In a huge relief to Sahara group chief Subrata Roy, the Supreme Court today extended his parole till October 24.
This was on a condition that he would deposit Rs 200 crore more with SEBI by then.
The special bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur also asked Sahara to submit a road map or scheme for depositing the balance amount to secure Roy's release on bail.
A Statement from Sahara's Lawyer Shri Gautam Awasthi after the court hearing said : “In today’s hearing Hon’ble Supreme Court has first of all extended the interim release upto 24th October 2016. There after court was also agreeing to suggestion that Sahara will submit a detail proposal as to discharged the liability towards balance principal which is required to be paid in terms of 31st August 2012 order. In that view of the matter, we see a ray of hope in this manner that may be resolved in a more positive manner and in that sense the 3rd October 2016 date has withheld and now will come upon on 24th October 2016.
It is to be noted that on September 23, the bench had almost send Roy back to Tihar jail in the morning following heated verbal exchange with his senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan but later in the evening gave him one week to surrender and also agreed to hear his plea for parole extension.
The turning point in the day long drama was when senior lawyer Kapil Sibal who came rushing in for an urgent mentioning just before the bench rose for lunch and tendered an unconditional apology which saved the day for Roy as CJI Thakur told Sibal that “let me consult my brother judges”.
It all started when an altercation ensued between Dhavan and CJI Thakur when the lawyer said the group were not involved in the process of selling of properties by the SEBI.
“If you want to be heard, you go to jail. Don’t tell us what to do. All interim arrangements stand cancelled. Condemners are directed to be taken into custody,” the CJI shot back
Dhavan said “it was not a fair statement that they should be sent back to jail. We have deposited Rs. 352 crore already as per the last direction, which is Rs. 52 crore more. It is not a fair statement. You cannot pass such an order,” he kept repeating.
Counsel for SEBI said 58 properties were put on auction and they had sold eight of them, raising Rs. 137 crore. Five of the properties were provisionally attached. The the list of properties given by Sahara to them were those that were already attached, he said.
To this, the bench told him, “You gave a list of properties, which are already attached and you are not cooperating. It’s better if you go to jail.”
The bench asked the Sahara chief to deposit Rs. 300 crore to be allowed to remain on bail.
Dhavan then suggested that the matter be posted for hearing on September 30 when they would argue on it.
Soon after the bench passed the order directing that Roy and the others — Sahara directors Ashok Roy Choudhary and Ravi Shankar Dubey, be taken into custody, Sahara withdrew its counsel and apologised before the bench but the bench it did not mollify the bench which insisted on the harsh step.