Rejecting arguments by Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy’s lawyers, the Supreme Court Thursday refused to yield on the bail plea of the business tycoon, telling him that a favourable order could be considered only after his company comes up with a new proposal to refund Rs 20,000 crore to investors.
Also, the bench once again turned down Sahara’s offer to pay Rs 2,500 crore now and the rest in installments.
In a bid to move the special bench comprising Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar, Roy’s counsel Ram Jethmalani pleaded for bail to allow him to be with his family for Holi and meet his ailing mother.
“We have repeatedly been saying what is your proposal. Tell us how much you can pay,” the bench asked. “The key is in your hands”.
“Prayer made by Ram Jethmalani, learned senior counsel for the petitioner, for bail cannot be considered at this juncture, since no written proposal for payment in compliance with the directions issued by this court has been made so far,” the bench said.
Earlier, arguing for Roy who has been in jail since March 4, Jethmalani said raising the amount would not be possible until Roy remains in jail since only he can arrange the money. “Bail is my right and don’t make things difficult for me,” the lawyer said.
However, the bench refused to grant relief, pointing out that it had given Roy enough time for the last one-and-half years and asked the SEBI counsel to argue on the maintainability of the petition.
Thursday’s hearing was in response to Roy’s petition challenging his detention on the ground that it was “illegal and unconstitutional”.
Responding to Jethmalani’s plea that it could be embarrassing to argue before the same bench, the court said, “We have gone through the petition and nothing is embarrassing in it.” The next hearing is due March 25.