New Delhi–The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Sahara chief Subrata Roy to deposit Rs 1,500 crore, as offered by him, by June 15, failing which he will have to go back to jail even as it sent a proposed buyer of Sahara’s assets to jail for contempt.

Asking Roy, who was present in the court, to pay the money, the bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice A.K. Sikri recorded his assurance that cheque of Rs 1,500 crore would be honoured on being presented on the due date.

“We are warning you today, if cheques are not realised, amount does not come, we will be compelled to send you to Tihar Jail straight away from here,” the bench told Roy asking him to be present on the next date of hearing on June 19.

Subrata Roy (Photo courtesy: The Hindu Business Online)

Roy was present in the court in pursuance to April 17 direction to be present in the court in person.

Seeking some more time to pay the money, he told the court that he would pay Rs 1,500 crore by June 15, another Rs 552 crore by July 15 and Rs 3,000 crore by October 30.

The court was given two checks of Rs 1,500 crore and Rs 552 crore towards the payment assured in the month of June and July.

Sahara has still to pay balance Rs 11,169 crores of the principal amount of Rs 25,781 crore to the investors from whom two group companies – SIRECL and SHICL – had raised in 2008 and 2009 through OFCDs .

Asking Roy to be present in the court on June 19 when court would hold further hearing in the matter, the bench in the meanwhile asked the official liquidator of Bombay High Court Vinod Sharma to proceed with the preparation of the terms and conditions for the auction of Sahara’s Aamby valley property.

The court said that the reserve price for the auction of Aamby Valley would be Rs 37,392 crore.

The terms and conditions would be placed before the court on June 19 for it consideration and approval.

The official liquidator of Bombay High Court in a report on the worth of the Aamby Valley by an evaluator said that the market value of Aamby Valley is Rs 37, 390 crore and the fair value is Rs 43,000 crore.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Roy, too quoted a price that was little more than the one quoted by the evaluator but said that the enterprise value of the property was Rs 1 lakh crore.

Meanwhile, the court sent Prakash Swamy — the power of attorney holder for a US-based company MG Capital Holdings LLC, New York that had shown interest in buying Sahara’s New York-located Hotel Plaza — to jail for one month for not depositing Rs 10 crore fine ordered by the court for backing out and misleading the court.

The court had on April 17 ordered Swamy to deposit the fine with its registry by April 27.

The bench sent Swamy to Tihar jail after the court was informed that he has not deposited the money.

Seeking mercy, Swamy said that he was an old journalist who had reported United Nations for ten years.

He said that he filed the affidavit as people in the company concerned knew him and promised him some good gains from the deal. He described himself as “small man”.

Telling Swamy that “small man should not try to be big”, the bench said: “You should not have gone into this. You must understand the gravity of the case.”

“If we forgive you it will send wrong message,” Justice Misra said pointing out that sometimes “tempting situation lead to confinement”.

Swamy had earlier told the court that US-based MG Holding was buying Sahara’s Plaza Hotel, following which the court has asked them to deposit Rs 750 crore in Sahara-SEBI Refund account to prove their bona fides.

However, in the next hearing, the court was informed that the US company had withdrawn the offer after doing due diligence of the property. (IANS)

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