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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Subrata Roy Sahara =NO MIND GAMES - Writ - Declaration that that arrest order is null and void - Habeas corpus for release of petitioner - Petitioner asked the Judges to recuse from the case - Apex court held that demand for recuse is a calculated mind game - rejected - disobedience of the court order not tenable and court has got power to implement the same under contempt of court - held that The companies adopted a demeanour of defiance constituting a rebellious behaviour, not amenable to the rule of law. - the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and the other allied provisions referred to above, are not applicable to actions emanating out of the SEBI Act. So also, rule 6 of Order XIII of the Supreme Court Rules, 1966, has no applicability, with reference to the SEBI Act. -The submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner, so as to avoid his arrest and detention, based on the judgment rendered by this Court in Jolly George Varghese & Anr. v. Bank of Cochin, (1980) 2 SCC 360, being inapplicable to the facts and circumstances of this case, was liable to be rejected - and further held that The law laid down by this Court in Jaswant Singh v. Virender Singh &Ors., 1995 Supp. (1) SCC 384, has been found to be fully applicable to the facts of this case, particularly the mannerism and demeanour exhibited bythe petitioner and some of the learned counsel. Our recusal from the case sought on the ground of bias, has been found to be devoid of any merit.- writ was dismissed =Subrata Roy Sahara …. Petitioner versus Union of India and others …. Respondents= 2014 ( May.Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41502

Subrata Roy Sahara - NO MIND GAMES  - Writ - Declaration that that arrest order is null and void - Habeas corpus for release of petitioner - Petitioner asked the Judges to recuse  from the case - Apex court held that demand for recuse is a calculated mind game - rejected - disobedience of the court order not tenable and court has got power to implement the same under contempt of court - held that The companies  adopted  a  demeanour  of  defiance constituting a rebellious behaviour, not amenable to the rule of law. - the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and the other allied  provisions  referred
to above, are not applicable to actions emanating out of the SEBI  Act.   So also, rule 6 of Order  XIII  of  the  Supreme  Court  Rules,  1966,  has  no applicability, with reference to the SEBI Act. -The  submission  of  the  learned  counsel  for  the petitioner, so as to avoid his arrest and detention, based on  the  judgment rendered by this Court in Jolly George Varghese & Anr. v.  Bank  of  Cochin, (1980) 2 SCC 360, being inapplicable to the facts and circumstances of  this
case, was liable to be rejected - and further held that The law laid down by this Court in Jaswant Singh v. Virender  Singh  &Ors., 1995 Supp. (1) SCC 384, has been found to be fully applicable  to  the facts of this case, particularly the mannerism and  demeanour  exhibited  bythe petitioner and some of the learned counsel.  Our recusal from  the  case sought on the ground of bias, has been found to  be  devoid  of  any  merit.- writ was dismissed =

 |    |                                      |Rupees      |
|    |                                      |(In Crores) |
|1.  |SICCL                                 |2479.00     |
|2.  |Sahara Q Shop                         |2411.90     |

|    |                                      |Rupees      |
|    |                                      |(In Crores) |
|1.  |SICCL                                 |2479.00     |
|2.  |Sahara Q Shop                         |2411.90     |

writ petition, the petitioner has  made  the  following
prayers:-
      “(a)  Declare the order dated 4.3.2014 as void, nullity and non-est in
           the eyes of law;
      (b)   Declare that the incarceration and the custody of the petitioner
           are illegal which should be terminated forthwith;
      (c)   Issue such other writ in the nature of Habeas (corpus) or  other
           writs, order or direction for release of the petitioner from the
           illegal custody.
      (d)   Pass such further orders as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit  and
           proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.”   =

Mr. Ram Jethmalani, learned Senior Counsel  appearing  for  the  petitioner,
sought liberty to make a frank and candid submission.  He told us,  that  it
would be embarrassing for him, to canvass the submissions which he is  bound
to raise in the  matter  before  us,  i.e.,  before  the  Bench  as  it  was
presently structured.  It was also his submission, that hearing this  matter
would also discomfort and embarrass us as  well.   He  therefore  suggested,
that we should recuse ourselves from hearing the case, and require it to  be
heard by another composition, not including either of us.=

XI.   Conclusions
145.  In view of our findings  recorded  hereinabove,  our  conclusions  are
summarized hereunder:-
I.    We find  no  merit  in  the  contention  advanced  on  behalf  of  the
petitioner, that we should recuse ourselves from the hearing of  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.  (For details, refer to paragraph nos. 1 to 14).

II.   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.  (For details, refer to paragraph nos.  15  to
19).

III.  The facts of this case reveal, that the two  companies  of  which  the
petitioner is a promoter, flouted orders passed by the SEBI (FTM), SAT,  the
High Court  and  of  this  Court,  with  impunity.   Facts  and  information
solicited were never disclosed.  The position adopted by the  two  companies
was always projected on the basis  of  unverifiable  material.   This  Court
recorded in its order dated 31.8.2012, that the factual assertions  made  on
behalf of the two companies seemed to be totally unrealistic and could  well
be fictitious, concocted and made up, and also remarked,  that  the  affairs
of the two companies seemed to be doubtful, dubious and  questionable.   The
above position  has  remained  unaltered,  inasmuch  as,  no  authentic  and
verifiable material sought has ever been furnished  by  the  two  companies.
The  two  companies  remained  adamant  while   frittering   away   repeated
opportunities granted  by  this  Court  to  comply  with  the  orders  dated
31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.  The companies  adopted  a  demeanour  of  defiance
constituting a rebellious behaviour, not amenable to the rule of law.   (For
details, refer to paragraph nos. 20 to 39).

IV.   Efforts made to cajole the  two  companies  and  the  petitioner  were
always stonewalled and  brushed  off.   All  intermediary  means  to  secure
compliance of this  Court’s  orders  dated  31.8.2012  and  5.12.2012,  were
evaded and skirted.  Even proposals to secure the payments (as against,  the
payment itself) to be made to  the  investors,  in  terms  of  this  Court’s
orders,   were   systematically   frustrated.    Similar   proposals    made
unilaterally by learned Senior Counsel representing the  two  companies  and
the petitioner himself, turned out to be ploys to sidetrack and  derail  the
process of law.  Such unilateral  proposals,  were  unilaterally  withdrawn.
Since all the efforts to cajole the two companies and  the  petitioner  were
methodically circumvented, we started adopting  sequentially  harsher  means
to  persuade  compliance  of  this  Court’s  orders  dated   31.8.2012   and
5.12.2012, leading finally to  the  passing  of  the  impugned  order  dated
4.3.2014.  (For details, refer to paragraph nos. 40 to 55).

V.    The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, which regulates  civil  proceedings
in India, expressly contemplates arrest and detention  for  the  enforcement
of a money  decree.   And  the  Code  of  Criminal  Procedure,  1973,  which
regulates criminal proceedings in India, envisages arrest and  detention  as
a mean for enforcing  financial  liability.   The  submission  made  by  the
learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner to the effect, that  execution  of
a money decree or enforcement of a financial liability by way of arrest  and
detention  was  a  procedure  unknown   to   law,   is   therefore,   wholly
misconceived.  (For details, refer to paragraph nos. 56 to 61).

VI.   The submission made by the learned counsel for  the  petitioner,  that
this Court was obliged to  comply  with  the  procedure  contemplated  under
Section 51, and rules 37  and  40  of  Order  XXI,  of  the  Code  of  Civil
Procedure, 1908, before ordering the arrest and detention of the  petitioner
(and the other contemnors) is devoid of any merit,  because  Section  51  of
the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and the other allied  provisions  referred
to above, are not applicable to actions emanating out of the SEBI  Act.   So
also, rule 6 of Order  XIII  of  the  Supreme  Court  Rules,  1966,  has  no
applicability, with reference to the SEBI Act.  Be  that  as  it  may,  this
Court before passing the impugned  order  dated  4.3.2014  had  immaculately
followed the procedure contemplated under the  provisions  of  the  Code  of
Civil Procedure, 1908, as were relied upon by the learned  counsel  for  the
petitioner, before ordering the petitioner’s  (and  the  other  contemnors’)
arrest and detention.   The  submission  of  the  learned  counsel  for  the
petitioner, so as to avoid his arrest and detention, based on  the  judgment
rendered by this Court in Jolly George Varghese & Anr. v.  Bank  of  Cochin,
(1980) 2 SCC 360, being inapplicable to the facts and circumstances of  this
case, was liable to be rejected, and has accordingly  been  rejected.   (For
details, refer to paragraph nos. 62 to 77).

