Apr 27, 2017
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Pay fee or go to Tihar Jail

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The Supreme Court on Thursday warned Sahara chief Subrata Roy in connection with returning money to the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) investors, saying that if the cheque which was submitted to the apex court was not received by June 19 he will be sent to the Tihar Jail. The Sahara group has submitted three cheques of Rs 1500 crore and the other two are of Rs 500 crore and Rs 3000 crore.

Roy’s lawyer told the three judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Dipak Misra that the former is concerned about the issue and he is here as far as the apex court orders to. However, the apex court insisted that money has to be deposited. Justice Misra observed that the question of exoneration does not arise. The official liquidators had valued the Amby Valley property and submitted it to the Top court in a sealed cover. The apex court asked Roy that whether he commits to pay or not, to this, he stood and gave an affirmative reply.

Kapil Sibal, one of the lawyers appearing for Roy, told the apex court that the Amby Valley property was worth to the tune of Rs. 49, 000 crore approximately. Roy is currently on a parole.

Earlier on April 21, a special SEBI court had quashed a non-bailable warrant issued against Roy as he appeared before the court. The warrant was also quashed on grounds that Roy will appear in all hearings now as the court asked him to submit an undertaking for the same. The next hearing in this matter will take place on May 18 when the argument on framing of charges will begin.

The apex court earlier on April 17 ordered the auction of Sahara’s Aamby Valley over the business conglomerate’s alleged failure to deposit money for refunding to its investors. The top court ordered the selling of Rs. 34,000 crore worth of Sahara properties and directed its chief Subrata Roy to appear before it on April 28. Taking strong note of non- submission of over Rs. 5,000 crore by the Sahara group, the apex court bench warned Roy from further toying with the court’s order, and issued an ultimatum that non-compliance of its order will leave Roy in massive trouble.

Earlier, the apex court had refused to hear a fresh plea of Sahara Group seeking more time to deposit Rs 5000 crore (approx.) with the SEBI. On March 21, the apex court had warned Sahara, saying it would auction Aamby Valley project if the latter fails to deposit the amount of Rs. 5,000 crore (approx.). The apex court had in its last hearing asked the Ghaziabad Development Authority to deposit Rs. 1,100 crore to the apex court registry for acquiring land from Sahara. Roy was sent to the Tihar Jail on March 4, 2014 for not complying with the apex court’s orders in connection with a long dispute with the market regulator SEBI.

The SEBI alleged that Roy failed to comply with the apex court’s order directing him to return the investors’ money.

Sahara, once among India’s high-profile firms, has in the past made several failed attempts to raise the bail money using its prized overseas hotels that include the Plaza in New York and Grosvenor House in London. Sahara says it has paid more than 80 percent of the dues to share-holders, but SEBI has disputed that and said the company has not paid more than Rs. 10,000 crore.

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