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Sahara Subrata's fate may be handed down today

The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce on Friday the verdict that will decide the fate of Sahara chief Subrata Roy and two group directors who are in jail since March 4 last year for not complying with the court’s order to return investors’ Rs.24,000 crores that two group companies SIRECL and SHFCL had collected in 2007-2008.

A bench of Justice TS Thakur, Justice Anil R Dave and Justice AK Sikri had, on May 14, reserved its order on Roy’s plea to be released from custody for six weeks coupled with the lifting of restriction to deal with his 72 properties so that he could place before court the plan for the return of investors’ money.

The court had also reserved its order on the conditions that would accompany the acceptance of the bank guarantee of Rs.5,000 crore for the payment of the balance amount of the investors money, which, according to market regulator SEBI, has now swelled upto Rs 39,000 crore on account of interest liabilities.

Besides this, the court had reserved its order on at what point of time the failure of Sahara to return investors money would result in the encashment of the bank guarantee of Rs.5,000 crore.

The listed business on the apex court web site to be taken up on Friday shows that Justice Sikri will pronounce the verdict and the bench would hold further hearing of the matter.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal who appeared for Roy had told the court on May 14 that Roy was in “chains inside” and his business was in “chains outside”.

Noting Roy was in jail for 16 months, he had implored for six weeks.

The apex court March 4 had sent Roy and directors Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary to custody for not complying with its orders of August 31, 2012 and others to return investors money.

The court had then said that despite being given sufficient opportunities, there was no proposal to “honour” its judgments of the August 31, 2012, and subsequent orders of December 5, 2012 and February 25, 2013, to return investors money.

The court had later said that its March 4 order was for the enforcement of Aug 31, 2012 and subsequent orders) and not punishment for contempt.

The apex court by its March 26, 2014 order had asked Sahara to deposit Rs.10,000 crore - Rs. 5000 crore in cash and Rs.5,000 crore in bank guarantee - towards the repayment of the investors money. It had said that this was also a condition for the release of Roy and the other directors from Tihar Jail where they are locked in judicial custody.

The apex court by its August 31, 2012 order had asked Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd. (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited (SHICL) to return, along with 15 percent interest, the investors Rs. 24,600 crore that two companies had collected through optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCSs) in 2007-2008.

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