Subrata Roy to remain in jail, SC upholds its detention order

Disapproving of the Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy’s ‘calculated psychological offensives and mind games’, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld its order jailing him and rejected his claim that rules of natural justice were not followed in the case.

‘Disobedience of orders of a Court strikes at the very root of the rule of law, on which the judicial system rests.

Judicial orders are bound to be obeyed at all costs.

‘Howsoever grave the effect may be, is no answer for non-compliance of a judicial order. Judicial orders cannot be permitted to be circumvented. In exercise of contempt jurisdiction, Courts have the power to enforce compliance of judicial orders, and also, the power to punish for contempt,’ the Court said in its 207-page order dismissing Roy’s petition against his detention.

Roy, who has been in jail since 4 March  for non-refund of over Rs.20,000 crore to depositors, was asked by the court to make a fresh proposal for paying Rs 10,000 crore to get bail. A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar in a strongly-worded judgement came down heavily on the Group for ‘systematically’ frustrating and flouting all its orders with impunity on refunding investors’ money.

It said the group ‘adopted a demeanour of defiance constituting a rebellious behaviour, not amenable to the rule of law’ and justified its decision to send Roy along with two promoters of the companies to jail. 

The bench said it started adopting sequentially harsher means to persuade compliance of it’s order on refunding money leading to his detention after all the efforts to ‘cajole’ the two companies and the petitioner were ‘methodically circumvented’.

‘Efforts made to cajole the two companies and the petitioner were always stonewalled and brushed off. All intermediary means to secure compliance of this Court’s orders dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012, were evaded and skirted. ‘Even proposals to secure the payments (as against, the payment itself) to be made to the investors, in terms of this Court?s orders, were systematically frustrated,’ it said.

The bench also slammed Roy plea seeking its recusal from hearing the case.

‘We find no merit in the contention advanced on behalf of the petitioner, that we should recuse ourselves from the hearing of this case. Calculated psychological offensives and mind games adopted to seek recusal of Judges, need to be strongly repulsed.

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