The Bombay High Court on Monday put up Sahara’s Aamby Valley city in Maharashtra’s Lonavala for public auction at a reserve price of Rs 37,392 crore, ANI reported. The official liquidator of Aamby Valley put the property up for auction days after a Supreme Court directive.

The reserve price is the minimum price at which a seller is willing to sell his item at an auction. The seller can lower, but cannot increase the reserve price. An investor based in Mauritius, Royale Partners Investment Fund, had said that it wanted to invest Rs 10,700 crore in the property, PTI reported.

On August 9, Sahara’s advocate Kapil Sibal had requested the Supreme Court to stay the auction, adding that the company would pay Rs 1,500 crore. However, the apex court said it did not believe Sahara would pay the amount. The bench told the company that it would pass an “appropriate order” if Rs 1,500 crore was paid by September 7.

The Aamby Valley case

On February 6, the Supreme Court had ordered the attachment of Aamby Valley to recover dues from the company. The prime property is worth more than Rs 39,000 crore.

The court had extended Sahara chief Subrata Roy’s parole after the company deposited Rs 600 crore with the Securities And Exchange Board Of India. Sahara had acknowledged that it owed Rs 14,000 crore as principal money to Sebi, but the top court had denied its offer to clear its dues by July 2019.

The bench, led by Justice Dipak Misra, had ordered the attachment to fast-track the recovery of dues the company owes investors. It had also asked Sahara to provide a list of properties that were free from litigation and mortgage so the information could be released to the public.

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 that it would focus on the repayment of the principal amount before ensuring that the group repaid the interest.