Friday, May 6, 2016

Subrata Roy released for four weeks

The on Friday ordered the provisional release of chief for four weeks. Roy and his brother-in-law Ashok Roy Choudhary, who were lodged in since March 2014, had moved an application seeking provisional release for three weeks to perform the last rites of Roy's mother, who died in the early hours of Friday.

Chabbi Roy, 95, passed away in Lucknow at around 1:30 am, after a prolonged illness, a Sahara release in the morning said.
After hearing the application, the bench headed by chief justice permitted the release for four weeks for 'last rites and connected ceremonies', subject to conditions.

"The applicants shall be escorted by a team of police officials. The officers shall be in plain clothes," the bench said. The court further said that the police team shall lodge the applicants back in Tihar jail after the four-week period is over. It also recorded Sahara counsel Kapil Sibal's assurance that there would not be any "attempt to escape."

Roy's release came a day after the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had opposed his application for release on parole against the collateral of land worth over Rs 6,000 crore.

Roy, Roy Choudhary and were lodged in Tihar jail in March 2014 for not complying with the apex court's orders relating to refund of money raised by two group firms. The court had ordered Sahara India Real Estate Corp and Sahara Housing Invest Corp to deposit with Sebi, a sum of over Rs 24,029 crore raised from some 29.6 million bondholders, along with interest of 15 per cent.

Roy and the group claimed that these have been refunded directly to the bondholders. Sebi and the court have not agreed to these arguments and insisted on the full payment of the sum, which has now swelled to around Rs 40,000 crore.

In March 2014, the apex court had set bail conditions of Rs 5,000 crore in cash and an equal amount in bank guarantee. Sahara is Rs 100 crore short of the cash component and has not been able to come up with the bank guarantee.

In the earlier application for parole, it wanted the 67 properties, which have been put on sale by Sebi, to be taken as collateral instead of bank guarantee. In an affidavit on Thursday, Sebi said Roy should be released only after the conditions of the bail were complied with. It said Sahara was "likely to once again adopt an uncooperative attitude to delay the satisfaction of the judgment and various orders passed by this court."

Lastmonth, Sebi has directed Sahara to submit the list of all its properties, which, according to the group's own estimates are worth over Rs 1.87 lakh crore. The matter was scheduled to be heard on May 11.

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