A two-member Supreme Court Bench will on Thursday take up a petition filed by Sahara chief Subrata Roy demanding his immediate release on the grounds that his detention is illegal and unconstitutional. “Declare the order dated March 4 as void, nullity and non-est in the eyes of law,” said the habeas corpus filed on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Sahara’s lawyers failed to get any immediate relief, with a Bench headed by Chief Justice(CJI) P Sathasivam referring the matter to a two-member Bench of Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice J S Khehar.
The two-Judge Bench had on March 4, sent Roy and two Sahara Group directors to Tihar jail in connection with the case relating to the company’s failure to refund `20,000 crore to investors.
The same Bench had briefly heard the matter on Wednesday when senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, appearing for the Sahara chief, made a strong plea for rectification of the mistake in the March 4 order.
“It is a little embarrassing to argue before you that your order needs rectification,” said Jethmalani and added, “It is deeply embarrassing for me but if the Lordship is willing to hear then I would make my Lordships quite satisfied with my arguments.”
However, the Bench said it would go through the petition and hear the matter on Thursday and would give vent to its feelings then.
“We will go through the pleadings then we will say whether we are embarrassed or not,” Justice Khehar shot back.
In a hard-hitting petition, Roy submitted that detaining him is “purely illegal, contrary to the procedure prescribed by law and against the principles of natural justice”.
Roy questioned the Constitutional validity of the detention order saying it was passed after an “illusionary” hearing.
“The petitioner submits that the impugned order made after such illusionary hearing is in total defiance of the rules framed under the Constitution and is a gross violation of the principles of natural justice,” he said in the petition.
“The Bench of this Court without compliance with law and principles of natural justice has incarcerated him under a law which does not exist and without following the ordinary cannons of natural justice,” the petition said.
It also contended that Roy is not liable for contempt as he is not a director or officer-in-charge of the two Sahara firms, which had collected the money from the investors.
“The Petitioner is a shareholder of Sahara India Real Estate Corporation(SIRECL) and Sahara Housing and Investment Corporation Limited(SHICL).
“The Petitioner holds 0.03 per cent shares in SIRECL and 0.112 per cent shares in SHICL.”