Impediments in Aamby valley auction would invite contempt, jail: SC
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said that anyone creating impediments in the way of the auction of Sahara group's Aamby valley property would invite contempt of the top court and go to jail.
"If any impediment by anyone ... this court will take contempt and send him to jail," the apex court said in its order, taking stern view of a communication by Sahara group to the Superintendent of Police, Pune Rural, that according to market regulator Sebi, stalled the property's auction.
Following Sahara's communication, police took the property, which was to be auctioned, under its charge.
The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice A.K.Sikri directed the Director General, Maharashtra Police to release the Aamby valley property to the Bombay High Court's official liquidator who would auction it.
The court said that the liquidator would act under the guidance of the Company Law Board judge and Justice Abhay Oak of the Bombay High Court.
As senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Sahara chief Subrata Roy told the court that the "completely wrong statements were being made by Sebi to prejudice the court", the court dismissed his arguments.
"Our order has been violated. We don't want to hear you today. We want to have auction," it said, after senior counsel Arvind Datar, appearing for marker regulator Sebi, told the court that because of September 28 communication by Sahara, the auction has stopped.
Asking Datar that auctioning has been stalled because of Sahara communication, the court said: "We will appoint the official liquidator as receiver and under the high court judge, he will proceed with the auction."
The top court directed the auction of Aamby valley to recover money that Sahara's group has to pay the marker regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for returning investors money that its two companies SIRECL and SHICL had raised from investors in 2007 and 2008.
The top court by its August 31, 2012 order had asked Sahara group's two companies - Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd. (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) - to return investors Rs 17,400 crore, along with 15 per cent interest.
Sahara group has already given a part of the money to SEBI that is being parked in SEBI-Sahara Refund Account.