"Deposit Rs 10,000 crore to show your bonafide," the Supreme Court told Sahara group chief Subrata Roy on Thursday and decided to hear his proposal to deposit the bail amount in installments on April 9.
It also declined Roy's plea to convert his judicial custody into house arrest till the time the court hears his application on the bail condition.
"Out of Rs 37,000 core (the principal amount), Rs 10,000 crore is part of the payment towards the principal amount. It will show bonafide for your release," the bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar said and refused to accept Roy's proposal to deposit the money in installments.
Roy's counsel told the court that his client cannot pay Rs 5,000 crore upfront to secure the bail and offered to deposit Rs 2,500 crore immediately and another like amount would be deposited within 21 days after his release from jail.
During the day-long hearing on Roy's plea against his arrest, the bench asked. "If you can pay thousands of crores in cash to sister company, why can't you pay Rs 10,000 crore?"
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan told the bench that till the time it hears his application, Roy should be kept under house arrest, which the court also declined.
Roy, 65 year-old, along with two of his directors are lodged in Tihar jail following the Apex Court order on March 4 for defying the court's order repeatedly in connection with its two companies' failed to pay Rs 20,000 crore by way of dues to market regulator SEBI.
On March 26, he was granted bail by the apex court which also asked him to deposit Rs 10,000 crore to be released on bail.
The court had asked Sahara to deposit Rs 5000 core with the Registry of this court and and also a bank guarantee of same amount with the market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
Earlier, Roy had expressed his inability to deposit the amount to ensure bail.
SEBI's counsel on Thursday submitted that this court is competent to send Roy to jail even without conducting the contempt proceedings against him as he had repeatedly failed to comply with the court order.
To this, the bench said, "We are not on punishment at all at this stage. We are only on enforcement of our orders. We will deal with the punishment for contempt of court when we conclude the hearing,"
"Don't interpret our order (March 4) as punishment. It was just for enforcement of our previous orders..," Justice Khehar said.
Sahara group has been facing the legal battle for past few years with the SEBI over refund of crores of rupees to the investors in its housing scheme.
The court will now hear the matter of April 9.