Cash mop-up plan to secure Roy release

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 29.03.14

New Delhi, March 28 (PTI): Sahara employees and well-wishers have been requested to contribute at least Rs 1 lakh each to garner at least Rs 5,000 crore and secure group chief Subrata Roy’s release from Tihar jail.

The money will be collected in lieu of shares in Saharayn e-Multipurpose Society Ltd, which would be allotted to each contributing employee of the entertainment-to retail conglomerate, which claims to have a workforce of over 11 lakh salaried and field workers.

The contribution “appeal” was made through a one-page letter signed by the directors of this society and “associates” of the group and asked each employee of the Sahara India Pariwar and their well-wishers to contribute Rs 1 lakh, Rs 2 lakh, Rs 3 lakh or even more according to their wish and capacity.

When contacted, a senior Sahara official clarified that the letter has not been issued by Subrata Roy or by the management and “it is only an emotional initiative from people in reaction to the prevailing situation”.

He said this should not be construed as the Sahara group or the management asking its workers to make any contribution. “As Saharasri (the name by which Roy is called in the group) has build this organisation as a family, lots of such letters are coming from across the country. Hope this unique sentiment for the chief guardian of our pariwar (family) would be understood,” he added.

Roy has been in Tihar jail since March 4 and the Supreme Court has proposed an interim bail for him if the group can deposit Rs 10,000 crore, including Rs 5,000 crore as bank guarantee.

However, the group’s lawyers informed the court yesterday that it was difficult to immediately mobilise such a large amount to get Roy and two other directors out on bail.

The lawyers also submitted that the apex court’s order for detaining Roy for not paying Rs 20,000 crore of investor money with Sebi was illegal and unconstitutional and sought quashing of this order.

Appearing for Roy and the group, advocates also told a bench of justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and J.S. Khehar, which had passed the detention order, that its approach was “biased” and it should not hear the petition challenging the order.