SC sends Sahara chief to Tihar jail

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 5 2014, 10:37am hrs
Stating that non-compliance of its orders shakes the very foundation of the judicial system and undermines the rule of law, the Supreme Court on Tuesday sent Sahara Group chairman Subrata Roy and two of its directors to judicial custody till March 11.

It said the Group has failed to come up with a concrete proposal to its satisfaction regarding refunding Rs 19,000 crore to its 3.3 crore small investors. It, however, offered Roy the facility of advancing the next hearing if in the meantime he's able to work out a satisfactory proposal. To this effect, the SC has not taken the third director, Vandana Bhargava, into custody so that she can be in touch with Roy and others to work out a proposal.

Roy, who has so far been held in a government guest house by the UP police since his arrest on Friday, will now be sent to the Tihar jail in the Capital. Roy, who was wearing his trademark waistcoat and black tie with the Sahara logo, was produced before the apex court amid chaotic scenes when a man claiming to be an investor threw ink on his face.

Rejecting Sahara Group's offer to sell 70-odd properties, furnished as securities to raise funds, a bench comprising justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar said they are fully convinced the firm has failed to comply with its orders. We are not happy with the proposal. No concrete proposal has come up so far. We are not accepting this proposal. There is no bank guarantee...You push us to the corner. Had you been serious, this position would not have arrived, the judges said during hearing.

The bench clarified that it was not an order on contempt. The court also rejected the groups offer to furnish a bank guarantee for Rs 22,500 crore within three-four months.

Roy apologised to the court for his failure to appear before it on February 26 though for a genuine reason, and urged the judges to pardon him. With folded hands, I am begging you to save us. Give us time, Roy urged the court, vowing that its every direction would be followed...Ours is a beautiful human story. If you know it, you will love us, the Sahara chief told the court, which retorted, We will love it if you obey our orders and make the payment.

Roy said he wanted one more chance to honour the court order and said if he failed in this last endeavour, he would come back to stand before the court to take the punishment.