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Supreme Court Cancels Subrata Roy's Bail, Orders That He Be Sent To Jail
The court asked Sahara chief to deposit Rs 300 crore to be allowed to remain on bail; the apex court on September 2 asked Sahara Group to disclose from where it raised Rs 25,000 crore
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The Supreme Court on Friday cancelled all interim relief including bail granted to Sahara chief Subrata Roy and two others and directed them to be taken into custody.
A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur got infuriated when senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Sahara, said they have not been involved in the process of selling of properties by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
"If you want to be heard, you go to jail. Don't tell us what to do. All interim arrangements stand cancelled. Condemners are directed to be taken into custody," the bench, also comprising Justices A R Dave and A K Sikri, said.
Dhavan said it was not a fair statement that they should be sent back to jail. "We have deposited Rs 352 crore already as per the last direction which is Rs 52 crore more. It is not a fair statement," he said.
Roy was arrested in March 2014 after Sahara, a household name in India, failed to comply with a court order to refund 360 billion rupees ($5.4 billion) raised from millions of small investors by selling them bonds later ruled to be illegal.
Embattled Sahara has been trying to raise funds since Roy's arrest by selling real estate assets but has failed in several past bids. Sahara has also previously said it had repaid 95 per cent of its liability, a claim which has not been accepted by the court.
Sahara, the former main sponsor of India's national cricket team, has some prized assets, including New York's Plaza Hotel, the Grosvenor House in London, Sahara Star hotel in Mumbai and a stake in a Formula One racing team.
Counsel appearing for SEBI said that 58 properties were put on auction and they had sold eight of them raising Rs 137 crore. He also said that five of the properties were provisionally attached.
The SEBI counsel said the list of properties given by Sahara to them were those which were already attached.
To this, the bench told the Sahara counsel "You gave a list of properties which are already attached and you are not cooperating. It's better you if you go to jail."
The bench asked Sahara chief to deposit Rs 300 crore to be allowed to remain on bail.
Dhavan then suggested that the matter be posted for hearing on September 30 when they would argue on it.
Soon after the bench passed the order directing that Roy and the others -- Sahara directors Ashok Roy Choudhary and Ravi Shankar Dubey, be taken into custody, Sahara withdrew its counsel and apologised before the bench.
The Chief Justice said that some people play with the dignity of the court and there are some lawyers who are disrespectful towards the court.
The Supreme Court had on September 16 extended the parole of the Sahara chief till today (September 23), which was granted to him in May after his mother passed away.
The parole continued later to enable him arrange money to refund his investors. It had extended Roy's parole on August 3 till today with a condition that he has to deposit Rs 300 crore with SEBI.
The apex court on September 2 had asked the Sahara Group to come clean by disclosing its sources from where it had raised Rs 25,000 crore and paid its investors in cash, observing that it is "difficult to digest" as such a huge amount "cannot fall from the heavens."
The apex court had granted parole to Roy on May 6 for four weeks on humanitarian ground following the death of his mother Chhabi Roy in Lucknow after prolonged illness.
Besides Roy, the court had also granted parole to the jailed Sahara directors Roy Choudhary and Dubey.
It had said they were free to meet prospective buyers of properties and move within the country under police escort.
Roy has been lodged in Tihar jail since March 4, 2014 on the orders of the apex court in relation with a long running dispute with market regulator SEBI.