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Sahara chief Subrata Roy gets conditional bail from Supreme Court

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Sahara chief Subrata Roy was today granted bail after 22 days in jail, but the Supreme Court has ruled that he has to first deposit Rs. 10,000 crore with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, half of it in cash.

The ruling comes a day after Sahara submitted a fresh proposal to return investors’ money. On Tuesday, the company had said that it would pay Rs. 20,000 crore by March 15, 2015, in five instalments. The new proposal adds up to Rs. 3,000 crore more than what the company proposed earlier.

Sahara lawyers had sought bail for Mr Roy and two other directors, assuring the court that they “won’t run away”. The lawyers also argued it was an illegal order that sent them to jail and they can challenge it on the grounds of violation of fundamental rights.

Mr Roy, 65, was arrested on February 28 after failing to appear at a contempt hearing in a long-running legal battle between the group and Sebi over refund of crores of rupees to investors. He has been held in a Delhi’s Tihar Jail since March 4.

Two other directors have been sent to jail as the group failed to convince judges that it’s serious about repaying nearly Rs. 20,000 crore raised through schemes declared illegal in 2012.

Sebi had brought contempt proceedings against Mr Roy and Sahara for failure to comply with the 2012 Supreme Court order to repay crores to investors. Sahara has said it repaid most investors and its remaining liability is less than the Rs. 5,000 crore it has deposited with Sebi.

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