13 Jan The Ongoing Sahara Saga…
Pay Up or go back to Jail: SC Rejects Subrata Roy’s Parole Extension Plea.
Roy moved an application before a new Bench, presided over by Justice Dipak Misra, for extension of parole which he has enjoyed for about 10 months.
The earlier orders were passed by a Bench presided over by the former Chief Justice T S Thakur. A new bench is hearing the matter after his retirement.
“We are in 2017. How many days of court time has been spent on this case? Has any litigant got so much time?” the judges asked.
They observed that there were only a few courses open — attach the property, appoint a receiver, auction the property or cancel the parole.
Kapil Sibal, the counsel for Roy said there was no wilful disobedience of the court orders or contempt of court.
The firm has paid all investors in the two investment schemes and none of them have complained against it.
The evidence is with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), which has yet not verified the affidavits. If an agency is appointed to examine the documents and if it finds any falsehood, Roy was “prepared to go to jail for 10 years,” Sibal remarked.
He pointed out that Sahara could not sell its 82 properties in the country and several abroad because of the recent demonetisation move by the government. Given some more time, the firm would be able to pay the entire amount.
He asked for the transfer of £35 million from a London bank account to pay the entire Rs 10,000-crore bail amount demanded by the court, half of which has already been paid.
SC allowed the transfer as it was not objected to by Sebi or other parties involved. The next hearing is on February 7 and Roy needs to pay the entire amount before that to avoid prison.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate has moved an application to attach certain properties. It said the properties might be sold without the court’s permission which might lead to complications.
Arvind Datar, the counsel for Sebi, told the court that it was getting offers for buying the properties, but their genuineness could not be verified.