Subrata Roy seeks more time to raise funds for bail | business | Hindustan Times
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Subrata Roy seeks more time to raise funds for bail

The jailed boss of Sahara India has asked a court for more time to work out a deal to raise funds against properties and get bail, three lawyers involved in the case said, after talks with a US-based firm collapsed this month.

business Updated: Feb 17, 2015 17:00 IST

The jailed boss of Sahara India has asked a court for more time to work out a deal to raise funds against properties and get bail, three lawyers involved in the case said, after talks with a US-based firm collapsed this month.

Subrata Roy on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to let him use a high-tech office space inside New Delhi's Tihar jail complex for six more weeks, to talk to potential investors and raise $1.6 billion in bail, the lawyers said.

The court did not set a date to consider the request, said the lawyers, who declined to be identified ahead of a ruling.

"A request has been made to allow the use of office premises for six more weeks, in view of the ongoing negotiations," said one of the lawyers. "The court order on this should come soon, probably later this week."

A spokesman for Sahara declined to comment on the extension request.

Roy, who has been held in the jail since March on contempt charges after failing to obey a court order to repay investors in a bond scheme later ruled to be illegal, has court approval to use the office space until February 20.

The court had given him approval to finalise a deal with US-based Mirach Capital Group, which involved a loan by Mirach secured against some of Sahara's properties, including New York's Plaza hotel, but talks fell through.

Sahara called off the talks after finding that a bank letter underpinning the proposed deal was forged, following evidence reported by Reuters that Saransh Sharma, who was leading the deal through Mirach, did not have the funds needed.

Roy's lawyers told the court Sahara was in talks with three potential investors to raise funds against its properties and so the tycoon needed to use the office in order to hold video conferences, make use of computers and receive visitors.

Since Roy's imprisonment, Sahara, which has interests in real estate, media and hotels, part-owns a Formula 1 team and used to sponsor the Indian cricket team, has been trying to raise cash against its properties in India and overseas.

The bail of $1.6 billion, the largest ever set in India, reflects the scale of the illegal bond scheme. The court has said investors need to be repaid as much as $7 billion, including accrued interest.