Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy may have to remain in jail for at least another week because his lawyers say they are finding it difficult to immediately mobilise Rs. 10,000 crore needed to get him and two directors out on bail.
A day after the apex court imposed a condition that Mr. Roy will be freed on bail only if he pays Rs. 10,000 crore out of which Rs. 5,000 crore has to be in bank guarantee, his lawyers said providing a guarantee of this size with lower margin cash backed by assets will take at least three months.
Mr. Roy, who has been in Tihar Jail for the last 22 days since March 4, 2014 submitted on Thursday that the apex court’s order for detaining him for not paying Rs. 20,000 crore of investors money with SEBI is illegal and unconstitutional and sought quashing of the order.
A bunch of senior advocates headed by Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Mr. Roy and the group, told a bench of justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and J.S. Khehar, which had passed detention order, that it’s approach is “biased” and it should not hear the petition challenging the order.
“It is the gravest mistake of law committed by any court in the country. I wish to submit with greatest respect that there is an error of law,” Mr. Jethmalani said.
“Has any person been sent jail without knowing what crime he has committed and under what provision he has been punished,” he said while contending that Mr. Roy was sent to jail while the contempt petition against him was still pending.
He said it is unconstitutional to send a man behind bars for not paying the money and also questioned the order putting a condition of paying Rs. 10,000 crore for getting interim bail.
“I appeal to you on behalf of all members of bar on this side to please consider our plea. I have not seen during long years of my practice that court ordered paying Rs. 10,000 crore for getting bail,” he said.
“If my client has an apprehension of prejudice then that should be respected. I appeal that lordships should not decide the matter,” he said seeking recusal of the bench.