NEW DELHI: Supreme Court Judge Justice J S Khehar has recused himself from hearing the Sahara Group matter further, and requested the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to constitute a new Bench.
Justice Radhakrishnan, who retired on May 14, has gone on record, saying that the Bench was under immense pressure in the case. Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy is in jail after the group failed to obey earlier court orders calling for it to repay depositors.
“A communication dated May 6, 2014, received from Justice J S Khehar was placed before the Chief Justice of India on May 7. On the same day, the CJI constituted another bench to hear the matter relating to the Sahara Group,” Rakesh Sharma, deputy registrar of the apex court, said, in a release on Thursday.
The release further stated that Justice Khehar had written a letter the day he and Justice K S Radhakrishnan decided a petition filed by Roy.
However, the details of the new Bench, which will now hear the petitions relating to Sahara Group, are not disclosed.
The Bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar, in its May 6 judgment, had upheld its order jailing Roy, and rejected his claim that rules of natural justice were not followed in the case.
Roy, who has been in jail since March 4, for non-refund of over `20,000 crore to depositors, was asked by the court to make a fresh proposal for paying `10,000 crore to get bail.
The court had passed the order on a petition filed by Roy challenging Constitutional validity of its order passed on March 4, by which he was sent to jail, for not complying with its order to deposit around `20,000 crore of investors money with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
The court in its order, pulled up the Group for systematically frustrating and flouting all its orders, with impunity on refunding investors’ money.
It had 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 two Sahara companies, to jail.
“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 commend a similar approach to other Courts, when they experience such behaviour,” the court had said.
The Bench had said that the two companies of which Roy is a promoter, flouted various orders passed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, SAT, the High Court, and of this Court, with impunity which cannot be allowed.
The apex court had held that various proposals made by Roy and the Group on depositing money turned out to be “ploys to sidetrack and derail the process of law”.