The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy's plea to put him under house arrest to enable him negotiate deals for arranging funds to repay investors. Roy has been in Tihar Jail since March 4.
"We have said you are in judicial custody. You are under our custody. We have not sent you to civil imprisonment. In case of civil imprisonment, it would have amounted to awarding punishment," a bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar said. It posted the matter for further hearing on April 16.
The court rejected the plea of senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for the Sahara chief, that instead of keeping him in Tihar Jail, he be put under "house or office arrest" as it was difficult to raise money while inside jail.
"I submit that there is no jurisdiction to send this person to a criminal jail. Our difficulty is how to ask anybody to go and negotiate in jail," Jethmalani said. He also said Sahara was trying to strike a deal with international buyers and the problem was that it would be difficult to do so while Roy was in jail.
The apex court had earlier imposed the condition that Roy would be freed on bail only if he paid Rs. 10,000 crore, out of which Rs. 5,000 crore has to be in bank guarantee and the balance in cash.
However, Sahara Group had on April 3 expressed inability in immediately paying Rs. 10,000 crore for securing bail for 65-year-old Roy and its two directors, Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary.
Roy had earlier submitted that the SC order detaining him was "illegal and unconstitutional" and sought its quashing.