Sell Sahara properties to repay investors, says Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday paved the way for the markets regulator SEBI to sell properties of the Sahara group to repay tens of thousands of investors who put their money in its various schemes.

The directions from the bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice A.K. Sikri came after it found that Sahara group was yet to mobilise the Rs.10,000 crore towards the bail amount to secure the release of Subrata Roy, who is lodged in Tihar Jail since March 2014.

The apex court said the entire process of sale of Sahara properties will be overseen by former Supreme Court judge Justice B.N. Agarwala and that the Sahara group will be kept informed on the steps being taken for the disposal of the properties.

The bench also said that, no property shall be sold below 90 percent of its prevailing circle rates.

Also, no deadline has been fixed to complete the process. Sahara has already furnished the title deeds of the 86 properties to facilitate the sale.

Noting that the market regulator had 20 unencumbered title deeds thus far worth Rs.20,000 crore, the court asked the Sahara group to furnish other unencumbered title deeds of another Rs.20,000 crore.

The step is being taken to recover money that Sahara's two firms had collected from the public by way of optionally fully convertible debentures. The SEBI has been directed to appoint an agency to decide the mechanism for the sale of properties.