New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to extend the 15 July deadline for payment of a second instalment of Rs552 crore by the Sahara Group to a 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 for the deposit and directed that the cheque be deposited in the designated account by the date fixed.
In case the cheque wasn’t honoured, the court said that it would begin the process of auction of the group’s Maharashtra property, Aamby Valley, on hold right now.
The bench also warned of consequences for Sahara chief, Subrata Roy, should the cheque be dishonoured.
Kapil Sibal, counsel for Sahara, prayed for an extension owing to difficulties the company was facing with the sale of its properties.
“A total of Rs13,316 crore has been deposited towards due payment so far. We are trying our best and it is not our intention to not pay,” Sibal added.
The firm has so far deposited Rs1,500 crore with the Sebi-Sahara refund account as part of an assurance of payment given to the court by Roy on 27 April of around Rs2,000 crore. Two cheques, dated 15 June and 15 July, for Rs1,500 crore and Rs552 crore, respectively, were handed over.
While the first has got cleared, the second is pending. Sibal informed the court that the company had sold its London hotel Grosvenor House to GH Equity UK Ltd for £575 million to clear its dues.
Vinod Sharma, official liquidator of the Bombay high court, told the court that terms and conditions for the auction of the Pune-based Aamby Valley had been filed, and the court’s approval for the same is sought.