SC Allows Sahara To Sell Four Properties – Livemint – 3-Dec-2014
December 5, 2014 - Uncategorized
The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Sahara group to proceed with the sale of four properties to raise bail for its jailed chief Subrata Roy. The properties in Chomma, Jodhpur, Vasai and Pune are expected to fetch nearly Rs.2,500 crore for the conglomerate including transaction cost, taxes and other deductions. The apex court accepted the Sahara group’s plea to allow sale of the Chomma property at a rate 15% below its estimated value. The Sahara group also deposited three demand drafts and one cheque amounting to Rs.184.5 crore in favour of the Sebi-Sahara Refund Account, which it had received as down payment for the Chomma, Jodhpur, Vasai properties. The Pune property, according to lawyer S. Ganesh who is representing Sahara, didn’t have an agreement to sell yet. However, Sahara told the court that the Pune property will be sold for Rs.550 crore, which was expected to be realized within 40 days. A three-judge bench of justices T.S. Thakur, Anil R. Dave and A.K. Sikri said the buyers will have to furnish undertakings to ensure payment through post-dated cheques. The court, in pursuance of queries raised by amicus curiae (friend of the court) Shekhar Naphade and markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), has asked Sahara to provide detailed information regarding substituting Bank of China as a lender in relation to its overseas properties as well as obtaining a loan of $650 million on them. The Sahara group had asked the court to allow it to sell three hotels—Grosvenor House in London, and the Plaza and Dream Downtown Hotel in New York. Sahara welcomed the court’s decision to allow the sale of the four properties in India. “The sale will generate net amount of around Rs.2,622.25 crore that will be used to comply with the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. With reference to the foreign properties, the Hon’ble Court asked Sebi to indicate its quires in writing and asked Saharas to provide clarification within a week. Once the same is allowed, an amount in excess of Rs.3,000 crore will be generated which will be used to comply with the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday. The court will hear the case next on 17 December. Roy has been in jail since 4 March for failing to appear before the court in contempt proceedings in a case initiated by Sebi. The court on 26 March said he could be released on bail on payment of Rs.10,000 crore, half in cash and the rest as bank guarantee. Sahara has filed a defamation case in a Patna court against Mint’s editor and some reporters over the newspaper’s coverage of the company’s dispute with Sebi. Mint is contesting the case.