- Subrata Roy, Sahara chief, was arrested in 2014, got bail last year
- Pay 1,500 crores by mid-June, 552 crores by July 15, judges tell him
- Sahara has to refund small investors for bonds declared illegal
"We are warning you - if the cheques are not realized, we will send you to Tihar Jail directly from court," the judges responded.
The Supreme Court is looking to ensure that Sahara repays thousands of crores to investors that were collected through a savings deposit scheme that was declared illegal by market regulator SEBI. Sahara has been told to refund a principal amount of 24,000 crores. It has paid about 12,000 crores, while missing a series of deadlines for the balance. The court has been insisting that it urgently provide 5,000 crores - of which about half must now be provided by mid-June.
Mr Roy's lawyer, former minister Kapil Sibal, argued against the court's decision at the last hearing to auction Sahara's lavish Aamby Valley township near Lonavala in Maharashtra. It is spread over more than 10,000 acres and includes luxury resort accommodation and an 18-hole golf course and its estimated worth is 34,000 crores- more than what Sahara owes SEBI.
The court rejected the request to reconsider the auction. "Some times your offer looks like a mirage, it sometimes like a sprinkle," said judges, referring to different repayment options Sahara has made in the past.
Mr Roy was arrested in 2014 and placed in Delhi's Tihar Jail. He was granted bail last year to attend his mother's cremation. Since then, his bail has been extended repeatedly. He has yet to be formally charged over the bonds scheme and has denied any wrongdoing.
Sahara is still trying to sell some of its prized assets at home and overseas, including New York's Plaza Hotel and London's Grosvenor House hotel.