The Supreme Court today asked two real estate firms engaged in a tug of war over purchasing Sahara Group’s over 140 acre land properties in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh to show their “bonafides” as the money to be generated from the sale would help in the release of its jailed chief Subrata Roy.
A bench comprising Justices T S Thakur, A R Dave and A K Sikri asked one of the firms, Gorakhpur Real Estate Developers Private Limited which intends to purchase Sahara group’s land properties in Rs 110 crore, to deposit Rs 11 crore by tomorrow to establish its bonafides.
The Other real estate company Samriddhi Developers, which also wants the same properties against a consideration of Rs 64 crore, was asked by the court to get a letter by tomorrow from its banker that its cheque of around Rs 50 crore is “good for the payment”.
Both firms are competing with each other in buying the same properties of Sahara group at Gorakhpur.
During the hearing, the counsel for Gorakhpur Real Estate Developers said that it was willing to pay Rs 110 crore for the properties.
“It is a very good offer Mr Sibal (Sahara’s lawyer Kapil Sibal),” the bench said.
Raising doubts over the credibility of the firm, Sibal said, “let them declare as to how many projects they have done in last ten years.”
Another senior lawyer Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for Sahara Group, urged the court to check out the “bonafides of the purchaser” as “we have been duped again and again”.
The bench then asked the counsel for Gorakhpur Real Estate Developers to pay Rs 64 crore, also promised by the other firm, instantly and assured that for arranging the rest amount, the court may grant further time.
It asked the firm to deposit Rs 11 crore by tomorrow with the Secretary General of the apex court to show its bonafides.
Meanwhile, it also asked the counsel for another firm Samriddhi Developers to get a letter from its banker supporting its cheque and fixed the matter for hearing on July 13.
Sibal, during the hearing, said that the Sahara group was under a obligation to pay, but no business group in the world can pay Rs 36,000 crore in one go.
The Income tax department has also accepted almost 85 per cent redemption certificate furnished by the group, he said, adding that he would be moving another application in the case.
Earlier, the court had declined to relax the conditions for interim bail of Roy like depositing Rs 5000 crore in cash and a bank guarantee of equal amount and set more tough terms including payment of the entire Rs 36,000 crore in 18 months.
Sahara’s counsel had then said that the group was unable to secure the bank guarantee as the financial institution which had agreed to furnish it has backed out when SEBI insisted on fixation of the “trigger point” for encashing it.
The court had also asked the 65-year-old Roy, who has been in Tihar jail since March 4, 2014, to pay Rs 36,000 crore to the SEBI within 18 months and in nine installments from the date of release.