Sahara agrees to pay bail for chief Subrata Roy's release: report

Subrata RoyThe Sahara group is reported to have agreed to pay up the Rs10,000 crore needed to secure the release of its chairman Subrata Roy who has been held in jail for more than a year, after the group failed to comply with a court order to refund over Rs24,000 crore raised illegally by two group companies (See: Sahara loses appeal in Rs24,000-crore refund issue).

The latest offer follows several failed attempts by Sahara in the past to raise the bail money through sale or pledging of its overseas hotel properties that include the Plaza in New York and Grosvenor House in London.

The Supreme Court had, in March allowed Sahara three more months to raise the Rs10,000 crore needed as bail money and had even offered to appoint a receiver to auction Sahara's assets if the group failed to raise the bail amount.

Sahara, which came close to finalising a deal with US-based Mirach Capital Group to raise the bail money by taking a loan against its overseas hotels later opted out of the deal and is now in a legal tussle with the US group.

A Reuters report today said the Supreme Court has agreed to hear Sahara's new bail proposal on Thursday. "All the formalities for the bail bond would be completed before Thursday," the report quoted him as saying.

Gautam Awasthi, another lawyer for Sahara, said in a statement on behalf of the company that the Supreme Court would hear the case on Thursday.

Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and the Supreme Court have estimated Sahara's total liabilities due to the so-called optionally fully convertible bonds (OFCBs) at around Rs24,000 crore.

Sahara refutes this and claims it has paid 95 per cent of the dues to the bondholders.