Sebi files contempt plea against Sahara for alleged obstruction in Aamby Valley auction
New Delhi: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the regulator of capital markets, displaced the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a lawsuit for contempt of the Sahara group, citing the obstruction in the bidding process. the Pune property, Aamby Valley.
The case was brought before a court headed by Ranjan Gogoi, who said the case would be referred to Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who would receive an appeal when the case is heard.
In August, when he asked the Sahara group to deposit a crop of 1,500 rupees in an exclusive Sebi account before Sept. 7, the specialized court had said that the auction process in Aamby Valley would be interrupted if the company provided payment by the hour.
Kapil Sibal, a Saharan lawyer, had asked the company for more time to deposit the money and told the court that it would deposit two post-dated checks on November 11 to secure the payment. This application was dismissed by the court.
The Aamby Valley adjudication process began on August 14 with the official liquidator inviting offers to a reserve price of Rs37,392 crore.
In August 2014, the Market Regulator moved the Eagle Court to recover Rs36,000 from the Sahara to restore to investors who had bought the securities of two companies in the group. Sebi had asked the court to appoint a receiver who would sell the properties of the Sahara and collect the money. The court recovered money from the group in several installments.
As part of the last recovery, the Sahara was required to deposit Rs552 crore, which it deposited Rs247 crore. The remaining Rs305 crore was part of the Rs1,500 crore which was intended to pay under the last delivery in August.
On July 25, the court ordered the official liquidator of the Supreme Court of Bombay to begin the first two stages of the Aamby Valley adjudication process. This would include publication of the notice of sale of the property and compliance with the KYC (know-your-customer) rules that should be submitted by potential bidders.