SC extends Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy's parole

Subrata Roy (File) Roy was granted parole on May 6 this year

In a relief to Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy, the Supreme Court on Monday extended his parole till August 3, but asked him to deposit Rs. 300 crore.

Asking Roy to deposit amount by August 3 failing which he, along with two others, would be back in Tihar Jail, the bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice A.K.Sikri also directed the release of Ravi Shankar Dubey who is still in jail.

Roy was granted parole on May 6 this year to attend the last rites of his mother who passed away on day before on May 5. Along with him, his son-in-law Ashok Roy Choudhary too was granted parole on May 6. It was extended on May 11 for two months on the condition that he would deposit Rs. 200 crore.

The Sahara chief along with two other directors—Dubey and Roy Choudhary—was sent to jail on March 4, 2014 for his failure to comply with 2012 order directing him to return investors' Rs. 17,600 crore with 15 per cent interest.

The amount was raised by group's two companies Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd and Sahara Housing Finance Corp Ltd through optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCD) in 2008 and 2009. The top court by its August 31, 2012, order had directed the SIRECL and SHICL to return investors money with 15 per cent interest.

Giving a breather to Roy, the bench also permitted Sahara to sell its properties at a price that is not less than 90 per cent of the prevailing circle rates—a condition that market regulator SEBI had to follow in selling Sahara properties to raise the money.

The court order came as senior Counsel Kapil Sibal appearing for Subrata Roy urged the court that they too be permitted to sell their assets as per the three conditions applicable to SEBI.

Allowing Sahara to sell its assets, the court order noted,"We had allowed the SEBI to sell 19 properties and three hotels and mortgage of the land of Aamby valley. We are informed not much have been achieved because of the condition stipulated in our earlier order."

Noting that SEBI has no objection to the modification of the earlier order and permitting Sahara to sell its assets, the bench said the proceeds from such transaction after deducting expanses and tax at source would be deposited with the market regulator.

The bench also permitted Sahara to transfer the $24 million it has in its Bank of China account to the SEBI-Sahara account.

The court asked SEBI to file a status report on the amount received on the mutual funds, shares and gold of Sahara. The order came as Sibal told the bench that SEBI was not giving the account of the proceeds from these.

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