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We are willing to defreeze Sahara's bank accounts: SC

Last updated on: April 16, 2014 19:51 IST

We are willing to defreeze Sahara's bank accounts: SC

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it was "willing" to defreeze the bank accounts of Sahara and allow the group to sell properties to raise Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion) for getting bail to Subrata Roy and sought details in this regard.            

"We are willing to pass an order. You (Sahara) tell us you want to raise money. Tell us about the property and bank accounts. You have not given us so far," a bench comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar said.  

The bench, which had last year frozen all bank accounts of companies and restrain them from selling any properties without its approval, made the remarks as senior advocate Rajiv Dhavan, appearing for the Group, said it is difficult to raise the money under these conditions.  

At the end of the day-long hearing, the counsel said the company will identify the properties along with the bank accounts and will inform the court and seek defreezing of bank accounts.  

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Image: Subrata Roy.
Photographs: Reuters

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He said raising money has become a difficult proposition as the chief of the Group, Subrata Roy and two senior officials are in jail.  

"People sitting in jail under the court's order cannot do business," Dhavan said and added that "in order to make things workable there must be variation in order."  

"Your lordship has been rigid about this case, certainly making it difficult to argue," he submitted.  

Further, he complained that Roy and two others are in jail on the basis of order which does not appear to be legal and the apex court transgressed its power.  

"It is a civil liberty issue of gross proportions," the senior advocate said and added that "the March 4 order is grossly and entirely illegal and draconian which concerns the entire Bar."  

"If contempt cases are decided in such a manner it is a great transgression of jurisprudence," he said.         

Thursday’s hearing also some heated arguments in the begining with the counsel making it clear to the bench that he cannot complete aruguments in a  within a specified time as desired by it. SC willing to defreeze Sahara bank accounts.

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Image: Sahara group chief Subroto Roy organised a bash for Sridevi to celebrate her Padma Shri award.
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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We are willing to defreeze Sahara's bank accounts: SC

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The bench wanted Dhavan to conclude his arguments on Wednesday itself but he said cannot do so and would need at least three hours.  

He started his arguments after senior advocate Ram Jethmalani completed his submission, a little before lunch recess.              

Earlier on April 9, the apex court had rejected Roy's plea plea that he be put under house arrest to enable him negotiate deals for arranging money to repay investors.  

He also said Sahara was trying to strike a deal with international buyers and the problem is that it would be difficult to do so when he is in jail.  

The apex court had earlier imposed a condition that Roy will be freed on bail only if he pays Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion) out of which Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion) has to be in bank guarantee and rest Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion) in cash.

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Image: Subrata Roy.
Photographs: Reuters

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We are willing to defreeze Sahara's bank accounts: SC

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However, Sahara Group, on April 3, had expressed its inability in immediately paying Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion) for securing bail for Roy and its two directors Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary, who are in jail since March 4.  

65-year-old Roy had earlier submitted that the apex court's order for detaining him for not paying Rs 20,000 crore ( Rs 200 billion) of investors' money with SEBI was "illegal and unconstitutional" and sought quashing of the order


Image: Subrata Roy being taken to court.
Photographs: Reuters

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