Supreme court asks Sahara group chief Subrata Roy to pay Rs. 600 crore by Feb. 6
NewDelhi,Nov29:The Supreme Court on Monday directed Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy to deposit Rs. 600 crore by February 6, 2017 into the SEBI-Sahara refund account to continue to remain out of jail, and said it might consider appointing a receiver to auction the company’s properties to repay investor dues. A Bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and A.K. Sikri asked Mr. Roy’s lawyers to pay Rs. 600 crore within the stipulated time as the court did not want to send a person back to prison.
The court had initially wanted Sahara to deposit Rs. 1000 crore with market regulator SEBI, but later settled for Rs. 600 crore on the urging of Sahara lawyer Kapil Sibal. Mr. Sibal filed a fresh repayment plan before the Bench. The court asked Arvind Datar, appearing for SEBI, and amicus curiae Shekhar Naphade to go through the proposal and report back to the court.
Noting that the Sahara case had a “history,” the Bench asked SEBI and the amicus curiae to suggest whether the group was entitled to further benefit in its re-payment schedule. The Bench asked Mr. Sibal about the amount deposited by Mr. Roy after he came out on parole. “I have deposited Rs. 1,200 crore. Rs. 11,000-odd crore has been deposited and around Rs. 11,036 crore is remaining,” Mr. Sibal said. The court observed that Sahara’s dues come up to Rs. 14,000 crore.
In a September hearing, the Bench had taken offence that Sahara chose not to disclose the fact that 47 out of 60 properties given to SEBI for selling were already provisionally attached by the Income Tax department.
The Sahara Group assured to pay an outstanding amount of over Rs 11,136 crore to SEBI in 21 instalments within two-and-half years to secure an “absolute” release of Mr. Roy and two directors Ashok Roy Chaudhary and Ravi Shankar Dubey.
The application also said Mr. Roy and the two directors would give personal undertakings regarding the road map and “in the event of three defaults” of payment they would surrender and be taken into custody.
Mr. Roy is out on parole after spending about two years in Tihar Jail, unable to garner bail for allegedly duping his investors.