US court issues show-cause to Sahara in $350-mn lawsuit

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NEW DELHI: Sahara group chief Subrata RoyIn fresh troubles for Sahara, a US court has issued show-cause notice to the group in connection with a $350-million lawsuit seeking attachment of its two prized hotel assets here — Plaza and Dream Downtown.   

The lawsuit has been filed by Hong Kong-based JTS Trading Ltd, which had proposed to partner UAE-based Trinity White City Ventures and arrange loans from Swiss banking giant UBS to acquire the crisis-ridden Indian group’s three overseas hotels — Grosvenor House in London and the two in New York.

In the lawsuit filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York against Trinity, Sahara and UBS, JTS has now alleged that Trinity cut it off from the deal for direct negotiations with Sahara. JTS has also accused Sahara and UBS of having ‘aided and abetted’ the UAE firm in breaching its ‘fiduciary duties’ under their agreement.

Looking into the suit, the court has now passed an ‘order to show cause’, asking Sahara India Pariwar to show cause in the court on July 8 why ‘an order should not be made’ for attaching the group’s interest in the Plaza and Dream Downtown hotels in New York.

There were no reply to queries mailed to Trinity and JTS in this regard, while an UBS spokesperson said the bank had ‘no comment’ to offer on this matter.

When contacted, a Sahara spokesperson said the group is not doing any business with Trinity.     

As per the documents filed with the court by JTS, it had formed a venture with Trinity earlier this year to buy the three hotels from Sahara, which has been seeking to arrange funds to ensure release of its chief Subrata Roy and two other top executives from Tihar Jail in New Delhi.

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