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No relief for Sahara from Supreme Court

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NEW DELHI: As expected by many, the SC has dismissed Sahara Shree Subrata Roy’s plea of seeking two more months to deposit Rs 966.80 crore of the remaining Rs 1500 crore, saying he was trying to treat the apex court as “a laboratory” to play with the law.

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It is worthwhile pointing out that the Supreme Court directed the official liquidator to go ahead with the scheduled auction of the group’s Aamby Valley property in Maharashtra valued at Rs 37,392 crore, as it rejected Roy’s plea to extend the time till November 11.

This has come at a time after Roy said he had deposited Rs 533.20 crore in the Sebi-Sahara account and wanted to pay the remaining Rs 966.80 crore through cheques dated November 11.

The top court said that barring “hyperbolic arguments and rhetoric statements” by him, the amount in its entirety has not yet been paid.

The court had on July 25 asked the embattled Sahara chief to deposit Rs 1,500 crore in the SEBI-Sahara account by September 7 and said it may only then deliberate upon his plea seeking 18 months more for making the full repayment of the outstanding amount to be refunded to the investors.

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The SC clearly pinpoints that entertaining post-dated cheques dated November 11 would “tantamount to travesty of justice” and “extending unwarranted sympathy to a person who is indubitably an abuser of the process of law”.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra said “he, who thinks or for that matter harbours the notion that he can play with law, is under wrong impression”.

The bench, also comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri, said the Sahara chief has treated the apex court as “a laboratory.”

“We are constrained to state that respondent-contemnor in his own way has treated this Court as a laboratory and has made a maladroit effort to play, possibly thinking that he can survive on the ventilator as long as he can.

“He would have been well advised that a person who goes on a ventilator may not survive for long and, in any case, a time would come when he has to be comatosed. Here comatose takes place as regards the ambitious effort made by the respondent-contemnor,” the bench said.

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