VII.   In  response  to  a  prayer  made  by  the  SEBI  (in   Interlocutory
Application nos. 68 and 69 of 2013 in Civil Appeal no. 9813 of 2011),  inter
alia, seeking the arrest and detention of  the  petitioner  (and  two  other
contemnors, namely, Mr. Ravi Shankar Dubey and  Mr.  Ashok  Roy  Choudhary),
the petitioner  filed  a  personal  reply  by  way  of  an  affidavit.   The
petitioner in his written  reply  raised  all  possible  legal  and  factual
defences.  Different orders were passed from time to time in furtherance  of
the  prayers  made  in  the   aforementioned   interlocutory   applications,
including the order preventing the petitioner  (and  the  other  contemnors)
from leaving the country, as also, the order restraining the  two  companies
from  parting  with  any  movable  or  immovable  property.   A  number   of
opportunities of hearing were given to the learned counsel representing  the
two companies and the contemnors.  Finding the attitude  of  the  contemnors
defiant and non-cooperative,  their  personal  presence  was  ordered.   The
petitioner, who was directed to be  present  on  26.2.2014,  did  not  enter
personal appearance.   His  personal  presence  was  enforced  through  non-
bailable  warrants  on  4.3.2014.   During  the  course  of  their  personal
presence in Court, the petitioner and the other contemnors were afforded  an
opportunity of oral  hearing.   The  petitioner  repeatedly  addressed  this
Court on 4.3.2014.  Only thereafter, the impugned order dated  4.3.2014  was
passed.  In view of the above facts it is not possible  for  us  to  accept,
that the impugned order was passed without following the  rules  of  natural
justice or without affording  the  petitioner  an  opportunity  of  hearing.
(For details, refer to paragraph nos. 78 to 96).

VIII. The law laid down by this Court in Jaswant Singh v. Virender  Singh  &
Ors., 1995 Supp. (1) SCC 384, has been found to be fully applicable  to  the
facts of this case, particularly the mannerism and  demeanour  exhibited  by
the petitioner and some of the learned counsel.  Our recusal from  the  case
sought on the ground of bias, has been found to  be  devoid  of  any  merit.
Each and every insinuation  levelled  by  the  petitioner  and  his  learned
Senior Counsel, during the  course  of  hearing,  has  been  considered  and
rejected on merits.  (For details, refer to paragraph nos. 97 to 112).

IX.   The defence raised by the  petitioner,  that  the  two  companies  had
already substantially redeemed the  OFCD’s,  has  been  examined  under  two
different perspectives.  Firstly, the above defence is  unavailable  to  the
two companies in law, after the same was rejected on 5.12.2012 by  a  three-
Judge Division Bench (in Civil Appeal no. 8643 of  2012  and  Writ  Petition
(Civil) no. 527 of 2012).  Secondly, the  said  defence  has  been  examined
from various factual perspectives and has been found to be untenable.   Sole
reliance on general ledger entries without  any  other  authentication,  has
been held to be insufficient proof of the refunds claimed to have been  made
by the  two  companies  to  the  investors,  specially  because,  such  cash
redemptions have not been affirmed in the certificate issued by the firm  of
Chartered Accountants, which had audited the accounts of the two  companies.
 (For details, refer to paragraph nos. 113 to 122).

X.    The submission advanced by Mr. Ram Jethmalani, learned Senior  Counsel
asserting the maintainability of the instant petition under the maxim of  ex
debito justitiae, expressly recognized by this  Court  in  A.R.  Antulay  v.
R.S. Nayak, (1988) 2 SCC 602, is held to be devoid of any merit,  consequent
upon a detailed analysis  of  the  judgment  relied  upon.   The  contention
advanced by Mr. C.A. Sundaram, learned Senior Counsel  for  the  petitioner,
projecting the maintainability of the  instant  petition  under  Article  32
read with Article 21 of the Constitution of India,  has  been  found  to  be
unacceptable in law on the basis of a series of judgments rendered  by  this
Court.  The  submission  advanced  by  Dr.  Rajeev  Dhawan,  learned  Senior
Counsel representing the petitioner, supporting the maintainability  of  the
instant petition by placing collective reliance on Articles 129 and  142  of
the Constitution of India, has also been  found  to  be  ill-founded.   (For
details, refer to paragraph nos. 123 to 144).

For the reasons recorded hereinabove,  we  find  no  merit  in  the  present
petition, and the same is accordingly dismissed.


 2014 ( May.Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41502

K.S. RADHAKRISHNAN, JAGDISH SINGH KHEHAR
                                                              “REPORTABLE”

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                       CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                   WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 57 OF 2014


Subrata Roy Sahara                           …. Petitioner


                                   versus

Union of India and others                           …. Respondents

                               J U D G M E N T


Jagdish Singh Khehar, J.

I.    Should we be hearing this case?
      Would it not be better, for another Bench to hear this case?
1.    In the present writ petition, the petitioner has  made  the  following
prayers:-
      “(a)  Declare the order dated 4.3.2014 as void, nullity and non-est in
           the eyes of law;
      (b)   Declare that the incarceration and the custody of the petitioner
           are illegal which should be terminated forthwith;
      (c)   Issue such other writ in the nature of Habeas (corpus) or  other
           writs, order or direction for release of the petitioner from the
           illegal custody.
      (d)   Pass such further orders as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit  and
           proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.”

A perusal of the prayers made in the writ petition reveals, that in sum  and
substance the petitioner has assailed the order dated 4.3.2014 passed by  us
in Contempt Petition (Civil) nos. 412 and 413 of 2012 and Contempt  Petition
(Civil) no. 260 of 2013.  To understand the exact  purport  of  the  prayers
made in the writ petition, it is  essential  to  extract  herein  the  order
dated 4.3.2014, which is subject matter of  challenge  through  the  present
criminal writ petition:-
      “1.   Contemnors are personally present in the  Court,  including  the
           fifth respondent, who has been brought to the Court by the  U.P.
           Police, in due execution of our non-bailable warrant of arrest.

      2.    We have heard  the  Senior  Counsel  on  various  occasions  and
           perused the various documents, affidavits, etc.  We  have  heard
           the learned counsel and contemnors today as well.  We are  fully
           convinced  that  the  contemnors  have  not  complied  with  our
           directions contained in the judgment dated August 31,  2012,  as
           well as orders dated December 5,  2012  and  February  25,  2013
           passed in Civil Appeal no. 8643 of 2012 and I.A. no. 67 of  2013
           by a three Judge Bench of this Court.

      3.    Sufficient opportunities have been given to  the  contemnors  to
           fully comply with those orders and purge the contempt  committed
           by them but, rather than availing of the same, they have adopted
           various dilatory tactics to  delay  the  implementation  of  the
           orders of this Court.  Non-compliance of the  orders  passed  by
           this Court shakes the very foundation of our judicial system and
           undermines the rule of law, which we are  bound  to  honour  and
           protect.  This is essential to maintain faith and confidence  of
           the people of this country in the judiciary.

      4.     We  have  found  that  the  contemnors   have   maintained   an
           unreasonable stand throughout the proceedings before SEBI,  SAT,
           High Court and even before this Court.   Reports/analysis  filed
           by SEBI on 18.2.2014 make detailed reference to the submissions,
           documents, etc. furnished by  the  contemnors,  which  indicates
           that they are filing  and  making  unacceptable  statements  and
           affidavits all through and even  in  the  contempt  proceedings.
           Documents and affidavits produced by the  contemnors  themselves
           would apparently falsify their refund theory  and  cast  serious
           doubts about the existence of the so-called investors.  All  the
           fact finding authorities have opined that majority of  investors
           do not exist.  Preservation of  market  integrity  is  extremely
           important for economic growth of this country and  for  national
           interest.  Maintaining  investors’  confidence  requires  market
           integrity and control  of  market  abuse.   Market  abuse  is  a
           serious financial crime  which  undermines  the  very  financial
           structure of this country and  will  make  imbalance  in  wealth
           between haves and have nots.

      5.    We notice, on this day  also,  no  proposal  is  forthcoming  to
           honour the judgment of this Court dated 31st  August,  2012  and
           the orders passed  by  this  Court  on  December  05,  2012  and
           February  25,  2013  by  the  three  Judge   Bench.    In   such
           circumstances,  in  exercise  of  the  powers  conferred   under
           Articles 129 and 142 of the  Constitution  of  India,  we  order
           detention of all the contemnors, except  Mrs.  Vandana  Bhargava
           (the fourth respondent) and send them  to  judicial  custody  at
           Delhi, till the next date of hearing.  This concession is  being
           extended towards the fourth respondent because she  is  a  woman
           Director, and also, to enable the contemnors to be in a position
           to propose an acceptable solution for execution of  our  orders,
           by coordinating with the detenues.  Mrs.  Vandana Bhargava,  who
           herself is one of the Directors, is permitted  to  be  in  touch
           with the  rest  of  the  contemnors  and  submit  an  acceptable
           proposal arrived at during their detention, so  that  the  Court
           can pass appropriate orders.

