Coming down heavily on the Sahara Group for "systematically" frustrating all orders on refund of over Rs. 20,000 cr to depositors, the Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the petition of its chief Subrata Roy against his detention saying the order jailing him was "legal".
In this photograph taken on April 10, 2013, Sahara group's chairman Subrata Roy leaves the SEBI head office in Mumbai. (AFP photo)
Upholding its order to detain him, the court asked the Group to make a fresh proposal for depositing Rs. 10,000 crore to get bail.
A bench of justice KS Radhakrishnan and justice JS Khehar in a strongly-worded judgement deprecated the attitude of Roy and the Group for not complying with its order and for showing "demeanour of defiance".
The apex court said it adopted tough method to detain him only after all its efforts to "cajole" the Group to pay the money failed.
The judgement, which was delivered by justice Khehar, said their orders were "systematically frustrated" by Roy and the Group and facts revealed that it flouted all orders of the Supreme Court, high court and securities appellate tribunal.
The bench brushed aside Roy's contention that it should recuse itself from hearing his case and that proper procedure was not followed by it before sending 65-year-old businessman behind the bars.
The apex court said the arguments are devoid of any merits and it "immaculately" followed procedure before ordering his arrest.
"It was not possible for us to accept that the procedure under law was not followed while passing the (arrest) order," the bench said.
It said judicial orders cannot be allowed to be "circumvented" and disobedience of its orders strike at the very root of rule of law.
The bench also refused to give credence to Roy's plea that it had already refunded the money to investors, saying there was no credible record to prove it.
The bench said that various orders passed by it in the case since August 31, 2012, have been "skirted" by the Group.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by Roy challenging constitutional validity of its order passed on March 4 by which he was sent to jail for not complying with its order to deposit around Rs. 20,000 crore of investors money with SEBI.
"We find no merit in the petition and we dismiss it," the bench said.
After the bench delivered the verdict in a jam-packed courtroom, senior advocate Rajiv Dhawan queried on the status of the application in which Roy had given a proposal on depositing Rs. 10,000 crore in a phased manner to get bail.
The bench, however, asked him to file a fresh proposal, virtually indicating that earlier proposal was not acceptable to the court.