Apex court refuses to free Sahara chief

March 14, 2014 - 6:48:45 am
New Delhi: Sahara group chief Subrata Roy will continue to stay in Tihar jail as the Supreme Court yesterday declined his plea for release on a personal bond with an assurance that he will not leave the country.

The bench of Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice 

J S Khehar reiterated their earlier order as they asked counsel Ram Jethmalani if there was any proposal by the Sahara chief to deposit the balance of Rs190bn to SEBI for redemption of the investors’ money collected 

through OFCDs.

Declining to release Roy and two other directors, the court directed the listing of the plea challenging its March 4 order to March 25. When Jethmalani told the court that Roy was prepared to pay an amount of Rs25bn as part payment of the outstanding amount, the court refused to accept the offer. A similar offer made March 7 by Sahara was rejected as unacceptable by the court.

During the course of the hearing, the court inquired if there was a proposal by Sahara to park with SEBI the balance of Rs190bn to set rolling the process of returning the investors’ money after their verification.

“Whatever proposal we could make, we tried when we were free. With incarceration, things are worst. Whoever helps wants something in return. I must be able to go to a person. I am in no position to offer proposal with my assets,” Jethmalani told the court.

He told the court that their release would allow them to enjoy the Holi festival with their families, and he also informed the court of the failing health of Roy’s mother.

Jethmalani told the court that as it was under the contempt of court, it was a bailable offence and carries a sentence of six months.

At the outset of the hearing, Justice Radhakrishnan told Jethmalani they did not find anything embarrassing in Roy’s plea holding that its March 4 order sending Roy and other directors to judicial custody was null and void and thus illegal.

Jethmalani had Wednesday told the court that it was embarrassing to tell the two judges that their order was not right.

The judges told him that they would decide whether the pleading was embarrassing to them only after going through it.

Justice Radhakrishnan asked Jethmalani to proceed with his arguments and also address the question of maintainability of the petition as raised by the SEBI.

As Jethmalani sought to assail the March 4 order as a “mistake”, Justice Radhakrishnan said: “We were driven to such a situation to pass such an order as all the earlier efforts to make Sahara pay the investors money to SEBI went unheeded.” IANS