The Supreme Court on Monday gave a sharp reply to jailed Sahara group chief Subrata Roy on his plea for release on humanitarian grounds. Roy was told, “you are in jail by choice.”
“One thing which is troublesome is that the person (Roy) says there is an asset of Rs 1,85,000 crore. He tells the court that he has so much of money but when it comes to paying one-fifth of that he is unable to pay,” a bench headed by Justice TS Thakur observed.
Roy had earlier claimed that his group had sufficient assets to pay off debt and investors as per the Supreme Court order of 2012. Roy is in judicial custody since March 2014 with a bail amount of with a bail amount of Rs 100 billion, in a case pertaining to issuance of fully convertible debentures by two group companies under Sahara.
“You have to pay only the one-fifth of your amount. The person who is blessed with so much money is sacrificing his liberty in jail and not parting away with his property. You are in jail by choice,” the bench said.
Roy’s lawyer Kapil Sibal was arguing that it was not fair for the court to put Roy inside jail when contempt proceedings against him were not yet over.
Sibal also submitted that other large business houses did not have to suffer like Roy and loans of considerable amounts such as Rs 1000 crores usually get rescheduled for payment in five or 10 years by the RBI or banks.
The lawyer also told the court that it was difficult for Roy to arrange the massive amount while he was in jail and that a release must be arranged on humanitarian grounds.
To this, the bench said, “please appreciate we have certain constraints. Read the previous orders passed by this court. You will know why your client is in jail. Read it you will not say.”