      6.    List on March 11, 2014 at  2.00  p.m.   All  the  contemnors  be
           produced in Court on that  date.   Mrs.  Vandana  Bhargava,  the
           fourth respondent, to appear on her own.   However,  liberty  is
           granted for mentioning the matters for preponement of the  date,
           if a concrete and acceptable proposal  can  be  offered  in  the
           meantime.”

2.    When this matter came up for hearing for the first time on  12.3.2014,
Mr. Ram Jethmalani, learned Senior Counsel  appearing  for  the  petitioner,
sought liberty to make a frank and candid submission.  He told us,  that  it
would be embarrassing for him, to canvass the submissions which he is  bound
to raise in the  matter  before  us,  i.e.,  before  the  Bench  as  it  was
presently structured.  It was also his submission, that hearing this  matter
would also discomfort and embarrass us as  well.   He  therefore  suggested,
that we should recuse ourselves from hearing the case, and require it to  be
heard by another composition, not including either of us.

3.     Mr.  Arvind  Datar,  learned  Senior  Counsel,  appearing   for   the
respondents,  vociferously  implored  us  not  to  withdraw  ourselves  from
hearing the case.  It was his vigorous and  emphatic  contention,  that  the
present petition was not maintainable, either under the  provisions  of  the
Constitution of India, or under any other law of  the  land.   Inviting  the
Court’s attention to the heading of the petition, it was submitted, that  it
did not disclose any legal provision, whereunder the present  writ  petition
had been filed.  He submitted, that as per its  own  showing  (ascertainable
from the title of the petition), the present writ petition had  been  filed,
under the power recognized and exercised by this Court, in A.R.  Antulay  v.
R.S. Nayak, (1988) 2 SCC 602.  It was  the  assertion  of  learned  counsel,
that the above judgment, has now been clarified by  this  Court.   According
to learned counsel, it has now been settled, that  the  above  judgment  did
not fashion or create any such power or jurisdiction, as  is  sought  to  be
invoked by the petitioner.

4.    Besides the above purely legal submission, learned Senior Counsel  for
the  respondents  equally  candidly  submitted,  that  the  filing  of  this
petition was a carefully engineered device, adopted by the petitioner  as  a
stratagem, to seek our withdrawal from the matter.  In  order  to  emphasise
that  this  Bench  was  being  arm  twisted,  learned  counsel  invited  our
attention to the foot of the  last  page  of  the  petition,  i.e.,  to  the
authorship of the petition, just under the  prayer  clause.   The  text,  to
which our attention was drawn, is set out below:-
      “Signed and approved by:-

      Mr. Ram Jethmalani, Sr. Adv.
      Dr. Rajeev Dhawan, Sr. Adv.
      Mr. Rakesh Dwivedi, Sr. Adv.
      Mr. S. Ganesh, Sr. Adv.
      Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Sr. Adv.”

According to learned counsel, this is the first petition he has seen in  his
entire professional career, which is settled by five Senior Counsel, all  of
them of recognized eminence.

5.    It would be relevant to mention, that when the  matter  was  taken  up
for hearing by us, for the first time on 12.3.2014 at 2.00 PM, it  had  been
so listed on the directions of Hon’ble the Chief Justice in  furtherance  of
a  “mentioning  for  listing”,  on  the  morning  of  the  same  day,  i.e.,
12.3.2014.  We had therefore, no occasion to go  through  the  pleadings  of
the present writ petition.  After having heard submissions of rival  counsel
noticed above, we decided not to  proceed  with  the  matter,  before  going
through the pleadings of the case.  We therefore  directed  the  posting  of
the case for hearing on the following day, i.e., 13.3.2014.

6.    By the next date, we had an opportunity to determine, how exactly  the
matter was listed before us, as also, to ascertain whether the pleadings  of
the  present  criminal  writ  petition  incorporated  material  which  would
embarrass us, as suggested by the learned counsel for  the  petitioner.   So
far as the filing and listing of the present petition is concerned,  it  was
filed by the  petitioner  in  the  Registry  of  this  Court  on  11.3.2014.
Thereafter, learned counsel for the petitioner, appeared  before  the  Bench
presided over by Hon’ble the Chief Justice, on the morning of  12.3.2014  to
“mention for listing”, for the same day.  The  Court  Master  of  the  Bench
presided over by Hon’ble the Chief Justice, recorded the following note:-
      “As  directed  list  today  i.e.,  12.3.2014,  if  in  order,  in  the
      mentioning list at 2.00 PM, before appropriate Bench.”

For the concerned Bench before which  the  matter  was  to  be  posted,  the
noting file of the branch, reads as under:-
      “Apprised.
      May  be  listed  before   the   Special   Bench   comprising   Hon’ble
      Mr. Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Hon’ble Mr. Justice J.S. Khehar.”

The above note was recorded on the directions of Hon’ble the Chief  Justice.
 A perusal of the above sequence of events reveals,  that  even  though  our
combination as a Bench did not exist for 12.3.2014, yet a Special Bench  was
constituted  for  listing  the  present  writ  petition,  in   its   present
arrangement.   It  is  therefore  reasonable  to  infer,  that  the  present
constitution of the Bench, was a  conscious  determination  of  Hon’ble  the
Chief Justice.

7.    Now the embarrassment part.  Having gone through the pleadings of  the
writ petition we were satisfied, that nothing  expressed  therein  could  be
assumed, as would humiliate or discomfort us by putting  us  to  shame.   To
modify an earlier order passed by us, for a mistake we may  have  committed,
which is apparent on the face of the record, is a jurisdiction we  regularly
exercise under Article 137 of the Constitution of India.  Added to that,  it
is open to a party to file a curative petition as  held  by  this  Court  in
Rupa Ashok Hurra v. Ashok Hurra, (2002) 4 SCC 388.  These jurisdictions  are
regularly exercised  by  us,  when  made  out,  without  any  embarrassment.
Correction of a wrong order, would never put anyone to  shame.   Recognition
of a mistake, and its rectification, would certainly not put  us  to  shame.
In our considered view, embarrassment would arise when  the  order  assailed
is actuated by personal and/or extraneous considerations, and the  pleadings
record such an accusation.  No such allegation was made in the present  writ
petition.   And  therefore,  we  were  fully  satisfied  that  the   feeling
entertained by the petitioner, that we would not pass an appropriate  order,
if the order impugned dated  4.3.2014  was  found  to  be  partly  or  fully
unjustified, was totally misplaced.

8.    It is therefore, that we informed  learned  Senior  counsel,  that  we
would hear the matter.  It seems that our determination to hear  the  matter
marked to us by Hon’ble the Chief Justice, was not palatable to some of  the
learned counsel for  the  petitioner.   For,  Mr.  Ram  Jethmalani,  learned
Senior Counsel, was now more forthright.  He told us,  that  we  should  not
hear the matter, because “his client” had apprehensions  of  prejudice.   He
would, however, not spell out the basis for such apprehension.   Dr.  Rajeev
Dhawan, came out all guns blazing, in support of his colleague, by posing  a
query: Has the Court made a  mistake,  serious  enough,  giving  rise  to  a
presumption of bias “… even if it is not there  …”?   It  was  difficult  to
understand what he meant.  But seriously, in the manner  Dr.  Rajeev  Dhawan
had  addressed  the  Court,  it  sounded  like  an  insinuation.   Mr.   Ram
Jethmalani joined in to inform us, that the Bar (those sitting on  the  side
he represented) was shell-shocked, that an order violating the  petitioner’s
rights under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, had been  passed,  and
it did not seem to cause any concern to us.  The petitioner had  been  taken
into judicial custody, we were told, without affording him  any  opportunity
of hearing.  Learned counsel asked the  Bench,  to  accept  its  mistake  in
ordering the arrest and detention of the  petitioner,  and  acknowledge  the
“human error” committed by the  Court,  while  passing  the  impugned  order
dated 4.3.2014.  Dr.  Rajeev  Dhawan,  then  informed  the  Court,  that  “…
moments come in the profession, though rarely, when we tell  the  Judges  of
the Supreme Court, that you have committed a terrible terrible  mistake,  by
passing an order which has violated the civil liberties  of  our  client.  …
that the order passed is void …”.   And  moments  later,  referring  to  the
order, he said, “… it is a  draconian  order  …”   The  seriousness  of  the
submissions apart, none of them, even remotely, demonstrated “bias”.

