SC Wonders Why Subrata Roy Spent Two Years In Jail When Dues Only A Fraction Of Assets

12/05/2016 6:45 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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DIBYANGSHU SARKAR via Getty Images
Chairman of India's Sahara Group Subrata Roy gestures as he addresses a press conference in Kolkata on November 29, 2013. An Indian regulator froze the bank accounts of two companies of the giant Sahara group in February 2013, after it failed to obey a court order to repay billions of dollars illegally collected from investors. Sahara, a household name in India and sponsor of the national cricket team, raised 240 billion rupees ($4.4 billion) in illegal bond sales to 30 million small investors between 2008 and 2011. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

In a breather to Subrata Roy the supreme court on Wednesday extended his parole but also said that it was ‘surprised’ as to why a rich person like the Sahara chief himself did not part with a fraction of his wealth to pay the dues but rather chose to spend two years in jail.

The apex court made the observation while extending Roy’s parole till July 11 to enable him to deposit Rs 200 crore with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Roy has been in Tihar jail since March 4, 2014 on the orders of the apex court in relation to a long running dispute with market regulator SEBI.

The bench, which gave relief to Roy, noted that the fresh list of properties provided in the sealed cover speaks that "value of your properties was far more than your liability".

"Why person with this kind of fortune shall be hesitant to make payment," the bench asked.

When the court saw the list of Roy's assets it expressed surprise why "such a rich person didn't pay a fraction of wealth and stayed in jail for two years."

"We are inclined to give one chance to Subrata Roy and Ashok Roy Choudhary to prove their offer to deposit 200 crore by July 11.

During the proceedings, Kapil Sibal submitted details of all the properties of Sahara group in India and abroad in a sealed cover and requested the court not to disclose the details of properties.

Seeking extension of interim parole for Roy till August 4, Sibal said the Sahara chief has already spent more than two years in jail and his client was ready to give an undertaking that he would pay a substantial amount of money in a span of 180 days.

"We have already suffered a lot. We have learnt the lesson. We have done everything we could do. We have even authorised SEBI to sell our properties at circle rates. Give us an opportunity. Give me a chance, I will arrange the money once I come out," Sibal said.

(With PTI inputs)

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