Sahara chief seeks 10 more days from SC to sell properties

Sahara chief seeks 10 more days from SC to sell properties

Sahara Chief Subrata Roy told the Supreme Court that almost finalised deals to sell his three luxury hotels in New York and London has hit a roadblock and is on the verge of collapse and sought ten days more time to sell the properties to raise Rs 10,000 crore to be deposited with SEBI to get bail.

Appearing before a bench headed by Justice T S Thakur, Roy's counsel submitted that there have been huge protests outside the hotels after an International newspaper published story that Sultan of Brunei is buying the properties.

A very serious problem has cropped up in the last three days after the paper reported that Sultan of Brunei is buying the properties, he said.

Following this, there have been very violent protests outside the hotels and the buyers are "reconsidering the deal which is now on the verge of being scrapped," senior advocate S Ganesh told the court.

He urged the court to grant Roy 10 days more time to hold negotiations to save the deal or to talk with 3-4 other buyers who are on line to buy the properties.

"It is very unfortunate incident and it is a setback for us. It is beyond our control," he said asking the bench to consider his plea for extention of time on Monday.
The court said that it will take up his plea if it is possible for the special bench, hearing his case, to assemble on that day.

The apex court had on August 1 allowed Roy and two directors of his group to use the conference room in Tihar jail complex for 10 days from August 5 to hold negotiations with potential buyers. The time period was furhter extended for 15 days on August 14.

It was reported that the Sultan, along with his luxury hotel operator, the Dorchester Collection, has been criticised for harsh new laws against homosexuals and adulterers in Brunei resulting in boycotts of the Beverly Hills Hotel and other properties in Europe, costing him millions of dollars revenue loss.

The Sahara chief put his hotels Dream Downtown and The Plaza in New York and Grosvenor House in London on block to sell.

Roy, 65, who has been in jail for the past six months, had pleaded that he was committed to follow apex court's direction and sought its permission for shifting to Tihar jail guest house for a week to enable him to hold negotiations to sell his properties in India and abroad to raise Rs 10,000 crore to get regular bail.
The apex court had refused to release Roy on interim bail or parole but had allowed selling of his luxury hotels.

It had also appointed senior advocate Shekhar Naphade as amicus curiae to assist the court in dealing with the case in which the group is supposed to pay around Rs 37,000 crore to wind up the proceedings in the apex court.

Roy, who was sent to jail on March 4 this year for non- refund of over Rs 20,000 crore to depositors, was asked by the court to pay Rs 10,000 crore to get bail, out of which Rs 5,000 crore in cash and rest of the amount in bank guarantee.
Sahara has raised Rs 3,117 crore which has been deposited with SEBI.

The group, however, has been claiming that it has already repaid money to 93 per cent investors.

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