9.    But  Mr.  C.A.  Sundaram,  another  Senior  Counsel  representing  the
petitioner, distanced himself from the above submissions.  He  informed  the
Court,  “… I am not invoking the doctrine of bias, as has  been  alleged  …”
We are of the view, that a genuine plea of bias alone, could have caused  us
to withdraw from the matter, and require  it  to  be  heard  by  some  other
Bench.  Detailed submissions on  the  allegations  constituting  bias,  were
addressed well after proceedings had gone on for a few weeks, the same  have
been dealt with separately (under heading VIII, “Whether the impugned  order
dated  4.3.2014,  is  vitiated  on  account  of  bias?”).   Based   on   the
submissions advanced by learned counsel, we could not persuade ourselves  in
accepting the prayer for recusal.

10.   We have recorded the above narration,  lest  we  are  accused  of  not
correctly depicting the submissions, as they were canvassed before  us.   In
our understanding, the oath of our office, required us to go ahead with  the
hearing.  And not to be overawed by such  submissions.   In  our  view,  not
hearing the matter, would constitute  an  act  in  breach  of  our  oath  of
office, which mandates us to perform the duties of our office, to  the  best
of our ability, without fear or favour, affection  or  ill  will.   This  is
certainly not  the  first  time,  when  solicitation  for  solicitation  for
recusal has been sought by learned  counsel.   Such  a  recorded  peremptory
prayer, was made by Mr. R.K. Anand, an eminent Senior Advocate,  before  the
High Court of Delhi, seeking the recusal of Mr. Justice Manmohan Sarin  from
hearing his personal case.  Mr. Justice Manmohan Sarin while  declining  the
request made by Mr. R.K. Anand, observed as under:
      "The path of recusal is very often a convenient  and  a  soft  option.
      This is especially so since a Judge really has no vested  interest  in
      doing a particular matter. However, the oath  of  office  taken  under
      Article 219 of the Constitution of India enjoins the Judge to duly and
       faithfully and to the best of his knowledge and judgment, perform the
      duties of office without fear or favour, affection or ill  will  while
      upholding the constitution and the laws. In  a case,  where  unfounded
      and motivated allegations of bias are sought to be made with a view of
      forum hunting / Bench preference  or  brow-beating  the  Court,  then,
      succumbing to such a pressure would tantamount to not  fulfilling  the
      oath of office."

The above determination of the High Court of Delhi was assailed before  this
Court  in  R.K.  Anand  v.  Delhi  High  Court,  (2009)  8  SCC  106.    The
determination of the High Court whereby Mr. Justice Manmohan Sarin  declined
to withdraw from the hearing of  the  case  came  to  be  upheld,  with  the
following observations:
      “The above passage, in our view, correctly sums up what should be  the
      Court's response in the face of a request for recusal  made  with  the
      intent to intimidate the court or to get better of  an  `inconvenient'
      judge or to obfuscate the issues or to cause obstruction and delay the
      proceedings or in any other way frustrate or obstruct  the  course  of
      justice.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

11.   In fact, the observations of the High Court  of  Delhi  and  those  of
this Court reflected, exactly how it felt, when  learned  counsel  addressed
the Court, at the commencement of the hearing.  If it was learned  counsel’s
posturing antics, aimed at bench-hunting  or  bench-hopping  (or  should  we
say,  bench-avoiding),  we  would  not  allow  that.   Affronts,  jibes  and
carefully  and  consciously  planned  snubs  could  not   deter   us,   from
discharging our onerous responsibility.  We could at any  time,  during  the
course of hearing, walk out and make way, for another Bench  to  decide  the
matter, if ever we felt that, that would be the righteous course to  follow.
 Whether or not, it would be better for another Bench  to  hear  this  case,
will emerge from the conclusions,  we  will  draw,  in  the  course  of  the
present determination.

12.   What is it that this Court had done through its order dated  31.8.2012
while  upholding  the  earlier  orders  passed  by  the  SEBI  (FTM)  (dated
23.6.2011) and the SAT (dated 18.10.2011)?   We  had  merely  confirmed  the
directions earlier issued  to  the  two  companies,  to  refund  the  moneys
collected by them from investors, who had subscribed  to  their  OFCD’s,  by
the SEBI (FTM) and by the SAT.  The  directions  did  not  extend  to  funds
contributed by the promoters, the directors or the other stakeholders.   The
refund did not include any  business  gains  earned  by  the  two  companies
during the  subsistence  of  their  enterprise.   According  to  the  stance
adopted by the two companies before this Court,  all  the  investors’  money
collected through OFCD’s, had mainly been invested with the other  companies
of the Sahara Group.  This position was expressly  reiterated,  in  the  two
separate affidavits filed by Sahara India Real  Estate  Corporation  Limited
(hereinafter  referred  to  as  ‘SIRECL’)  and  Sahara  Housing   Investment
Corporation Limited (hereinafter referred to  as  ‘SHICL’)  dated  4.1.2012,
before this Court.  It is now their case, that these  properties  were  sold
to other Sahara Group companies to redeem the OFCD’s.  It is  therefore  all
within the companies of the Sahara Group.  That is  how,  sale  transactions
by way of cash have been explained.  It is therefore apparent, that  we  had
not directed a refund of any other amount, besides that which was  collected
from the investors themselves.  The petitioner  herein  –  Mr.  Subrata  Roy
Sahara, during the course of his personal oral  hearing  informed  us,  that
most of the investments were made by petty  peasants,  labourers,  cobblers,
blacksmiths, woodcutters  and  other  such  like  artisans,  ranging  mostly
between Rs.2,000/- and Rs.3,000/-.  Almost all the investors,  according  to
the petitioner, did not even have a bank account.  That was  why,  they  had
chosen to invest the same through OFCD’s, in  the  two  companies.   If  the
above position was/is correct, and the refund related only to deposits  made
by these petty poor citizens of this country, why are the two  companies  or
the petitioner – Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara, in his capacity  as  promoter,  and
the other concerned directors, so agitated with  our  order.   The  findings
against the two companies  have  been  concurrent.   At  all  levels,  where
issues raised by  the  two  companies  were  considered  and  agitated,  the
determination has been in one voice, that the action of  the  two  companies
was unlawful and accordingly  the  moneys  collected  had  to  be  refunded.
There is not even a single  order  at  any  level,  in  favour  of  the  two
companies.  The two companies were required  to  refund  the  money  to  its
investors, because of the absolute illegality in its collection.

13.   Because both the SEBI and the SAT were doubtful about the veracity  of
the receipt of the funds as alleged, they had directed  the  refund  to  the
investors by way of cash “through” demand draft or pay  order.   During  the
course of final hearing of the  appellate  proceedings  before  this  Court,
submissions were heard over a  period  of  three  weeks  during  the  summer
vacation.  We entertained  a  similar  impression  and  suspicion.   Firstly
because, the two companies never made available any information sought  from
them. They always stonewalled all attempts  to  gather  information  by  the
SEBI, even by exerting influence from the  Ministry  of  Corporate  Affairs,
and by raising purely technical pleas.  And also because,  the  little  bits
of information made available by the companies for  evaluation,  were  found
to be seriously doubtful.  It is also important for us to record,  that  the
pointed position adopted by the SEBI before this Court, during the  disposal
of Civil Appeal nos. 9813 and 9833 of 2011 was,  that  neither  SIRECL,  nor
SHICL, ever provided details of its  investors  to  the  SEBI  (FTM).   They
contested the proceedings initiated by the SEBI  (FTM),  only  on  technical
grounds.  We were told that even before the SAT, no details were  furnished.
 The position remained the same, even before this Court.  Based on  the  non
disclosure of information sought  from  the  two    companies,  it  was  not
possible to record a firm finding, either ways.  It is,  therefore,  that  a
different procedure was adopted by this Court while  disposing  the  appeals
preferred by the two companies, vide order dated 31.8.2012.   The  companies
were restrained from making direct refunds.  They were directed  to  deposit
all investor related funds (along with interest) with the  SEBI.   The  SEBI
was in turn directed, to make the refunds to the  investors.   In  case  the
investors could not be identified, or  were  found  to  be  non-existent  or
bogus, the  remaining  funds  along  with  interest,  were  directed  to  be
deposited with the Government of  India.   This  seems  to  us,  to  be  the
reason, for all these twists and turns, in the  aftermath  of  this  Court’s
order dated 31.8.2012.  If the two companies were ready and willing  to  pay
the money, as has been made out, on  behalf  of  the  two  companies,  there
would be no cause for agitation.

