NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to extend the July 15 deadline for payment of a second installment of Rs.552 crore by the Sahara Group to a dedicated Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)-Sahara account.
A bench headed by justice Dipak Misra said that it was not inclined to grant any extension and directed that the cheque be deposited in the designated account by the stipulated date.
In case the cheque isn’t honoured, the court said that it would begin the process of auction of the group’s Pune-based property, Aamby Valley, on hold right now.
The bench also warned of consequences for Sahara chief, Subrata Roy, should the cheque be dishonoured.The court has been recovering money from the firm in the form of time-bound installments.
It recorded that the firm has so far deposited ₹1,500 crore with the SEBI-Sahara refund account towards an assurance of payment of ₹2,000 crore given to the court by Roy on April 27. Two cheques, dated June 15 and July 15, for ₹1,500 crore and ₹552 crore, respectively, had been handed over to the court.
Kapil Sibbal, counsel for Sahara, prayed for an extension owing to difficulties the firm was facing with the auction and sale of properties. “A total of rs.13,316 crore has been deposited towards the total payment so far. We are trying our best and it is not our intention to not pay or run away.”
Regarding Sahara’s property in Haridwar, which it is looking to auction, Arvind Datar, counsel for SEBI, requested the court for four more weeks as portions of the property were found to be encumbered. The court allowed time and added that money from the auction would be adjusted towards the rest of the payment.
It also approved the terms and conditions and draft proclamation for the auction of Aamby Valley submitted by Vinod Sharma, official liquidator of the Bombay High Court, and extended time for chalking out other modalities.
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