The Supreme Court on Friday declined to grant bail to Sahara group chief Subrata Roy till the company paid Rs 5,000 crore in cash and an equal amount in bank guarantee.
The court set a timeline of 18 months for Sahara to deposit Rs 36,000 crore with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in nine instalments after his release, failing which he would be back in jail.
Roy, in Tihar Jail since March 4 last year, told the court he was facing difficulties in furnishing a guarantee of Rs 5,000 crore as one of the banks had backed out of a deal to enable that.
A bench headed by Justice TS Thakur said failure to deposit three instalments, not necessarily consecutive, would lead to Roy’s arrest. Also, failure to deposit two instalments would enable the Sebi to encash the bank guarantee furnished for his release. “This court was virtually compelled to do so, going by the stubborn attitude of the contemnors (Roy) in taking the orders … for granted, as if those orders were only on paper and were not meant to be complied with,” the bench said.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Roy, told the bench that the company was immediately in a position to arrange a bank guarantee of Rs 4,000 crore and not Rs 5,000 crore.
The bench asked him to file an application in that regard and suggested that Sahara deposit Rs 6,000 crore in cash instead.
The high-profile business leader has been behind bars for more than a year after his company failed to comply with a court order to refund thousands of crores to investors in a bond programme that was ruled illegal.