14.   One of the reasons for retaining  the  instant  petition  for  hearing
with ourselves was, that we had heard eminent Senior Counsel engaged by  the
two companies exclusively for over three weeks during  the  summer  vacation
of 2012.  We had been taken through thousands of  pages  of  pleadings.   We
had the occasion to watch the demeanour and  defences  adopted  by  the  two
companies and the  contemnors  from  time  to  time,  from  close  quarters.
Writing the judgment, had  occupied  the  entire  remaining  period  of  the
summer vacation of 2012, as also, about two months  of  further  time.   The
judgment dated 31.8.2012 runs into  269  printed  pages.   Both  of  us  had
rendered separate judgments, concurring with one another, on each aspect  of
the matter.  During the course of writing the judgment, we had the  occasion
to minutely examine numerous communications,  exchanged  between  the  rival
parties.  That too had resulted in a different kind of understanding,  about
the controversy.  For any other Bench  to  understand  the  nuances  of  the
controversy determined through our  order  dated  31.8.2012,  would  require
prolonged hearing of the matter.  Months of time, just in  the  same  manner
as we had taken while passing the order dated 31.8.2012, would  have  to  be
spent again.  Possibly the submissions made by the learned  counsel  seeking
our recusal, was consciously aimed at the above  objective.   Was  this  the
reason for the theatrics, of some of the learned Senior Counsel?   Difficult
to say for sure.  But deep within, don’t we all  understand?   It  was  also
for the sake of saving precious time of this Court, that we decided to  bear
the  brunt  and  the  rhetoric,  of  some  of  the  learned  Senior  Counsel
representing the petitioner.  We are therefore satisfied, that it would  not
be better, for another Bench to hear this case.


II.   Must judicial orders be obeyed at all costs?

      Can a judicial order be disregarded, if the  person  concerned  feels,
      that the order is wholly illegal and void?

15.   By the time a Judge is called upon  to  serve  on  the  Bench  of  the
Supreme  Court  of  India,   he   understands   his   responsibilities   and
duties…..and also his powers and authority.  A Judge has the solemn duty  of
deciding  conflicting  issues  between   rival   parties.    Rival   parties
inevitably claim diagonally opposite rights.  The decision  has  however  to
be rendered in favour of one party (and against the other).  That,  however,
is not a cause for much worry, because a Judge is to decide  every  dispute,
in consonance with law.  If one is not free to  decide  in  consonance  with
his will, but must decide in consonance with law, the  concept  of  a  Judge
being an individual possessing power and authority, is but a delusion.   The
saving grace is, that only a few  understand  this  reality.    But  what  a
Judge is taught during his arduous and onerous journey to the Supreme  Court
is, that his calling is based on, the faith and confidence  reposed  in  him
to serve his country, its institutions and citizens.  Each one of the  above
(the country, its institutions and citizens), needs to be  preserved.   Each
of them grows to prosper, with  the  others’  support.   Each  of  them  has
duties, obligations and responsibilities…..and  also  rights,  benefits  and
advantages.   Their  harmonious  glory,  emerges  from,  what  is   commonly
understood as, “the rule of law.”  The  judiciary  as  an  institution,  has
extremely sacrosanct duties, obligations and responsibilities. We shall,  in
the  succeeding  paragraphs,  attempt  to  express  these,   in   a   formal
perspective.

16.   The President of India is vested with executive power  of  the  Union.
All executive actions of the Government of India, are expressed to be  taken
in his name.  The responsibility, and the power,  which  is  vested  in  the
President of India, is to be discharged/ exercised, in accordance  with  the
provisions of the Constitution of India.   For that, the President of  India
may even consult the Supreme Court, on a question of law or fact  of  public
importance.  And when so consulted, the Supreme Court is obliged  to  tender
its opinion to  the  President.   Furthermore,  the  Constitution  of  India
contemplates, that law declared by the Supreme  Court,  is  binding  on  all
courts within the territory of India.  It also mandates, that an order  made
by the Supreme Court, is enforceable  throughout  the  territory  of  India.
But what is the scope of the law declared by the Supreme  Court?   And  what
are the kinds of orders it passes? The Supreme Court has  been  vested  with
the power to decide substantial questions of law, as also, to interpret  the
provisions of the  Constitution  of  India.   The  Supreme  Court  exercises
jurisdiction to determine, whether or not, laws made by Parliament or  by  a
State Legislature, are consistent with the provisions  of  the  Constitution
of India.  And in case any legislation is found to be enacted, in  violation
of the provisions of the Constitution of India, this  Court  is  constrained
to strike it down.  The resultant effect is,  that  a  law  enacted  by  the
Parliament or by a State Legislature, is declared illegal or void.  After  a
Court’s verdict has attained finality, not once, never and  never,  has  any
legislative body ever disobeyed or disrespected an order passed by a  court,
declaring a legislation, illegal or void.  The Supreme Court also  exercises
original jurisdiction, to settle disputes between the  Government  of  India
and one or more States; or between the  Government  of  India  and  any  one
State or more States on the one side, and one or more other  States  on  the
other; or between two or more States.    In such disputes, the  order  could
be in favour of (or against), the Government of India,  and/or  one  or  the
other State Government(s) concerned.  Yet, the orders passed by the  Supreme
Court on the above disputes, have unfailingly  been  accepted  and  complied
with, despite the  seriousness  of  the  consequences,  emerging  from  such
orders.  The settlement of such disputes by the Supreme Court, has not  ever
earned scorn, disdain, disrespect or denigration of the  parties  concerned.
The Supreme Court also enforces through its writ  jurisdiction,  fundamental
rights  of  the  citizens  of  this  country.     In  case  an  individual’s
fundamental  rights  (or  other  legal  rights),  are  found  to  have  been
violated, the Government of India, or the  concerned  State  Government,  or
the instrumentality/institution concerned, is directed  to  restore  to  the
individual,   what   is   due   to   him.    The    Government    (or    the
instrumentality/institution)  concerned,  which  is   directed   to   extend
benefits denied to  an  individual(s),  has  always  honourably  obeyed  and
implemented Court  orders,  gracefully.   There  are  numerous  institutions
created to assist the executive government, in matters of governance.   Some
of them are constitutional authorities, others are creatures,  either  of  a
legislation or of the executive.  The object of executive governance, is  to
enforce duties,  obligations  and  responsibilities,  and  also,  to  extend
rights, benefits  and  advantages.   Courts  also  exercise,  the  power  of
judicial  review,  over  actions  of  such   instrumentalities/institutions.
While exercising the power of judicial review, Courts also pass  orders  and
directions, to enforce legal rights.  Courts are rarely  confronted  with  a
situation  where  an  executive  department   of   a   government,   or   an
instrumentality/institution, has denied compliance.  Likewise,  the  Supreme
Court is also vested with the responsibility to adjudicate private  disputes
between  individuals  (both  civil  and  criminal),  so  as  to   render   a
determination of  their  individual  rights.   These  too,  are  as  a  rule
(almost) always complied with voluntarily and gracefully.

17.   There is no escape from, acceptance, or obedience,  or  compliance  of
an order passed by the Supreme Court, which is the  final  and  the  highest
Court, in the country.  Where would we find ourselves, if the Parliament  or
a State Legislature insists, that  a  statutory  provision  struck  down  as
unconstitutional, is valid?   Or, if a  decision  rendered  by  the  Supreme
Court, in exercise  of  its  original  jurisdiction,  is  not  accepted  for
compliance, by either the Government of  India,  and/or  one  or  the  other
State  Government(s)  concerned?   What  if,  the  concerned  government  or
instrumentality, chooses not to give effect to a Court order, declaring  the
fundamental right of a citizen?  Or, a determination rendered by a Court  to
give effect to a legal right,  is  not  acceptable  for  compliance?   Where
would we be, if decisions  on  private  disputes  rendered  between  private
individuals, are not complied with?  The answer though preposterous, is  not
far fetched.  In view of  the  functional  position  of  the  Supreme  Court
depicted  above,  non-compliance  of  its   orders,   would   dislodge   the
cornerstone maintaining the equilibrium  and  equanimity  in  the  country’s
governance.  There would be a breakdown of constitutional  functioning.   It
would be a mayhem of sorts.

