The Supreme Court on Thursday confirmed that Subrata Roy, Chief, Sahara Group, was jailed not as a punishment but to ensure that its order pertaining to a time bound refund of Rs. 19000 crore to 3 crore investors of Sahara is enforced.
Justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khekar said that they are only on enforcement of their orders and not on punishment at this stage. The punishment for contempt of court will be dealt with only when the hearing is concluded. Any suggestion that Roy and other two directors were jailed under contempt charges is completely irrelevant at this stage.
The Sahara group has already expressed its inability to immediately pay Rs.10000 crore to secure bail for its chief and the two directors who were put in jail since March 04, 2014.
JS Khekar confirmed to the court that Sahara can pay Rs. 2,500 crore upfront, Rs. 2,500 within three weeks after the release of the chief and the remaining Rs. 5000 crore in bank guarantees within three months.
The counsel also prayed to the court for some affordable terms and requested the release of the chief and let him stay outside Tihar prison under ‘house arrest’. This will help him to meet people and raise the required amounts set by the Supreme Court. But, on March 26th, the apex court agreed to release the chief of Sahara group from custody only after the group deposited Rs. 10000 crore in cash and bank guarantees.
On the other hand, senior counsel AM Singhvi who is appearing for the directors argued that the order to send Subrata Roy to jail could not be justified. He also said that it is against the rules to send a person to jail in the middle of the proceedings. A group of senior advocates headed by Ram Jethmalani had further raised the accusation of ‘bias’ and ‘prejudice’ against the chief of Sahara group.