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Roy seeks jail privacy for asset sale talks

Subrata Roy

New Delhi, July 24: The Supreme Court today agreed to examine a plea by Sahara chief Subrata Roy to shift him to an “outhouse” in Tihar jail for property sale talks to raise Rs 10,000 crore for bail.

The plea for the relocation from the barracks, where Roy is lodged with two Sahara directors, came two days after his parole request was rejected with the court saying it could at most release him “for a few hours” for negotiations in Delhi.

In the fresh application, Roy said the outhouse would “provide a congenial atmosphere” within the jail for the trio to enter into “effective and fruitful negotiations” with prospective buyers.

“The applicants seek a concession of this hon’ble court that they may be housed in a separate area within Tihar jail, which will have (a) separate entrance and would not expose the prospective buyers/ lenders to the glare of media, rival competitors and other inmates/ officials of the prison,” the application filed by Roy’s lawyers states.

A bench headed by Justice T.S. Thakur asked solicitor-general Ranjit Kumar for the Centre’s views on the request. An order is expected tomorrow after the court hears the solicitor-general and market regulator Sebi.

The Sahara boss and the two directors have been in jail since March 4 for defying directives by Sebi and the court to refund Rs 20,000 crore to investors. The court has said they must deposit Rs 10,000 crore to be considered for bail and allowed sale of properties, including those in the US and the UK, to raise the money.