18.   Before we advert  to  the  question,  whether  this  Court  can  order
obedience of an order passed by it, it may be relevant  to  understand,  the
extent and width of jurisdiction, within the framework  whereof  this  Court
can pass orders.  In this behalf reference may be  made  to  the  nine-Judge
Constitution Bench judgment of this Court, in  Naresh  Sridhar  Mirajkar  v.
State of Maharashtra, AIR 1967 SC 1, wherein it was held as under:-
      “60. There is yet another  aspect  of  this  matter  to  which  it  is
      necessary to refer. The High Court is a superior Court of  Record  and
      under Article 215, shall have all powers of such  a  Court  of  Record
      including the power to punish contempt of itself.  One  distinguishing
      characteristic of such superior Courts is that they  are  entitled  to
      consider questions of their  jurisdiction  raised  before  them.  This
      question fell to be considered by this Court in Special Reference  No.
      1 of 1964, (1965) 1 S.C.R. 413 at p. 499. In that case, it  was  urged
      before this Court that in granting bail  to  Keshav  Singh,  the  High
      Court had exceeded its jurisdiction and  as  such,  the  order  was  a
      nullity. Rejecting this argument, this Court observed that in the case
      of a superior Court of Record, it is for the Court to consider whether
      any matter falls within its jurisdiction or not.  Unlike  a  court  of
      limited jurisdiction, the superior court is entitled to determine  for
      itself questions about its own jurisdiction. That is  why  this  Court
      did not accede to the  proposition  that  in  passing  the  order  for
      interim bail, the  High  Court  can  be  said  to  have  exceeded  its
      jurisdiction with the result that the order in question was  null  and
      void. In support of  this  view,  this  Court  cited  a  passage  from
      Halsbury's Laws of England where it is observed that:-

           “prima facie, no matter is deemed to be beyond the  jurisdiction
           of a superior court unless it is expressly shown to be so, while
           nothing is within the jurisdiction of an inferior  court  unless
           it is expressly shown on the face of the  proceedings  that  the
           particular matter is within the  cognizance  of  the  particular
           Court." (Halsbury's Laws of England, Vol. 9, p. 349).”.

      If the decision of a superior Court on a question of its  jurisdiction
      is erroneous, it can, of course, be corrected by appeal or revision as
      may be permissible under the law; but  until  the  adjudication  by  a
      superior  Court  on  such  a  point  is  set  aside  by  adopting  the
      appropriate course, it would not  be  open  to  be  corrected  by  the
      exercise of the writ jurisdiction of this Court.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

Just like High Courts, the Supreme Court is  a  superior  Court  of  Record.
This mandate is expressly contained in Article 129 of  the  Constitution  of
India.  Since it is not the case of the petitioner before this  Court,  that
there is  some  legislative  or  constitutional  provision,  curtailing  the
jurisdiction of this Court,  to  pass  an  order  of  the  nature  which  is
impugned through the instant writ petition,  it  stands  acknowledged,  that
the above order has been passed by this Court,  in  legitimate  exercise  of
its jurisdiction.

19.   On the subject of obedience of  orders  passed  by  this  Court,  this
Court recently in K.A. Ansari v. Indian Airlines Ltd.,  (2009)  2  SCC  164,
observed thus:  “The respondent Indian Airlines  was  obliged  to  obey  and
implement the … direction.  If they had any doubt or if the  order  was  not
clear, it was always open to them to approach the  court  for  clarification
of  the  …  order.   Without  challenging  the  …   direction   or   seeking
clarification, Indian Airlines could not circumvent the same, on any  ground
whatsoever.  Difficulty in implementation of an order passed by  the  Court,
howsoever grave its effect may be, is no  answer  for  its  non-compliance.”
It is therefore that Article 142 of the Constitution of India mandates  that
this Court “…in exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such  decree  or  make
such order as is necessary for  doing  complete  justice  in  any  cause  or
matter pending before it, and any decree so passed or order  so  made  shall
be enforceable throughout the territory of India…”  And  it  is  also  inter
alia for the above enforcement, that Article  129  of  the  Constitution  of
India, vests in the Supreme  Court  the  power,  amongst  other  things,  to
enforce  compliance  of  Court  directions.   The  Supreme  Court  has   the
jurisdiction  and  power,  to  punish  for  its  contempt.    It   is   this
dispensation, which authorizes the Supreme Court to  enforce  compliance  of
its orders.  For, the power to punish, would serve no purpose, if the  power
to enforce compliance was lacking.   It was, therefore, that this  Court  in
Maninderjit Singh Bitta v. Union of India, (2012) 1 SCC 273, with  reference
to its contempt jurisdiction observed, thus:-
      “26.  It is also of some relevance to note that disobedience of  court
      orders by positive  or  active  contribution  or  non-obedience  by  a
      passive and dormant conduct leads to the same result. Disobedience  of
      orders of the court strikes at the very root of rule of law  on  which
      the judicial system rests. The rule of law  is  the  foundation  of  a
      democratic society. Judiciary is the guardian of the rule of  law.  If
      the Judiciary is to perform its duties and functions  effectively  and
      remain true to the spirit with which they are sacredly entrusted,  the
      dignity and authority of the courts have to be respected and protected
      at all costs (refer T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad vs. Ashok Khot, (2006)
      5 SCC 1). The proceedings before the highest court of the  land  in  a
      public interest litigation, attain even more significance.  These  are
      the cases which come up for hearing before the court  on  a  grievance
      raised by the public at large or public spirited  persons.  The  State
      itself places matters before the Court for determination  which  would
      fall, statutorily  or  otherwise,  in  the  domain  of  the  executive
      authority.

      27.   It is where the State and its instrumentalities have  failed  to
      discharge its statutory functions  or  have  acted  adversely  to  the
      larger public interest that the courts are called upon to interfere in
      exercise of their extraordinary jurisdiction to ensure maintenance  of
      the rule of law. These are the cases which have impact in  rem  or  on
      larger section of the society and not in personam simpliciter.  Courts
      are called upon to exercise jurisdiction with twin  objects  in  mind.
      Firstly, to punish the persons who have disobeyed or not  carried  out
      orders of the court i.e. for their past  conduct.  Secondly,  to  pass
      such orders, including imprisonment and use the contempt  jurisdiction
      as a tool for compliance of its orders in future. This  principle  has
      been applied in the United States and Australia as well.

      34.   Having found them guilty under the provisions of  the  1971  Act
      and under Article 129 of the Constitution  of  India,  we  punish  the
      Secretary, Transport and Commissioner, State Road Transport  Authority
      of the State of Haryana as under:


           (i)   They are punished to pay a fine of Rs.2,000/- each and  in
           default, they shall be liable to undergo simple imprisonment for
           a period of fifteen days.


           (ii)  We impose exemplary cost of Rs.50,000/- on  the  State  of
           Haryana, which amount, at the first instance, shall be  paid  by
           the State but would be recovered from the salaries of the erring
           officers/officials of the State in accordance with law and  such
           recovery proceedings be concluded within six months.  The  costs
           would be payable to the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee.

           (iii)       In view of the principle that the courts also invoke
           contempt jurisdiction as a tool for compliance of its orders  in
           future,  we  hereby  direct  the  State   Government   and   the
           Respondent/contemnor herein now to positively  comply  with  the
           orders and implement the scheme within eight weeks from today.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

In this context, the following observations made by this Court,  in  Supreme
Court Bar Association v. Union of India, (1998) 4 SCC  409,  illustrate  the
point sought to be made:
      “42.  The contempt of court is a special jurisdiction to be  exercised
      sparingly and with caution, whenever  an  act  adversely  effects  the
      administration of justice or which tends to impede its course or tends
      to  shake  public  confidence  in  the  judicial  institutions.   This
      jurisdiction  may  also  be  exercised  when  the  act  complained  of
      adversely effects the Majesty of Law or dignity  of  the  courts.  The
      purpose of contempt jurisdiction is to uphold the majesty and  dignity
      of the Courts of law. It is an unusual type of jurisdiction  combining
      "the jury, the judge and the hangman" and it is so because  the  court
      is not adjudicating upon any claim between  litigating  parties.  This
      jurisdiction is not exercised to protect the dignity of an  individual
      judge  but  to  protect  the  administration  of  justice  from  being
      maligned. In the general interest of the community  it  is  imperative
      that the authority of courts should not be imperiled and there  should
      be no unjustifiable interference in the administration of justice.  It
      is a matter between the court and  the  contemner  and  third  parties
      cannot intervene. It is exercised in a summary manner in  aid  of  the
      administration of justice, the majesty of law and the dignity  of  the
      courts. No such act can be permitted which may have  the  tendency  to
      shake the public confidence in the fairness and  impartiality  of  the
      administration of justice.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

We are satisfied to hold, that the provisions  referred  to  by  us  in  the
order dated 4.3.2014 (Articles 129 and 142 of  the  Constitution  of  India)
vest in the Supreme Court, the power to persuade, and if  necessary,  compel
obedience and observance, of judicial orders.  It is not possible,  to  view
this matter in any other perspective, in the background  of  the  conclusion
recorded by us hereinabove, namely, non-compliance  of  the  orders  of  the
Supreme Court, would dislodge the cornerstone  maintaining  the  equilibrium
and equanimity, in the governance  of  this  country.   This  has  been  the
manner of understanding, of the power of this  Court.   In  case  there  has
been any ambiguity, let it now  be  understood,  that  this  Court  has  the
unlimited power (in fact, the sacred obligation), to  compel  obedience  and
observance of its orders.


