HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Willing to defreeze Sahara accounts, says SC

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 17, 2014
First Published: 00:23 IST(17/4/2014) | Last Updated: 02:13 IST(17/4/2014)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday did not give any relief to Subrata Roy, but said it was willing to defreeze the company’s bank accounts and allow it to sell properties to raise Rs. 10,000 crore, the amount fixed by the court for the Sahara chief’s release. Roy has been in Tihar since March 4.

"We are willing to pass an order. You (Sahara) tell us you want to raise money. Tell us about the property and bank accounts. You have not given us so far," a bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar told the battery of senior lawyers representing Roy and his company.
Bank accounts of the company were frozen last year and the SC had restrained sale of any property without its approval. The apex court made the remarks after senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the group, said it was difficult to raise money under the existing stringent conditions.

As the court expressed its willingness to consider defreezing the accounts, Dhavan said the company would revert on Thursday with a list of properties and bank accounts. The senior counsel said raising money had become difficult with Roy and two senior company directors in jail.

He was critical of the "rigid" order and said it was necessary to make variation in the order to make things workable.

"Your lordship has been rigid about this case, certainly making it difficult to argue," he submitted, adding court had transgressed its power by sending Roy to jail on March 4.

"It is a civil liberty issue of gross proportions," the senior advocate said and added that "the March 4 order is grossly and entirely illegal and draconian which concerns the entire Bar." Dhavan had a heated exchange with the bench that wanted the senior counsel to complete his arguments on Wednesday itself.

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