The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to give an early hearing to SEBI’s plea seeking its permission to detain Sahara Group’s chairman Subrata Roy Sahara and to initiate contempt proceedings against him for not complying with its orders to refund Rs 24,000 crore to investors.

A bench headed by Justice K S Radhakrishnan posted the market regulator’s plea for hearing on April 22.

The bench agreed to give an early hearing after SEBI’s counsel mentioned the matter before it.

On March 15, SEBI had moved the apex court seeking arrest of Sahara group promoter Subrata Roy Sahara and barring him from leaving the country after two companies of the group had failed to comply with court’s order to refund Rs 24,000 crore to its investors.

SEBI had urged the court to allow it to “take measures for arrest and detention in civil prison of promoter of Sahara Subrata Roy Sahara and the two male directors --Ashok Roy Choudhary and Ravi Shankar Dubey --after giving reasonable opportunity of hearing.”

Earlier on February 6, the apex court had issued notice to the Sahara Group and sought its response within four weeks as to why contempt action should not be initiated against its two companies.