Expressing “prima facie satisfaction”, the Supreme Court on Monday granted three months’ time to Sahara Group for selling its offshore properties for raising Rs 10,000 crore to ensure the release of its Chief Subrato Roy, who has been in jail for a year for non-refund of over Rs 20,000 crore to depositors.
A Bench headed by Justice T S Thakur gave the time to Sahara for completing the negotiations failing which its properties would be put to auction by appointing a ‘court receiver’ for alienating its assets.
The court also extended its August 1, 2014 order allowing Roy to use the conference room in Tihar jail complex to hold negotiations with potential buyers to sell his three luxury hotels–Dream Downtown and The Plaza in New York and Grosvenor House in London–to raise Rs 10,000 crore to get regular bail.
The apex court had asked 65-year-old Roy, who has been in Tijar Jail since March 4, 2014, to pay Rs 10,000 crore to get bail, out of which Rs 5,000 crore should be paid in cash and rest in bank guarantees.
The Bench, also comprising Justices A R Dave and A K Sikri, gave its consent to Sahara Group to go ahead with the negotiations after its senior advocate Kapil Sibal provided a brief outline of the fresh proposal under which Spanish Bank BBVA will provide cash assistance of 900 million euro to Hong Kong-based Nouam Ltd which will use the amount for paying and taking over the outstanding dues of the Bank of China. Bank of China had lent money to Sahara in purchase of stakes in three overseas hotels.
Sibal said Nouam Ltd Managing Director Karan Judge will be the legal representative and the investment company will also generate additional 120 million US dollar (Rs 650 crore).
He said five-year old facilitator company Noam Ltd is in Joint Venture with Spanish company Yuma Finance AG and together they would be arranging money through BBVA.
Sibal said Noam Ltd has “real, clean and untainted” money and is also an unencumbered company.