Sahara: Order against Roy was 'pre-written'

Sahara: Order against Roy was 'pre-written'

The Sahara Group on Wednesday made a grave charge before the Supreme Court, alleging that the apex court’s March 4 order sending its chief Subrata Roy and two others to jail was ''pre-written''.

Sahara counsel senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who challenged the legal basis of the order, claimed before a bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar that the court had already prepared the order and merely pronounced on production of Roy on non-bailable warrant by the Uttar Pradesh Police.

“If I could say this, it was a pre-written order and was just pronounced in the court,” the counsel claimed, adding, “neither the court nor the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had been entirely fair with them.”

The bench, on its part, responded to his charge saying that the court would not be provoked by it.

Dhavan, however, continued, “This case required an unfair and disinterested prosecutor so far as contempt case is concerned. Your Lordship has been so rigid about this case that it became almost impossible to argue before this court.

Whatever Sebi said was believed to be right and whatever we said was held to be wrong. We may be in technical violation of the order but there was no willful default of any nature.”

He added the Supreme Court rules also did not permit the court to send Roy and other directors Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary to Tihar jail here.
The counsel also claimed the court had passed an “unworkable” order and the group had tried time and again to convince it for re-scheduling the order but could not succeed.

“People cannot do business sitting in the jail. People cannot do business with frozen bank accounts and all properties lying under the orders of the court,” he said.
On this, the court said they were willing defreeze the bank accounts to raise the money and even hinted that it might relax the condition of paying Rs 10,000 crore to secure the release of Roy and others.

The court suggested the counsel to furnish requisite information and move formal application in this regard. The court will hear the case on Thursday.

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, representing the group, concluded in the morning his argument on the writ petition challenging the detention order.

The court had earlier declined a plea by Sahara Group to release Roy from jail or keep him in house arrest or office arrest to facilitate collection of money. It also clarified that the trio were not under arrest but were in the custody of the court in Tihar jail for enforcement of the order and not as punishment.

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