The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld its order to detain Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy, while rejecting his contention that the 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 apex court said in its 207-page order.
A Bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar also came down heavily on Sahara for systematically frustrating and flouting all its orders with impunity on refunding the investors’ money. It said the group had “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 company to jail.
And Roy’s plea seeking the Bench’s recusal from hearing the case was rapped by the court.
“We find no merit in the contention advanced on behalf of the petitioner, that we should recuse ourselves from hearing this case. Calculated psychological offensives and mind games adopted to seek recusal of judges, need to be strongly repulsed.”
“We deprecate such tactics and recommend a similar approach to other Courts, when they experience such behaviour,” it said.
According to the Bench, the two companies of which Roy was a promoter had “flouted” various orders passed by the SEBI, SAT, the High Court and the apex Court with impunity, which could not be allowed.
It held that the various proposals made by Roy and the group on depositing money turned out to be “ploys to sidetrack and derail the process of law”. The judges also brushed aside the contentions of the group that money had already been substantially refunded to the investors, saying it had rejected the stand earlier and hence the contention was untenable. The court also took a dig at Sahara and observed that judges would need to be superhumans to handle the pressures to handle frivolous litigation.