Subrata can negotiate from jail conference room: SC

Subrata can negotiate from jail conference room: SC

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed incarcerated Sahara chief Subrata Roy and two other company directors to use the conference room inside Tihar jail premises for 10 days from August 5 to facilitate negotiations with prospective buyers of his hotels in New York and London to raise Rs 10,000 crore for regular bail.

A three-judge bench, presided by Justice T S Thakur, asked the Delhi Government to issue notification by August 4 for converting the conference room into jail for this purpose.

Roy and the two other directors, jailed since March 4 for failure to refund over Rs 20,000 crore to Sebi, would be allowed to use the room between 6 am and 8 pm for 10 days.

They can also avail the service of three staff—two secretarial and one technical person—during the hours of negotiations. The staff, however, would not be allowed to stay overnight.

The court ordered that the Sahara Group would foot the bills for using the Wi-fi facility of the conference room, and pay for the other gadgets, like landline telephones with STD/ISD facilities, out of its own pocket. They were also allowed to have a mobile phone, computers—desktops and laptops—and printers.

The apex court said the names of prospective buyers or visitors have to be given in advance, and that they would be subjected to the usual security checks, including frisking, and that all other rules and regulations would continue to operate as per the jail manual.

The bench, which also consisted of Justices A R Dave and A K Sikri, passed the directions after recording the agreement reached between the Sahara Group, Tihar jail authorities and Sebi.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the I-T department, reiterated the tax demand of over Rs 10,049 crore against the Sahara Group.

He said the tax demand was raised as the department considered the total money as unaccounted for.

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