The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider Sahara Chairman Subrata Roy's "mercy plea", only hours after it refused to extend his parole, reported The Indian Express. The businessman had pleaded with the court not to punish him for misconduct by his lawyer. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan's arguments had angered the bench on Friday morning.
Despite keeping unwell, Roy's other lawyer, Kapil Sibal, rushed to the court to tender unconditional apology and said such incidents will never be repeated. Sibal told the apex court bench that Dhwan will not appear in the case in the future. The court decided to stay Roy's arrest till September 30, and said the next hearing on his parole extension will be held on September 28.
Earlier in the day, Dhawan had objected to the court’s order that allowed the Securities and Exchange Board of India to sell Sahara group’s properties. Dhavan has termed the judgment "very unfair" and had asked the court to extend Roy's parole. At this, the bench said, "Don't tell us what to do…we know what we need to do. You go back to jail. The previous order stands terminated."
Roy has been out on parole since May 6 after his mother died and will be in judicial custody till October 3. The top court on August 3 had extended it for the third time till September 16 and asked Roy to deposit Rs 300 crore more to the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a bank guarantee.
Roy was sent to Tihar Jail in March 2014, after he failed to comply with a court order, which directed him to refund money that was raised from investors by selling them bonds that were later ruled illegal. Sahara needs to arrange for Rs 10,000 crore – partly in cash and the remaining in the form of bank guarantees – to secure bail for Roy and two other directors in jail.
On February 2, Sahara had sought permission from the Supreme Court to sell its 42% stake in Formula 1 team Force India, four airplanes and its Sahara Star Hotel in Mumbai to raise Rs 3,000 crore of the Rs 10,000-crore bail bond set for Roy's release. The company had also said negotiations were underway to sell three of its overseas hotels – the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, the New York Plaza Hotel and the Dream New York Hotel.
The court's refusal to further extend Roy's parole comes before Sebi puts up 13 plots belonging to Sahara for an e-auction next month, hoping to fetch around Rs 1,400 crore from their sale. These are in addition to the 58 Sahara properties that were to be auctioned in July at a combined reserve price of nearly Rs 5,000 crore, PTI reported.