SC declines bail for Subrata Roy to attend aunt's funeral; hotel deal hangs

Sahara group chief Subrata RoyThe Supreme Court on Friday declined to give an urgent hearing to a bail plea by jailed Sahara group chief Subrata Roy, purportedly to attend the cremation and perform last rites of his aunt who died on Thursday.

The application moved by Roy's advocates at the residence of Chief Justice H L Dattu sought relief for 15 days, official sources said.

Roy's aunt, who was staying with the Sahara chief's family, had died in Lucknow at the age of 90. The court, however, did not see any urgency in the matter and said the matter will come for hearing in the regular court.

The bail plea followed Roy's return to the regular cell in Tihar jail on Wednesday, jail at the end of the period of stay at an air-conditioned facility in the complex to negotiate sale of his overseas luxury hotels as granted by the Supreme Court.

The court had extended Roy's stay at the Tihar Jail conference room by 15 days on 8 September to facilitate the sale of properties to raise Rs10,000 crore to be deposited with Sebi for his bail.

The Supreme Court had, on 1 August, allowed Roy and two of his group directors to use the air-conditioned conference room in Tihar jail complex for 10 days from 5 August, between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm.

Roy, 65, who was living in the makeshift prison office for two months while working on the sale of three luxury hotels in New York and London, however, failesd to strike a deal.

The Supreme Court had allowed the Sahara chief to use an office, phone, internet connection and three secretaries in the prison to facilitate the sale of three hotels, including Grosvenor House in London and the Plaza in New York.

Roy needs to raise Rs10,000 crore ($1.6 billion) from the hotel sales to obtain release on bail.