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Bombay HC liquidator starts auction process

Bombay HC liquidator starts auction process
The process to sell the Sahara group´s Aamby Valley began on Friday with the official liquidator of the Bombay High Court (HC) inviting bids for the property.Last week, the Supreme Court (SC) asked the official liquidator of the Bombay HC to take over and manage Aamby Valley.
It said the auction must begin on December 1 (Friday) and has to be completed within eight weeks.The HC liquidator came out with newspaper advertisements on the sale on Friday.An earlier attempt to auction the property had failed, as no bidder had come forward to bid for it
In fact, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) told the Supreme Court that Sahara chief Subrata Roy and other directors of the company tried to obstruct the sale.The properties for sale comprise the 6,761.64acre township named ´Aamby Valley City Development´ in Lonavala in Pune district of Maharashtra and includes 1,409 acres surrounding the township and 321 acres in neighbouring Satara district.
The Sahara group has been embroiled inaprolonged legal battle with the Sebi overacase involvinga ~24,000crore refund to investors.On February 6, the Supreme Court ordered authorities to attach Aamby Valley to recover dues from Sahara.The property is worth more than Rs 39,000 crore.
The court extended Roy´s parole after the company deposited Rs 600 crore with the Sebi. Sahara acknowledged it owed Rs 14,000 crore as principal money to the Sebi, but the top court denied its offer to clear the dues by July 2019.
On August 9, Sahara´s counsel Kapil Sibal requested the Supreme Court to stay the auction, saying the company would pay dues worth Rs1,500 crore.The court, however, said it did not believe Sahara would pay up, and that it would pass an “appropriate order” if the amount was paid by September 7.

The Business Standard, New Delhi, 2nd December 2017

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