The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved orders on Sahara group chief Subrata Roy’s bail plea on the basis of a fresh proposal to comply with the Rs. 10,000-crore bail condition — Rs. 5,000 crore in cash and Rs. 5,000 crore through bank guarantee.
During a three-hour hearing, Sahara said it would deposit Rs. 3,000 crore in five working days and another Rs. 2,000 crore in 15 working days, and furnish a bank guarantee for Rs. 5,000 crore in 60 working days.
Since valuation of the stakes in its three properties — Grosvenor House in London, and The Plaza and Dreams Downtown hotels in New York mortgaged to the Bank of China — was not immediately available, a Bench of Justices T.S. Thakur and A.K. Sikri asked the Sahara group to produce within one week the valuation of the assets from two reputed valuers and the Bank of China’s approval for sale of the properties. The Bench, while agreeing to the Sahara proposal to sell nine properties in India, made it clear that the documents should indicate their true market value.
On the plea by counsel Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Mr. Roy and two other directors — Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary — who have been in Tihar jail from March 4 — that it would be impossible for the group to raise the money as long as Mr. Roy was in jail, as no buyer would be willing to negotiate with others who did not have financial powers, Justice Thakur said: “We understand your concern. But consider the magnitude of the problem and the money that is to be refunded. We have to strike a balance between personal liberty and the enormity of the problem.”