Sahara chief Subrata Roy will be spending a quiet Holi in Tihar jail as the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected his bail plea, after his company failed yet again to submit a fresh proposal to refund around `20,000 crore to its investors.
Seeking Roy’s release so he could celebrate Holi with his family and his ailing mother, his counsel Ram Jethmalani said it wasn’t possible for his client to raise money if he remained in jail. “Bail is my right; don’t make things difficult for me,” Roy told the court.
But this didn’t cut ice with the court, which again turned down Sahara’s offer to pay `2,500 crore upfront and the rest in six monthly installments. “We will consider (it) if there is a new proposal… the key is in your hands,” a bench of justice KS Radhakrishnan and justice JS Khehar said, scheduling the next hearing for March 25. The top court is closed all of next week for Holi.
Opposing Roy’s plea that his detention was “illegal”, market regulator Sebi defended the court’s March 4 order sending him to jail. “What other order could be passed if the man behaves like this. The order is fully justified,” Arvind Dattar, counsel for Sebi, said.
Rajeev Dhawan, also appearing for Sahara, argued that it was a grave error on the part of the SC to pass an order in which bail bond was virtually fixed at `22,500 crore (close to the refund amount).
Roy has been in jail since March 4 and would miss the Holi revelry and festivities usually witnessed in his sprawling Sahara Shahar township in Lucknow.