III.  Facts reflecting the demeanour of the two companies,  the  petitioner,
      and other directors of SIRECL and SHICL, in the process of litigation,
      leading upto the passing of the order dated 31.8.2012.

20.   During our entire careers as  Advocates  practicing  before  the  High
Court and before this Court, and as Judges  of  different  High  Courts,  as
Chief Justices of High Courts in different States, and also,  as  Judges  of
this Court, we have yet to experience a demeanour of  defiance,  similar  to
the one adopted by SIRECL or SHICL or their  promoter  and  directors.   The
responsibility  of  the  above  defiance,  which  constituted  a  rebellious
behaviour, challenging the authority of the SEBI,  from  investigating  into
the  affairs  of  the  two  companies,  required  brazenness,  flowing  from
unfathomable  power  and  authority.    It   is   therefore   essential   to
recapitulate, the demeanour adopted by the two companies,  before  the  SEBI
(FTM), which position remained unaltered, before the SAT.  These need to  be
highlighted, to fully understand how a litigant can behave,  to  defeat  the
cause of  justice.   The  responsibility  for  the  above  demeanour,  would
essentially fall, on the shoulders of the promoter, and  the  directors,  of
the two companies.  As a  matter  of  fact,  Mr.  Subrata  Roy  Sahara  (the
petitioner before this Court), Ms. Vandana Bhargava (the  director  exempted
from arrest, in the impugned order dated 4.3.2014), Mr. Ravi  Shankar  Dubey
and Mr. Ashok Roy Choudhary (the directors, whose arrest and  detention  was
ordered by this Court, along with that of the petitioner, on 4.3.2014)  were
expressly named by the SEBI, and prohibitory orders were passed by the  SEBI
(FTM),  against  the  afore-stated   promoter   and   directors,   expressly
restraining them from carrying out various  activities  connected  with  the
two companies.  It is also essential, to refer to  the  disposition  of  the
two companies (under reference),  in  the  proceedings  initiated  by  them,
before  the  High  Court  of  Judicature   at   Allahabad,   Lucknow   Bench
(hereinafter  referred  to  as,  ‘the  High  Court’).   The  above  referred
disposition, led to passing of strictures, and the vacation  of  an  interim
order passed by the High Court, in  their  favour.   That  too,  would  show
their spirit of defiance.  The impressions gathered by this Court, when  the
two companies appeared before this Court in Civil Appeal Nos. 9813 and  9833
of 2011, are also significant.  Thus, the above details are  being  set  out
briefly, herein below.

21.   A  complaint  was  addressed  by  “Professional  Group  for  Investors
Protection” on 25.12.2009, alleging  violation  of  the  provisions  of  the
Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992  (hereinafter  referred  to
as, ‘the SEBI Act’), against the  companies  under  reference.   On  similar
lines, another complaint was addressed to the SEBI by one  “Roshan  Lal”  on
04.01.2010.  In order to probe the authenticity of the  allegations  leveled
in the complaints, the SEBI sought information from Enam Securities  Private
Limited -  a  merchant  banker.   In  its  response  dated  21.2.2010,  Enam
Securities Private Limited asserted, that the OFCDs  issued  by  SIRECL  and
SHICL, had been issued in conformity with all applicable laws.  In  sum  and
substance, the above merchant banker did not tender any reply,  which  could
have been of help, to determine the authenticity of the allegations  leveled
in the complaints.

22.   All the  same,  the  SEBI  again  sought  further  details  from  Enam
Securities Private Limited.  The particulars of the information  sought  are
being extracted herein below:
      “a.   details regarding the filing of RHP of the said  companies  with
           the concerned RoC.
      b.    date of opening and closing of the subscription list.
      c.    details regarding the number  of  application  forms  circulated
           after the filing of the RHP with RoC.
      d.    details regarding the number of applications received.
      e.    the number of allottees
      f.    list of allottees.
      g.    the date of allotment.
      h.    date of dispatch of debenture certificates etc.
      i.     copies  of  application  forms,  RHP,   pamphlets   and   other
           promotional material circulated.”


Enam Securities Private Limited, however, did not  furnish  the  information
sought.

23.   The SEBI then directly sought the desired information from SIRECL  and
SHICL,  through  two  separate  letters  dated   12.05.2010.    Instead   of
furnishing the details  of  the  information  sought,  the  companies  under
reference, required the SEBI to  furnish  them  the  complaints,  which  had
prompted it to seek the information.

24.    The  SEBI  again  addressed  separate  communications  to   the   two
companies, dated 21.5.2010, seeking the same  information.   Both  companies
adopted the same posture, yet again.  This time, however,  SIRECL,  as  well
as, SHICL pointed out to the SEBI, that it had no  jurisdiction  to  inquire
into the affairs of the two companies, under  the  provisions  of  the  SEBI
Act.

25.   The SEBI repeated its request to the two companies, for  the  required
information, through two  separate  communications,  dated  11.06.2010.   On
this  occasion,  the  two  companies  addressed   separate   letters   dated
16.06.2010  to  the  SEBI,  informing  it,  that   they   had   received   a
communication from the office of the Union Minister of State  for  Corporate
Affairs, to the effect, that the jurisdictional  issue  raised  by  the  two
companies,  was  under  the  consideration  of  the  Ministry  of  Corporate
Affairs.  Accordingly, the two companies informed the SEBI, that they  would
furnish the information sought, only upon the  Ministry’s  conclusion,  that
the SEBI had the jurisdiction in the matter.

26.   In view of the posture adopted by the  two  companies,  summons  dated
30.8.2010 and 23.9.2010, were issued under Section 11C of the  SEBI  Act  to
them, to provide the following information:
      “1.   Details regarding filing  of  prospectus/Red-herring  Prospectus
           with ROC for issuance of OFCDs.
      2.     Copies  of  the  application  forms,  Red-Herring   Prospectus,
           Pamphlets,  advertisements  and  other   promotional   materials
           circulated for issuance of OFCDs.
      3.     Details  regarding  number  of  application  forms  circulated,
           inviting subscription for OFCDs.
      4.    Details regarding number of applications and subscription amount
           received for OFCDs.
      5.    Date of opening and closing of the  subscription  list  for  the
           said OFCDs.
      6.    Number and list of allottees for the said OFCDs and  the  number
           of OFCDs allotted and  value  of  such  allotment  against  each
           allottee’s name;
      7.    Date of allotment of OFCDs;
      8.    Copies of the minutes of Board/committee meeting  in  which  the
           resolution has been passed for allotment;
      9     Copy of Form 2 (along with annexures) filed with  ROC,  if  any,
           regarding issuance of OFCDs or  equity  shares  arising  out  of
           conversion of such OFCDs.
      10.   Copies of the Annual Reports filed with Registrar  of  Companies
           for the immediately preceding two financial years.
      11.   Date of dispatch of debenture certificate etc.”


The aforesaid summons were  responded  to  by  the  companies,  through  two
separate  communications  dated  13.09.2010,  wherein  the  companies  again
adopted the stance, that the SEBI had no jurisdiction  in  the  matter,  and
further, that the matter of jurisdiction was being examined by the  Ministry
of Corporate Affairs.  Based on the above response, the  companies  required
the SEBI to withdraw the above summons (dated 30.8.2010 and 23.9.2010).

27.   On 30.09.2010, through separate letters issued by  SIRECL  and  SHICL,
the companies adopted the stance,  that  they  did  not  have  the  complete
information sought by the SEBI.  This was indeed a shocking  disclosure,  by
two statutory entities, holding thousands of crores of rupees of  investment
funds, deposited by  crores  of  investors.   Such  like  absurdities,  were
routine defences, adopted by the two companies.

