Supreme Court: Fastening the liability of approximately Rs. 36,000 crores on Sahara Group of Companies, the 3-judge bench of T.S. Thakur, A.R. Dave and Dr. A.K. Sikri, JJ held that the balance outstanding amount is to be deposited by the contemnors within 18 months of their release from the custody. The Court directed that the deposits be made in 9 installments i.e. first 8 installments of Rs. 3, 000 Crores payable in every 2 months and the last installment of the remaining amount. Accepting the bank guarantee format furnished by the contemnors, the Court said that in the event of the default in payment of 2 instalments, not necessarily consecutive, the bank guarantee will be encashed by SEBI and that it will also be encashable in the event of failure to deposit the full amount within a period of 18 months.
Laying down stringent conditions, the Court further said that In the event of failure of the contemnors to deposit 3 instalments, not necessarily consecutive, the contemnors will have to surrender back to custody and in case they fail to do so, they will be taken into custody and committed to jail. Also, restraining the contemnors from leaving the country without prior permission of the court, the Court directed the contemnors to deposit their passports within 15 days of this order or before their release, whichever is earlier. So far as the movement within the country is concerned, the contemnors were directed to keep the police station Tilak Marg, New Delhi informed about their whereabouts every fortnight.
The Court vide order dated 26.03.2014 had passed a conditional order of bail with the condition to deposit Rs. 5000 Crores in cash and Rs. 5000 Crores in the form of bank guarantee in favour of SEBI. However, the contemnors who are in custody since almost 15 months, have not been able to fulfill the said condition yet and will remain in custody till the order dated 26.03.2014 is complied with. SEBI v. Sahara India Real Estate Corpn. Ltd.,2015 SCC OnLine SC 540 decided on 19.06.2015