The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it was contemplating to relax Rs 10000 crore-payment condition to enable Sahara chief Subrata Roy to come out of jail, even as Sahara alleged the detention order was “pre-written” and the judges simply pronounced it on March 4.
Challenging the validity of the detention order, Sahara counsel Rajiv Dhavan contended that the manner in which the order was pronounced, it appeared as if the order was already prepared. “It was a pre-written order and was just pronounced in the court,” he said.
Dhavan said that neither the court nor the SEBI had been “entirely fair” with the group and its people and even the Supreme Court rules were not followed in sending Roy and two other directors to jail.
He added people in jail cannot do business.
As Sahara counsel continued to argue, the bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar said they were considering relaxing the condition of paying Rs 10000 crore to secure the release of Roy and others.
“We thought on our own to modify certain conditions since you said you are unable to collect money. It is not final but we considered it on our own,” the bench told Dhavan.
It has also asked Sahara to move a formal application if it wanted to have its bank accounts defreezed.
Last week, the court had turned down a request by the group to release Roy from jail and keep him in house arrest or office arrest to facilitate collection of money.
The bench had also clarified that the trio were not under arrest “they are only in our custody in Tihar jail,” said the bench.
Sahara group had sought the trio’s release from the jail, saying it was now looking for international buyers as well to sell its properties abroad in order to raise the money towarda refund of investors.
“Which international buyer would want to visit a place like Tihar jail to negotiate a deal with Roy,” Sahara group’s counsel Ram Jethmalani had told the court. He added that the condition of Tihar jail is pathetic because of overcrowding of prisoners and a prospective buyer would never want to visit such a place. The court responded that it will examine the request in due course.
Earlier, the group had withdrawn its latest proposal from the Supreme Court to get its chief Subrata Roy released from jail where he was lodged on March 4 in connection with failure to refund investors’ money.
The new proposal by Sahara had agreed to pay Rs 2,500 crore upfront and the same amount within 21 days of release of Roy and two other directors — Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary
The market is considered the largest cloth market in Asia and it houses a number of textile units and factories.