The Income Tax Department has announced its claim to Rs 24,843 crore from the proposed sale proceeds of Sahara’s Aamby Valley property in Maharashtra’s Lonavala, The Indian Express reported on Monday.
The claim, which excludes interest, is the tax that Aamby Valley Limited – the company that owns the project – owes the department, officials told the newspaper. The Supreme Court is expected to decide on its next course of action on Monday.
On August 9, Sahara India Pariwar’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 bench said it did not believe Sahara would pay the amount. It told the company that it would pass an “appropriate order” if Rs 1,500 crore was paid by September 7.
The Bombay High Court, the official liquidator, had put the project up for public auction at a reserve price of Rs 37,392 crore on August 14. This was based on a Supreme Court directive from April 17, ordering the auction after Sahara failed to deposit money to refund its investors.
The Aamby Valley case
On February 6, the Supreme Court had ordered authorities to attach Aamby Valley to recover dues from the company. The prime property in Maharashtra 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 Supreme Court had denied its offer to clear its dues by July 2019.
The bench, led by now Chief 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 it would focus on the repayment of the principal amount before ensuring that the group repaid the interest.