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15 May 2014

Supreme Court Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar told the Supreme Court registry on 6 May, the evening after passing its scathing judgment against Sahara chief Subrata Roy and his lawyers, that he did not want to be on the new bench that would hear the Sahara matter after the bench headed by retiring Justice KS Radhakrishnan would be reconstituted after the holidays, reported the Indian Express.

According to the paper, Khehar also said that he did not want to be on any bench hearing any matters related to a Sahara group company in future. Justice Radhakrishnan had made comments last week that he had faced "pressure, tension and strain" over the Sahara hearings, which found voice in an unprecedented written judicial diatribe against lawyers abusing the system and trying to manipulate the justice system.

30 April 2014

"The temperature has soared up and the gentleman is not well," senior advocate Rajiv Dhawan told justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar, appearing for the Sahara group and its boss Subrata Roy, who has been jailed for failing to turn up to Supreme Court hearings and not repaying amounts owed to investors. [PTI]

25 April 2014

The embattled Sahara Group has withdrawn a defamation case in the Calcutta high court, which had granted a stay order, against Mint journalist Tamal Bandhyopadhyay's book Sahara: The Untold Story.

As part of the settlement, the book will now include a disclaimer by Sahara stating: "The book at best can be treated as a perspective of the author with all its defamatory content, insinuations and other objections, which prompted us to exercise our right to approach the court of law... By getting the opportunity to put forward our objections in the form of a disclaimer...in the best tradition of Sahara and our respect for a journalist's freedom, we are...withdrawing the case we had filed against the publication of the book."

Less than a week ago Sahara had sent a defamation notice to the maker of Amul dairy products for a comic strip parodying the firm's financial troubles. [Mint] [Amul notice]

19 April 2014

Sahara, which is on a money-collecting drive from employees to gather Rs 5,000 crore to pay for its boss' bail, has sent a defamation notice to milk maker Amul's owner, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation.

The famous Amul girl marketing campaign regularly makes fun of current affairs topics, and in this case captioned an Amul girl comic strip with "besahara parivar" and "hard to share" - a pun on Sahara's old slogan "Sahara parivar" - the Sahara family - and the Hindi word besahara, meaning lacking in (family) assistance. [Times of India] [Amul comic ad image]

27 March 2014

Sahara has said it can't afford paying the Rs 5,000 crore in cash to the court, and Rs 5,000 crore in bank guarantees to SEBI, which the Supreme Court yesterday stipulated the amounts for Sahara chief to get out of jail on conditional bail. The next hearing will be on 3 April and Roy will be expected to remain in Tihar until then [NDTV Profit]

CNBC's @thefirmupdate tweeted that Sahara's counsel asked Justices Radhakrishnan and Khehar to recuse themselves from the hearing.

27 March 2014

Legally India Supreme Court postcard writer and tweeting advocate Court Witness' column on Subrata Roy: "The Supreme Court dragon has woken and it is annoyed." [Mumbai Mirror]

26 March 2014

SaharaThe Supreme Court has set interim bail for Sahara chief Subrata Roy at Rs 5,000 crore in cash, and Rs 5,000 crore in guarantees to the Securites and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in bank guarantees.

25 March 2014

Sahara says it will pay Rs 2,500 crore in three days, three instalments of Rs 3,500 cr each at the end of June, Sept and Dec, and Rs 7,000 crore by 31 March 2015. The new proposal totals Rs 20,000, which would be Rs 3,000 crore more than its earlier proposal, as the company's chief Subrata Roy is still in jail without grant of bail [NDTV report]

13 March 2014

A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice KS Radhakrishnan today rejected the appeal for the bail of jailed Sahara boss Subrata Roy, pending the next hearing on 25 March 2014.

26 February 2014

The Supreme Court has today issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Sahara chief Subrata Roy for not turning up in court, rejecting senior counsel Ram Jethamalani's arguments that Roy was aiding his ill mother.

26 February 2013

SEBI, UPSC appealed more CIC orders than they answered RTIs. UPSC hides civil service mains papers most, while SEBI doesn’t like disclosing insider trading orders and chairman’s assets and liabilities [Express]

Punjab and Haryana HC gives back government job benefit of Leave Travel Concession (LTC) to Haryana subordinate judiciary. The government had denied LTC to 400 judges holding them as a “separate class” of government employees [TOI]

Kerala high court judge Pius C Kuriakose, presiding in that HC since 2002, has been recommended for the position of Sikkim high court’s chief justice [New Indian Express]

Dismissing Sahara’s request for extension of deadline to deposit the court-ordered Rs 24,000 crore with SEBI, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir yesterday rebuked SCBA president MN Krishnamani for interfering in the SEBI V Sahara matter [NDTV]

Calling erroneous his own judgement sentencing the Rajiv Gandhi assassins to death 13 years ago, former SC judge KT Thomas said in an interview that it would be “constitutionally incorrect” to hang them now [TOI]

06 December 2012

The chief justice of India Altamas Kabir yesterday told off senior advocate Arvind Dattar who, in the matter of SEBI V Sahara, had objected to his passing an order contradictory to an order passed by a two judge bench of the court - before which bench the matter is still pending.

A bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar had on 31 August ordered two Sahara group companies to refund the Rs 24,000 crore they had collected through optional fully convertible debentures, to SEBI with 15 per cent interest by 30 November, because Sahara had violated regulatory norms.

Yesterday Kabir’s bench, also comprising justices SS Nijjar and J Chelameswar, allowed the Sahara group to complete the payment of refund to SEBI in two months’ time, ending in the first week of February, contrary to the 31 August order.

The bench reasoned that it was allowing Sahara’s application to protect the interest of investors. The investors, however, were not given a hearing before this order.

Dattar, appearing for SEBI, insisted that propriety called for the matter to be heard by the bench before which it was pending, and that Kabir must record this submission in the court’s order.

"We will record what we feel to record. We cannot record what you say,” shot back Kabir.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh insisted that the investors’ and Sahara’s application should not be disposed of without hearing the investors, which suggestion was again dismissed by Kabir in, reportedly, an “angry tone”. [Hindustan Times]

Singh was appearing for the Universal Investors Association, and wanted the court to take up a writ petition filed on behalf of the investors. Kabir’s bench rejected the plea saying that the investors had no rights since they were not party to the main petition. [The Hindu]

Legally India Supreme Court postcard writer Court Witness tweeted: “Would completely understand if both or one of Radhakrishnan & Khehar are supremely upset with Kabir for undermining them in this way.”

31 August 2012

sahara By Nikhil Kanekal: It’s going to be an incredibly tough future for the Subroto Roy-owned Sahara Group (also known as Sahara India Parivar) after today’s judgment by the Supreme Court of India.  The court asked two group companies to return an unprecedented Rs 24,000 crores ($4.3bn) to their roughly 28 million investors, while setting the company and its directors up for possible criminal prosecution.

The judgment is a stinging indictment of the company’s practices. It is also probably the largest ever transaction ordered by an Indian court to date.