SC justifies sending Roy to Tihar

SC justifies sending Roy to Tihar

The Supreme Court on Friday said in order to uphold the majesty of law it had decided to put Sahara chief Subrata Roy and two others in jail in March 2014 without holding them guilty under contempt or any other charge.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice T S Thakur said the “unprecedented but justifiable” decision was taken after noting non-compliance of the orders to repay investors of a scheme, declared illegal by the court.

Roy and two other directors were sent to Tihar Jail on March 4, 2014.

On Friday, the bench reiterated the conditions put in the March 2014 order, directing the company to deposit Rs 10,000 crore – Rs 5,000 crore as cash and equal amount as bank guarantee with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to secure release.

The court also fixed Sahara’s liability, including the interest, at Rs 36,000 crore.
The bench, also comprising Justices Anil R Dave and A K Sikri, justified the orders then passed by Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar.

The court said it was an unprecedented situation of personal liberty on one hand and majesty of law on the other that compelled the court to take an extreme step.
“It is this legal realism which has compelled the court to adopt an approach which sounds more pragmatic. It is a classic case where the approach adopted is influenced by the necessity of making the law work. It is the unprecedented situation which has led to passing of unprecedented but justifiable orders,” the bench observed.

This case could be treated as one where law may not provide a definite answer but the guiding principle is that the “avowed objective of rule of law is to ensure that the orders of this court are respected and obeyed” the bench added.

After Roy is released on bail, the bench said that the outstanding amount would have to be deposited within 18 months in nine installments.

“First eight installments shall be of Rs 3,000 crore payable every two months from the date of their release from custody and last installment shall be of the remaining amount,” the court said.

The bank guarantee would be encashed in case Sahara defaulted in payment of two installments, consecutively or otherwise, and also if there was a failure in paying the entire sum at the end of 18 months.

The court said that Roy and the two directors would be sent back to jail if there was a default in depositing three installments.

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