Sahara's Roy stuck in Tihar as SC rejects house arrest plea

The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a plea by the Sahara Group that its jailed promoter Subrata Roy be put under house arrest rather than in Delhi's Tihar Jail, where he has been languishing in judicial custody since 4 March.

A bench comprising Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar, hearing a writ petition filed by Sahara challenging Roy's detention, said, ''You are in our custody. We have not sent you in civil imprisonment.''

The court's ruling came after Sahara's counsel Ram Jethmalani requested the apex court to keep Roy under house arrest to help the group raise funds by selling its properties to global buyers to repay investors to whom two Sahara group companies owe money.

''No international buyer would like to visit the jail to negotiate a deal,'' said Jethmalani in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court will now hear the case on 16 April.

The court has asked Roy to pay Rs5,000 crore in cash and provide a Rs5,000 crore bank guarantee for his release on bail.

On 7 April, Sahara withdrew a proposal to the apex court under which it sought to pay Rs2,500 crore immediately and Rs2,500 crore in cash in three weeks after the release on bail of Roy and two other group directors. However the apex court rejected this proposal.

According to the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Sahara Group owes around Rs24,000 crore to investors who bought bonds sold by Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd in a scheme that SEBI ruled was illegal.