The auctioning process of Sahara group's prized Aamby Valley properties has been put off after the auction notice failed to elicit any response from prospective buyers, the Supreme Court was informed on Thursday.
The bench, which had appointed a court receiver to take over Sahara Group's property at Aamby Valley, had asked the official liquidator to proceed with the auctioning process of these properties to realise the money of the investors.
Besides putting off the auctioning process, the bench, which also comprised Justices Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri, directed two firms - Sai Rydam Realtors Private limited and Prime Down Town Real Estate Private limited-- to deposit Rs 10 billion with the SEBI-Sahara account after the Sahara group submitted that the firms were willing to purchase their property at Vasai in Mumbai.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Sahara Group, said the sale of the Vasai property would fetch Rs 10 billion which would be deposited in the SEBI-Sahara account.
The bench then asked the two firms to deposit a Demand Draft of Rs 990 million on Thursday itself and gave a time-line for depositing the remaining amount.
The bench asked the two firms to deposit Rs 2 billion by August 15 and Rs 6.82 billion by September 12, while cautioning them that any default would amount to contempt and the deposited amount would be forfeited.
On being informed that Sahara group has already sold its hotel at New York, the bench asked the company to file an affidavit giving details about the sale and the use of the money thereafter.
The group had on on April 19 told the court that they would sell a parcel of the Aamby Valley properties and deposit the amount in the account by May 15 since auctioning would not fetch the desired price.
The apex court had then said if the group failed to sell a parcel of the Aamby Valley property by May 15 and deposit the amount in the refund account, the Bombay High Court's official liquidator would proceed with the proposed auctioning process to sell them.
The group had earlier said it has already deposited over Rs 170 billion and sought a hearing saying a lot of issues needed to be looked into.
The official liquidator, in its report filed in the top court, had said it has commenced the procedure for auctioning the Aamby Valley property for which bids would be invited.
Sahara chief Subrata Roy, who spent almost two years in jail, has been on parole since May 6 last year. The parole was granted the first time to enable him attend the funeral of his mother. It has been extended since then.
Besides Roy, two other directors -- Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary -- were arrested for failure of the group's two companies -- Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL) -- to comply with the court's August 31, 2012 order to return Rs 240 billion to their investors.