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  India   All India  13 Jan 2017  Pay Rs 600 crore on time or return to jail, says Supreme Court

Pay Rs 600 crore on time or return to jail, says Supreme Court

Published : Jan 13, 2017, 1:48 am IST
Updated : Jan 13, 2017, 6:36 am IST

Supreme Court rejects Sahara chief’s plea to extend February 6 deadline.

Sahara chief Subrata Roy. (Photo: PTI)
 Sahara chief Subrata Roy. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court warned Sahara group chief Subrata Roy on Thursday, while refusing to extend the time limit, of sending him back to jail if the instalment of Rs 600 crore is not paid before February 6, as per the earlier orders.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi and A.K. Sikri declined to entertain an application from Mr Roy, seeking extension of time beyond February 6, citing demonetisation and his inability to raise the money.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mr Roy, told the court that the extension of time was sought as the present state of economy is such that it is very difficult to sell the properties. He said demonetisation has huge impact on manufacturing, particularly in real estate sector, and that the market is down by 44 per cent as no sale is taking place. He said Sahara had already paid Rs 1,300 crore after Mr Roy’s release on parole in May 2016.

Justice Misra told counsel, “You (Roy) have been enlarged on parole nine months ago. How long can you remain in parole, which is granted only for a short time? We can’t entertain your application. If you don’t pay, we will send syou back to jail and we will auction the properties.”

Mr Sibal pleaded for some kind of indulgence and said the court should hear him on the application. Mr Gogoi shot back and told Mr Sibal “we are hearing this case since 2012 for five years. How man-days we have spent for hearing one person, yet you say we should hear you.”

Meanwhile, counsel Sriram Parakkat told the court that a US-based company, M.G. Capital Holdings, had filed an intervention application expressing its desire to purchase Sahara’s New York hotel for $550 millions and the matter should be heard.

With senior counsel Arvind P. Datar for Security Exchange Board of India (Sebi) supporting the application, the court directed the application to be listed on the next date of hearing. The bench orally told counsel Sriram that to prove the company’s bonafides, it can deposit some amount with the Supreme Court Registry.

Mr Sibal also informed the court that Sahara had come out with a road map and a scheme for full settlement of the dues spread over a period of 26 months up to December 2018. Mr Sibal said though Sahara is disputing the figure of Rs 24,000 crore towards principal amount, yet it has given the road map. He drew the court’s attention that Sahara has so far deposited more than Rs 13,000 crore with Sebi, out of which only Rs 100 crore has been disbursed to the depositors.

Mr Datar said with Saharas unable to sell the properties on its own and the dues mounting to over Rs 40,000 crore, Sebi wanted appointment of a ‘Receiver’ to sell the properties. Senior counsel Rana Mukherjee for the Enforcement Directorate told the court that an application has been filed for attachment of seven properties of Sahara under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The bench directed the matter to be listed for further hearing on February 7 with all the connected applications.

Tags: sahara group, subrata roy, supreme court