SC extends facilities to Subrata Roy in jail

New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday extended till September 30 the special facilities given to Sahara chief Subrata Roy to facilitate communication for negotiating transactions to raise money to pay market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Seeking details of a loan transfer from the Bank of China to Reuben brothers, an apex court bench of Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice A.K. Sikri extended its March 13 order to grant the communication facilities, including a laptop, to Roy and two other director for facilitating transactions to raise money as ordered by the court.

The court asked Sahara to furnish in a sealed cover the terms of mortgage between it and the Bank of China for getting a loan of about $900 million for buying its three overseas hotels – Grosvenor House Hotel in London and the New York Plaza and Dream New York hotels in New York.

Besides the terms of mortgage with Bank of China, the apex court also asked Sahara to tell whatever information it had about the conditions on which the Bank of China transferred loan to Reuben brothers. The court also asked Sahara to disclose if it had anything to do with Reuben Brothers.

Sahara on Monday turned down a proposal by England-based property developer and financier Kane Capital Partners Limited to buy Grosvenor House Hotel for 637,000,000 Pound Sterling or about Rs.6,370 crore.

Refusing the offer by Kane Capital Partners Limited, senior counsel Kapil Sibal appearing for Subrata Roy told the court that Sahara had an offer of $6 billion for the three hotels which was higher than one offered by the British company.

Sounding optimistic, Sibal said though the next date of hearing was September 14, Sahara hoped to give good news to the court next week or in 10 days.

He urged the court to allow Sahara to go ahead with its efforts unhindered as it appears to be close to raising the money that would ensure his freedom from jail where he is lodged for last about one-and-a-half years.

The Sahara hearing got a Lalit Modi angle when counsel Prashant Kumar for one of the parties told the court that a prospective buyer of Sahara’s two New York hotels had offered $800 million but Subrata Roy’s son Sushanto Roy “orally” told them to send the proposal to Lalit Modi.

In a mail, Modi said if there was an offer of more than $965 million, it could be considered and declined the offer of $800 million.

Subrata Roy and two other directors of Sahara companies – Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary – are in judicial custody since March 4, 2014 as SIRECL and SHICL failed to comply with the apex court’s August 31, 2012, and December 5, 2012, orders to return the investors money.

The court has directed two Sahara companies – Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited (SHICL) to deposit Rs.10,000 crore (Rs.5,000 crore in cash and Rs.5,000 crore in bank guarantee) as a part payment of Rs.24,000 crore collected from investors through OFCDs in 2008 and 2009. Now that amounts stands at about Rs.36,000 crore.

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