New Delhi: Tasked with a massive job of selling certain unencumbered properties of the beleaguered Sahara group, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is believed to have roped in HDFC Realty and SBI Capital to help in the sale process.
Sources said that HDFC Realty and SBI Capital would help the markets regulator in valuation as well as the sale process for the selected properties as per the directions of the Supreme Court.
While there was no official word on the mandate, the Sebi-Sahara case was scheduled to come up for further hearing in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Last month, the apex court had asked Sebi to initiate the process of selling those properties the title deeds of which have already been deposited with it by Sahara.
Sebi was asked to devise a suitable mechanism for the sale in consultation and under the supervision of Justice B N Agrawal, a former Supreme Court judge, and also seek help of “experts or expert agencies”, if required in the process.
Justice Agrawal is currently overseeing the process of refund of money to investors of Sahara, which has already submitted the title deeds of 86 properties to Sebi. These do not include Sahara’s three overseas hotels, the famous Aamby Valley resort town and the Sahara Star hotel in Mumbai.
The regulator was also asked to keep Saharas “duly informed about the steps taken by it in which event Sahara shall be free to provide such inputs as may be considered necessary so that the properties fetch a fair price towards sale consideration”.
Sebi was also asked not to sell any property owned by Sahara for a price less than 90 per cent of the circle rates for the area in question without the permission of the court, the Supreme Court had ordered on March 29 while listing the matter for further hearing on April 27.
The sale was ordered by the court to generate the bail money for release of Sahara chief Subrata Roy, who has been in jail for over two years now.
The order came when senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mr Roy, submitted that the group was finding it increasingly difficult to sell its properties in the current market environment.
Earlier this month, Sebi’s lawyer, Arvind Datar, had said that selling properties of Sahara group will be a “herculean task” and he cited the example of the recent no-show by bidders at an auction for Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher House building.
“What I am worried is that there are several properties worth approximately Rs. 40,000 crore. Now we have to go for title scrutiny, we have to get all that done and that is a herculean task,” said Mr Datar, who has been Sebi’s counsel in the long-drawn legal battle with Sahara group.