The Supreme Court on Friday set fresh terms for releasing troubled conglomerate Sahara's founder Subrata Roy, jailed for more than a year in a long-running dispute over issuance of illegal bonds.
The court might have granted bail today, but Roy's counsel Kapil Sibal said the company has no money to pay the Rs 10,000 crore bail amount.
Sahara Group needs to pay Rs 5,000 crore in cash and the rest in bank guarantees. But the bank they were in talks with refused to provide it. "The bank backed out after media reports came out on the proceedings," Sibal said.
Sibal argued that Roy be released first and then pay up the bail amount. The three-judge bench led by Justice T.S. Thakur disagreed, saying the company should have had the guarantees ready in time for Friday's hearing, and will now remain in jail.
The court also set conditions for Roy after he is released, whenever that is. The bench said that he will need to pay up the Rs 36,000 crore the company owes to depositors in instalments of Rs 3,000 crore every two months. Failure to do so will land him in jail again. Roy will also have to submit his passport to the court after his release on bail, the Supreme Court said.
For the time being, Roy's video conferencing facilities were extended for eight weeks to help him raise the funds required for bail.
Roy was arrested in March last year after the company failed to comply with a court order to refund money it had raised from millions of small investors by selling them bonds later ruled to be illegal.
The court on Friday said Sahara owes as much as Rs 36,000 crore to the bond investors. Sahara previously said it had repaid 95 per cent of the amount due to the investors.
(With inputs from Reuters)