auctioning process by anyone, he shall be liable of contempt of this court and sent to jail.” The contempt will attract a punishment for up to six months of simple imprisonment.
The Supreme Court later illuminated that it had not any intention of initiating any contempt at the earlier stage.
As per the allegation of SEBI, the main reason why the property has not attracted any of the bidder was that the police have taken custody of it. So, no one wanted to get in to the auction process where police are involved. Maharashtra’s Director General of Police has been directed to observe the issue closely and make sure that the property is handed over to the official liquidators of Bombay High Court within 48 hours. According to SEBI, the group and the chief of the company sent the letter to the additional chief secretary
The bench said, “You go ahead with the auction.”
Mukul Rohatgi, senior advocate who is representing the group, denied the obligations and said, “completely wrong statements are made to prejudice the court”. He added, “no bidder has come. I (group) am not standing in the way. I have not halted anything and have not given property to the police.”
SEBI has asked for “willful and deliberate attempt” on Sahara’s part in its plea, further adding “by adopting a subterfuge to cause interference with the administration of justice, especially in a court directed and monitored auction sale of the Aamby Valley property under various orders of the apex court.”
Sahara chief Subrata Roy’s plea to postpone the auction process was rejected by the apex court on August 10, 2017.
The issue was for Rs1,500 crores. SC said if the group will pay the amount by Roy in the SEBI- Sahara refund account by September 7 then the decision would be re-taken, otherwise, the auction process would continue as per schedule.
Initially, the group was allotted a time of 18 months’ time to reimburse around Rs9,000 crore balance. The principal amount was Rs24,000 crore.
Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary, two other directors, in addition to Roy, were imprisoned as per the court orders for failing to repay Rs24,000 crore to their investors of the two groups, Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL) in 2012.