National News

Seize Sahara’s Aamby Valley property to recover dues, rules Supreme Court

The bench extended company chief Subrata Roy’s parole for the sixth time since May 2016.

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered for Sahara’s Aamby Valley property near Lonavla, Maharashtra, to be attached to recover dues from the company. The court extended Sahara chief Subrata Roy’s parole after a sum of Rs 600 crore was deposited with the Securities and Exchange Board of India, NDTV reported.

The company acknowledged that it owed Rs 14,000 crore as principal money to Sebi. The top court denied Sahara’s offer to clear its dues by July 2019. The bench led by Justice Dipak Misra ordered the attachment to fast-track the recovery process. It also asked Sahara to provide a list of properties that were free from litigation and mortgage so the information can be released to the public.

The next hearing in the matter is scheduled for February 27.

The Sahara group has been embroiled in a lengthy court battle with the market regulator over a case involving a Rs 24,000-crore refund to investors. The court said it would focus on the repayment of the principal amount before ensuring that the group repays the interest.

Roy was sent to Tihar Jail in March 2014 after he failed to comply with a court order. He had been directed to refund the money raised by selling investors bonds, which were later ruled illegal. He has been out on parole since May 6, 2016, after his mother died. This is the sixth time his parole has been extended.

On February 2, 2016, Sahara had sought permission from the Supreme Court to sell its 42% stake in the Formula 1 team Force India, four airplanes and its Sahara Star Hotel in Mumbai to raise Rs 3,000 crore of the Rs 10,000-crore bail bond set for Roy’s release. The company had also said negotiations were underway to sell three of its overseas hotels – the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, the New York Plaza Hotel and the Dream New York Hotel.

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