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Subrata Roy pleads for raham from Supreme Court

Saturday, 5 July 2014 - 7:25am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Four months after remaining in jail, Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy on Friday pleaded for raham (mercy) before the Supreme Court for his release.

Roy is seeking release from the jail for at least 40 working days so that he will be able to finalise the deals with parties to sell his three hotels abroad to raise funds to meet the bail condition of Rs10,000 crore.

"What is required is raham (mercy) for the chairman of Sahara Group. With today (Friday), Roy and his two directors have completed four months in jail. They have suffered enough throughout the summer. Is it not enough?," Roy's counsel Rajeev Dhavan said in a jam-packed court room.

Making submission before the bench of justices TS Thakur, Anil R Dave and AK Sikri, Roy's counsel Dhavan sought his client's release and argued that as Sahara has already deposited Rs3,117 crore with market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and promised to pay the remaining Rs1,883 crore soon which is part of his bail condition of Rs10,000 crore.

Referring to the amount deposited by the company so far with SEBI, the senior advocate said " We have gone half way, so far as liabilities are concerned. Their release would certainly help in the progress of the deal."

The market regulator, however, opposed Roy's plea and suggested that the court should allow him for three hours in a day and then he should return to jail.

"For past 15 month he did not do anything and this court had also given him enough opportunity to raise fund but when he was sent to jail now he wanted to come out to sell his properties. Either for three hours in a day or through video conferencing he should be allowed to speak to the buyers of the foreign properties or his employees and he need not be released on bail," SEBI lawyer Arvind Dattar said adding the total liabilities with interest on Sahara is about Rs37,000 crore.

The bench, which held two hour-long hearing for the second day on Friday, reserved the order on his release.

Sahara wants to sell three of its international properties, including the Plaza hotel in New York and Grosvenor House in London.

Meanwhile, the bench asked the income-tax department to file a detailed status report as to what action has been taken to secure the tax dues.

The court also sought the informations regarding the assessments made by it on two Sahara companies.

Appearing for the department, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta submitted that tax liabilities which they had assessed came up to Rs10,015 crore for the financial years 2009-2012.

Roy and two of its directors are in jail since March 4 after their failure to co Roy and two Sahara directors have been in judicial custody since 4 March for failing to comply with apex court orders to pay SEBI for refunding investor money which they invested in housing project.

According to SEBI, the obligation of the Sahara group has run up to Rs38,000 crore along with interest on the investments made by three crore people.

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