The Sahara group on Friday told the Supreme Court that it has arranged Rs 10,000 crore to secure bail for jailed chief Subrata Roy and to meet its statutory and other liabilities, including payment of salaries to its employees.
Roy has been in detention since March 4 last year due to the failure of the group’s two companies — Sahara Housing and Sahara Real Estate — to return Rs 19,000 crore plus interest to nearly 3 crore investors through market regulator Sebi. The apex court had on March 28 last year said that Roy could be released on paying Rs 10,000 crore— half in cash and the rest as bank guarantee.
A bench headed by Justice TS Thakur allowed Sahara to go ahead with arranging the bank guarantee from a ‘scheduled bank’, after amicus curiae Shekhar Naphade and senior counsel Arvind Datar, appearing for the market regulator, gave a go ahead to the format while informing the court that Sahara has not disclosed the name of the bank.
Senior counsel Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhavan had sought a nod for signing a deal with a “scheduled bank” for arranging a bank guarantee for Rs 5,000 crore to meet the bail conditions imposed by the apex court in March 2014.
Sibal argued that the group has “several prospective” entities for lending loan against its three luxury hotels and a deal would be clinched soon.
The court accepted Sahara’s proposition that the bank guarantee shall only be encashed by the market regulator upon directions of the court. It also agreed with the Sebi’s submission that bank guarantees would be made encashable by Sebi if Sahara is unable to pay the balance.
When Datar argued against letting the group clear its statutory dues, the bench said that all assets of the group are under freeze and they have to discharge statutory obligations, which will “take precedence over their liabilities.” It also asked Sebi to calculate the amount the group owed to investors and intimate the court at Thursday’s hearing.