SC gives Sahara's Subrata Roy 10 days to negotiate property sale

The Supreme Court today granted Sahara chief Subrata Roy permission to use the conference room in the Tihar jail complex for 10 working days beginning 5 August to negotiate with potential buyers of his luxury hotels in New York and London as part of the group's efforts to raise Rs10,000 crore to pay the bail for his release from Tihar Jail.

Roy, 65, has been in jail for the last five months.

The apex court has also allowed two secretaries and one technician with him to set up video conferencing from 6 am to 8 pm.

However, the Delhi government has to issue a notification to convert the conference room into a jail by 4 August for Roy to be shifted to the conference room, the court said.

A bench headed by Justice T S Thakur had, on Wednesday, asked Roy to give details of the gadgets, like phone and computer, needed by him to get in touch with buyers from overseas.

The NCT government had suggested that Roy can hold consultations either in the conference room or the guest house within the jail complex with a condition that people would be allowed to come inside jail only between 6 am to 8 pm and internet connection would be provided by it.

The apex court had, on 25 July, asked the Delhi government to explore a venue within Tihar jail complex where Subrata Roy could hold negotiations with buyers (See: No bail, but wi-fi in jail for Sahara's Subrata to sell properties).

Roy had pleaded that he was committed to follow apex court's direction and sought its permission for being shifted to the Tihar jail guest house for a week to enable him to hold negotiations to sell his properties in India and abroad to raise Rs10,000 crore to get regular bail.

The apex court had refused to release Roy on interim bail or parole but had allowed selling of his luxury hotels in New York and London to raise money to deposit Rs10,000 crore with SEBI as directed to get regular bail.

It had also appointed senior advocate Shekhar Naphade as amicus curiae to assist the court in dealing with the case in which the group is supposed to pay around Rs 37,000 crore to wind up the proceedings in the apex court.

Roy, who was sent to jail on 4 March this year for non-refund of over Rs20,000 crore to depositors, was asked by the court to pay Rs10,000 crore to get bail - Rs5,000 crore in cash and rest in bank guarantee.

Sahara has so far raised Rs 3,117 crore which has been deposited with the market regulator.

The group, however, has been claiming that it has already repaid money to 93 per cent of investors.