New Delhi: Sahara group chief Subrata Roy could be in for serious trouble again, with the Supreme Court on Thursday toughening its stand and refusing to extend time beyond February 6 for him to deposit Rs 600 crore, saying he would have to go to jail in case of a default.
“This court has given so much indulgence to you. This is the worst. If you don’t pay the amount, you will have to go back to jail,” the newly constituted bench, comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri, said
The new bench scrutinised the repeated extension of Roy’s parole and said too much indulgence has been given to him, more than any other litigant by the court.
“Parole is granted for a specific purpose and limited period. You (Roy) were given parole for performing the last rites of your mother. But you have been out for nine months.
The specific purpose is over and this is continuing,” it said.
The bench asked SEBI counsel Arvind Dattar what would happen if the Sahara chief does not pay the amount to the market regulator.
Dattar said there were 87 plus properties which would be attached, a receiver could be appointed and the properties sold through auction, if the company fails to pay the amount.
The bench said: “If he defaults to pay the amount then he will go back to jail, then properties will be attached, the receiver appointed and sold through auction”.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sahara, said if this is the court’s mood, then they may not be heard. “It is the most unfortunate statement which has come. If this is the mood of the court then we need not be heard,” he said.
To this, the bench asked, “can’t the court say what are the options available before it.”
“We are here to hear you, Mr Sibal. Has not the Supreme Court given so much indulgence to you than any other single litigant? Now you are saying we are not hearing you. This is not done,” Justice Gogoi said.
Sibal said he was just seeking time to pay the amount as directed by the court earlier as the economy has slowed down, real estate sector is down by 44 percent, the manufacturing sector has slowed down due to the demonetisation.
“When you were asked to deposit Rs 600 crore on November 28 last year, then also the economic situation was no better.
You tell us you don’t have a problem in paying Rs 285 crore.
You still have time till February 6, arrange another Rs 300 crore and deposit it,” the bench said.