The Supreme Court extended on Friday Sahara chief Subrata Roy’s parole till November 28 after being informed that he had deposited Rs 200 crore with market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in accordance with the court order.
A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur, however, asked Roy to pay Rs 185 crore before the end of his parole’s deadline. It also allowed Sahara to re-auction five properties in India that were earlier auctioned by SEBI. The permission was given after company’s counsel, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, said Sahara had received higher offers than what SEBI got through acution.
Sibal assured the court that Sahara will repay the entire amount to investors, as per SC’s 2014 order, by December 2018. The company has to submit a roadmap for repayment. The bench told Sibal that it won’t tolerate “defiant and obstructionist” behavior by anyone.
According to Sahara, the company has repaid at least Rs 19,000 crore to SEBI of the Rs 27,000 crore it owed. The regulator, however, disputes the amount and says the company has to repay Rs 47,000 crore.
Roy was granted parole in May this year, two years after he went to Tihar in March 2014 for failing to deliver on promises to return the money two Sahara firms collected from depositors. SEBI had declared the schemes illegal, a decision upheld by SC. Roy’s two associates Ashok Roy Choudhary and Ravi S too were given parole.
While sending Roy to jail, the top court had said the Sahara boss can come out of jail if he pays Rs 10,000 crore – half in case and half as bank guarantee – as his bail amount.
SEBI has requested the court to appoint a receiver to dispose Sahara’s domestic and offshore properties and raise the money. As of now, both Sahara and SEBI are authorized to sell the properties.