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Hammer price! SC orders auction of Sahara's luxurious Aamby Valley township

Himadri Ghosh
Sahara Subrata Roy

The Supreme Court of India has ordered to put Sahara Group's Rs 37,000-crore luxury township Aamby Valley up for auction. Calling it "an abuser of process of law", the court turned down the group's plea for more time to deposit Rs 1,500 crore.

The order came as a huge set back to the group owned by business tycoon Subrata Roy. The group's chief had been given umpteen opportunities to save it, the court pointed out. The Sahara Group had requested for a two-month-long extension for paying an instalment, which was due last week, reported Business Standard (BS).

Earlier in July, the apex court directed Subrata Roy to deposit Rs 1,500 crore with market regulator SEBI by September 7, to stall the auction of the township.

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But the group had paid only around Rs 530 crore and offered post-dated cheques for the remaining Rs 970 crore, the BS reported.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri said, "We direct without any hesitation that the auction shall be held as per the direction given by this court and the official liquidator is permitted to carry out the auction as per procedure."

The court appointed the registrar general of the Bombay High Court to be the observer and directed him "to remain personally present to oversee the physical auction at the auction venue at Mumbai".

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The case started when the group disobeyed a SEBI order, directing refund of over Rs 24,000 crore raised from 29.6 million investors by Sahara India Real Estate Corp and Sahara Housing Invest Corp.

Group chief, Subrata Roy was arrested in 2014 after the companies failed to comply with the SEBI order. He spent almost two years in jail before the court granted him a parole on May 6. Now he is out on extended parole.  

Here is the auction timeline prescribed by the Supreme Court:

  • August 14: Publication in newspapers about the auction
  • August 29-September 9: KYC forms to be submitted by prospective bidders
  • September 11- 20: Qualified prospective bidders can access information of the property
  • September 19- 20: Physical inspection of properties by the intending bidder
  • September 21-October 3: Bids to be recieved in sealed cover by the official liquidator along with an 15 percent earnest money deposit
  • October 10-11: Auction sale at a venue directed by the Supreme Court
  • October 17: Intimation will be given to the highest three bidders through emails. Others will be refunded their deposits.
  • October 17-November 16: Successful bidder has to pay 50 percent of the purchase price
  • November 17-December 16: Successful bidder to pay 25 percent of the purchase price
  • December 17-January 16: Successful bidder to pay the balance 25 percent of the purchase price
  • The apex court will then confirm the sale of the property. Six months from this confirmation, a lease will be executed in favour of the winning bidder.
  • If the winning bidder fails to make payments in 90 days, the next highest intending bidder in chronological order will be allowed to buy the property.

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