The Telegraph
Wednesday , July 23 , 2014
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Subrata parole blow

Subrata Roy

New Delhi, July 22: The Supreme Court today dismissed Sahara chief Subrata Roy’s plea for parole to sell properties and raise the bail amount of Rs 10,000 crore, saying he could do so through aides.

The court said “if necessary”, it may consider Roy’s release “for a few hours” in Delhi if any transaction required his physical presence.

Rajeev Dhavan, Roy’s senior counsel, dubbed the rejection “astonishing”.

“We find no reason to interfere with our order dated June 4, 2014,” a bench of Justices T.S. Thakur, A.R. Dave and A.K. Sikri said, referring to its previous order rejecting Roy’s plea for interim bail or house arrest.

The Sahara boss, in Tihar jail since March 4 for defying directives by the court to refund Rs 20,000 crore to investors, had filed the parole plea after the interim bail request was turned down.

Justice Thakur, heading the bench, told Dhavan that the court may consider releasing Roy “for a few hours between 10am and 4pm” to negotiate a deal. In such an event, the Sahara chief can file an application citing the venue in Delhi for such negotiations and the bench would consider the plea, Justice Thakur told Roy’s counsel.

The judges also rejected arguments that Roy deserved parole on health grounds too.

“There is nothing before us to show that Shri Subrata Roy Sahara suffers from any serious medical condition. At any rate, we expect the jail doctors to keep a check on his condition.”

The bench said Roy was free to sell his properties in the US, UK and India through his aides to raise money for the court-fixed bail amount.

But the judges said the sales shall not be below the market value — the rider possibly meant to prevent distress sale that could hit the investors’ chances of getting back their money — and the proceeds must be deposited in an account of capital market watchdog Sebi.

Counsel Dhavan told the court that today’s order had caused him “deep pain”. “It has never happened in the judiciary,” he added.

The court has said Roy, in prison along with two Sahara directors, must deposit Rs 5,000 crore in cash and an equal sum as bank guarantee to be considered for bail.