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Apex court turns an auction room

Subrata Roy Sahara

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today virtually turned an auction room when two real estate firms hiked their bids for the purchase of Sahara Group’s 140-acre land in Gorakhpur with both the parties ready to fork out Rs.150 crore.

A competitive bidding took place before a Bench headed by Justice T S Thakur during the hearing on the issue related to arranging the money for the release of beleaguered group’s chief Subrata Roy, who has been in jail for more than a year.

The bidding started when the lawyer of Samriddhi developers agreed to match the Rs.110 crore offer made by Gorakhpur Real Estate Developers Private Limited.

Then Gorakhpur raised it to Rs. 115 crore and the judges sought the rival’s response.

Senior Advocate Paras Kuhat, appearing for Samriddhi, took instructions from on of the partners present in the court, and jacked the bid to Rs.125 crore. Then Gorakhpur took it upto Rs. 140 crore, added Rs. 5 crore more and then finally settled at Rs.150 crore. This was matched by Gorakhpur, who was ready to fork out Rs.150 crore.

At this the bench said both the parties have to show their bonafides by depositing 25 per cent of the amount by July 31 in the SEBI-Sahara account and rest of the money has to be arranged in three equal instalments by October 31.

The Gorakhpur Real Estate company had filed an application objecting the sale of property at Rs 64 crore to Samriddhi Developers and had offered Rs 110 crore.

The Bench, also comprising Justices A R Dave and A K Sikri, said failure of any of them to meet the deadline would result in forfeiture of the amount of 25 per cent deposited by them.

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