SC directs Roy to pay Rs 600 cr or go to jail

Court gives Sahara chief time till February 6

SC directs   Roy to pay  Rs 600 cr  or go to jail

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a stern warning to Sahara group chief Subrata Roy, saying he would be sent to jail again if he failed to deposit Rs 600 crore by February 6.

A newly constituted bench, presided over by Justice Dipak Misra, told Roy’s counsel that he was granted parole for performing the last rites of his mother and has been out of jail for nine months.

“This court has given so much indulgence to you. This is the worst. If you don’t pay the amount, you will have to go back to jail,” the bench, also comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri, said.

The court did not appreciate the plea by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Roy, for extension of time fixed on November 28. The counsel sought time to pay the amount, contending that the economy has slowed down, real estate sector was down by 44% and manufacturing sector too had taken a hit due to demonetisation. “When you were asked to deposit Rs 600 crore on November 28 last year, then also the economic situation was no better. You tell us you don’t have any problem in paying

Rs 285 crore. You still have time till February 6, arrange another Rs 300 crore and deposit it,” the bench said.

“Has not the Supreme Court given so much indulgence to you than any other single litigant?” the bench asked Sibal, who termed the court’s observation “unfortunate”.
Sibal submitted that the group had deposited Rs 13,000 crore with SEBI, which has found only 100 investors so far.

To a court’s query to SEBI on what would happen if Sahara failed to pay back the amount, senior advocate Arvind Dattar said there were more than 87 properties that would be attached, a receiver could be appointed and the properties could be auctioned. The bench granted liberty to the Sahara chief to transfer 24 million pounds deposited in a bank in London to the SEBI-Sahara account as part of the Rs 600 crore.

The court posted the hearing on a plea by the Enforcement Directorate for attachment of seven properties of Sahara on February 7.

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