Setting conditions for grant of interim bail to Sahara group chief Subrata Roy, in the city's Tihar jail since March 4, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said the group would have to pay Rs 10,000 crore - Rs 5,000 crore in cash to be deposited with the Court and an equal amount in bank guarantee from a public-sector bank in favour of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
The Court passed the order in a contempt case after examining the fresh proposal given by the group on Tuesday. The order, though, noted the proposal was not in accordance with its earlier orders. "We make it clear that this order is passed to facilitate the contemnors to further raise the balance amount for compliance with the Court's orders."
The order also said Subrata Roy and two directors of the group should be released forthwith if they complied with the conditions. The amount deposited should then be released to Sebi.
The Sahara lawyers pleaded it would be difficult to raise the huge amount if Roy was in jail. He could pay Rs 2,500 crore but raising funds beyond that level would require the participation of others in the company, they said. But the Court rejected these arguments and refused to modify its order.
Besides, doubts over the fate of Roy and the two directors remained, as Sebi counsel Arvind Datar told the Court the proposal was "unworkable" and there were "practical difficulties". Datar will elaborate on the problems on Thursday afternoon, at another special sitting. The Bench of judges K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar allowed Sebi to respond to the Sahara proposal on Thursday, observing "Sebi has much to say about the proposal".
On Sahara lawyer C A Sundaram's submission that it would be difficult to raise the required money if the freezing order on the group's bank accounts was not lifted, the judges asked him to make an application by Thursday, specifying which accounts should be allowed to operate. The Court could not pass a vague wholesale order, the judges observed.
Roy and two directors - Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary - have been in judicial custody for not depositing with Sebi the Rs 20,000 crore collected from investors in the optionally fully-convertible debentures of Sahara Housing Investment Corporation and Sahara India Real Estate Corporation. According to the latest proposal, the two Sahara firms will deposit Rs 2,500 crore within three working days and pay three instalments of Rs 3,500 crore each at the end of June, September, December. The remaining Rs 7,000 crore will be paid by March 31 next year.
Sahara Housing and Sahara India Real Estate properties attached on Sebi order in Feb '13 SAHARA INDIA REAL ESTATE
- Development rights for 707-acre Aamby Valley land (bought for about Rs 3,459 cr)
- Development rights for 186 acres in Delhi and Gurgaon (bought for Rs 1,436 cr)
- 33% stake bought for Rs 1,848 cr in a Versova project
- 90-95% stake bought for Rs 1,105 cr in SPVs holding 4,378 acres
- 40% stake worth Rs 5,207 cr in Aamby Valley
- Rs 1,000-cr stakes in Lucknow-based projects
- Rs 23-cr mutual fund units
- Development rights for 313 acres of Aamby Valley land (bought for about Rs 1,386 cr)
- 26% stake in a 106-acre Versova project (bought for about Rs 1,479 cr)
- 90-95% stake in 10 Sahara group SPVs with 10 projects in 10 cities (bought for Rs 233 cr)
- 40% stake in project on identified land parcels in Lucknow (worth Rs 11 cr)
- Rs 1,236-cr equity shares in Aamby Valley
- Rs 204-cr preference shares in SIHL and SHICL
- All accounts and investments of SHICL in all branches of all banks
- All other immovable and movable properties owned by SHICL