28.   The Chief Financial Officer of the Sahara  India  Group  of  Companies
sought an opportunity of personal hearing.   The  SEBI  (FTM)  afforded  the
above sought opportunity of hearing, on 03.11.2010.  During  the  course  of
hearing, it was impressed upon the Chief Financial Officer, that  he  should
furnish information solicited by the SEBI (through  the  aforesaid  summons,
dated 30.8.2010 and 23.9.2010), fully and  accurately,  without  any  delay.
Despite the above, neither of the two companies, furnished  the  information
sought.

29.   On its own, the SEBI obtained a part of the information, from the MCA-
21  portal  maintained  by  the  Ministry  of   Corporate   Affairs.    This
information had been furnished by SIRECL, to  the  Registrar  of  Companies,
Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand; and by SHICL, to the Registrar of  Companies,
Maharashtra.  By  an  order  dated  24.11.2010,  the  SEBI  (FTM)  drew  the
following inferences/conclusions:
      “Firstly, neither SIRECL nor SHICL  had  denied  their  having  issued
      OFCDs. Secondly, SIRECL as also SHICL acknowledged having  filed  RHPs
      in respect of the OFCDs issued by them with the concerned Registrar of
      Companies.  Thirdly, besides the dates of filing  the  RHPs  with  the
      respective Registrar  of  Companies,  neither  of  the  companies  had
      furnished any other information/document sought from the companies  by
      SEBI.  Fourthly, the companies had adopted a stance, that they did not
      have complete details relating to the securities issued by them.  This
      stance adopted by the  two  companies,  according  to  the  SEBI,  was
      preposterous. Fifthly, SEBI  had  sought  details  of  the  number  of
      application  forms  circulated,  the  number  of   application   forms
      received, the amount of subscription deposited, the number and list of
      allottees, the number of OFCDs allotted, the value of  allotment,  the
      date of allotment, the date of  dispatch  of  debenture  certificates,
      copies of board/committee meetings, minutes of meetings  during  which
      the said  allotment  was  approved.   According  to  SEBI,  since  the
      information sought was merely basic, the denial of  the  same  by  the
      companies  amounted  to  a  calculated  and   deliberate   denial   of
      information.  Sixthly, information sought  by  the  SEBI  depicted  at
      serial number fifthly hereinabove,  was  solicited  to  determine  the
      authenticity of the assertion made by the companies,  that  the  OFCDs
      had been issued by way of private placement. Whereas, it was  believed
      by the SEBI that the companies had issued the  OFCDs  to  the  public.
      Seventhly, since the companies had  adopted  the  position,  that  the
      OFCDs were issued by way of private placement  to  friends,  associate
      group companies, workers/employees  and  other  individuals  who  were
      associated/affiliated/connected to  the  Sahara  Group  of  Companies,
      according to SEBI it was  highly  improbable,  that  the  details  and
      particulars   of   such   friends,    associate    group    companies,
      workers/employees     and     other     individuals     which     were
      associated/affiliated/connected  to  the   Sahara   India   Group   of
      companies, was not available with  them  (for  being  passed  over  to
      SEBI).”


wherein the following summary of inferences was recorded:
      “i.   The issue of OFCDs by the companies have been made to a base  of
           investors that are fifty or more in number.
      ii.   The companies themselves tacitly admit the same as they have  no
           case that funds have been mobilized from a  group  smaller  than
           fifty.
      iii.  A resolution under section 81(1A) of the Act does not take  away
           the ‘public’ nature of the issue.
      iv.   The filing of a prospectus under the Act signifies the intention
           of the issuer to raise funds from the public.


      Therefore, for the aforesaid reasons, the submission of the  companies
      that their OFCD issues are made on private placement and do  not  fall
      under the definition of a public issue, is not tenable.  The instances
      discussed above would prima facie suggest that the offer of OFCDs made
      by the companies is “public” in nature .”


30.   Based on the DIP Guidelines and the ICDR Regulations, the  SEBI  (FTM)
found, that the two companies had committed, the following violations:
      a)    failure to file the draft offer document with SEBI;
      b)    failure to mention the risk factors  and  provide  the  adequate
           disclosures that is stipulated, to enable the investors to  take
           a well-informed decision.
      c)    denied the exit opportunity to the investors.
      d)    failure to lock-in the minimum promoters contribution.
      e)    failure to grade their issue.
      f)    failure to open and close the issue within the  stipulated  time
           limit.
      g)    failure to obtain the credit rating from the  recognized  credit
           rating agency for their instruments.
      h)    failure to appoint a debenture trustee
      i)    failure to create a charge on the assets of the company.
      j)    failure to create debenture redemption reserve, etc.”
Based on the above conclusions, the SEBI (FTM) issued directions by  way  of
an ad interim ex parte order, restraining SIRECL and SHICL  from  mobilizing
funds under their respective RHPs, dated  13.03.3008  and  06.10.2009.   The
companies were also directed, not to offer their equity shares/OFCDs or  any
other securities, to the public and/or invite  subscription  in  any  manner
whatsoever, either directly or indirectly,  till  further  directions.   The
SEBI’s ad interim ex parte order dated 24.11.2010 expressly referred to  Mr.
Subrata Roy Sahara, Ms. Vandana Bhargava, Mr. Ravi  Shankar  Dubey  and  Mr.
Ashok Roy Choudhary.  They were named as  promoter  and  directors,  in  the
RHPs filed  by  the  two  companies,  before  the  respective  Registrar  of
Companies.   The  above  named  promoter  and  directors,   were   expressly
prohibited from issuing prospectus, or any other offer document, or  issuing
advertisement for soliciting  money,  from  the  public  for  the  issue  of
securities, in any manner whatsoever, either directly  or  indirectly,  till
further orders.

31.   The SEBI’s order dated  24.11.2010  was  challenged  before  the  High
Court through Writ Petition  No.11702  (M/B)  of  2010  on  29.11.2010.   On
13.12.2010,  the  High  Court  stayed  the  operation  of  the  order  dated
24.11.2010.  On an application filed by the SEBI,  the  High  Court  vacated
its interim order.   While  vacating  the  interim  order,  the  High  Court
observed, inter alia:
      “4.   …..The petitioners were supposed to cooperate in the inquiry and
      their interest was protected by restraining the SEBI from passing  any
      final  orders.   The  matter  was  being  heard  finally   under   the
      expectation that the assurances given by the learned counsel  for  the
      petitioners would be honoured by the petitioners and the matter  would
      be finished at the earliest.   But  the  petitioners  appear  to  have
      thought otherwise.  The court’s order cannot be allowed to be violated
      or circumvented by any means.


      We, therefore, do not find any ground to  continue  with  the  interim
      order, which is hereby vacated for the own conduct of the  petitioners
      and for which they have to thank their own stars.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)


It is, therefore, apparent that the High Court  had  denied  relief  to  the
companies because of their non-cooperative attitude  in  the  inquiry  being
conducted by the SEBI.  It was also sought to be concluded against  the  two
companies, that they had not honoured the commitments given  to  the  Court.
And further that, they were guilty of violating  and  circumventing  Court’s
orders.  The order passed by the High Court, is yet another instance of  the
defiance  of  the  two  companies,  in  allowing   their   affairs   to   be
investigated.

32.   The SEBI issued yet another show cause notice dated 20.5.2011, to  the
two companies, principally on the same facts and  grounds,  as  the  earlier
show cause notice dated 24.11.2010.  The above  notices  were  contested  by
both  the  companies,  again  on  legal  technicalities.   Importantly,  the
companies yet again, did not furnish any factual details to the  SEBI.   The
defiance continued.

33.   On 23.6.2011, the SEBI(FTM), passed the following directions:-
      “1.   The two Companies, Sahara Commodity Services Corporation Limited
      (earlier known as Sahara India Real Estate  Corporation  Limited)  and
      Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited and  its  promoter,  Mr.
      Subrata Roy Sahara, and the directors of the said  companies,  namely,
      Ms. Vandana Bhargava,  Mr.  Ravi  Shankar  Dubey  and  Mr.  Ashok  Roy
      Choudhary, jointly and severally, shall  forthwith  refund  the  money
      collected  by  the  aforesaid  companies  through  the   Red   Herring
      Prospectus  dated  March  13,  2008  and  October  6,   2009,   issued
      respectively, to the subscribers of such Optionally Fully  Convertible
      Debentures with interest of 15% per annum from the date of receipt  of
      money till the date of such repayment.


      2.    Such repayment shall be effected only  in  cash  through  Demand
      Draft or Pay Order.


      3.    Sahara Commodity Services Corporation Limited (earlier known  as
      Sahara India Real  Estate  Corporation  Limited)  and  Sahara  Housing
      Investment Corporation Limited  shall  issue  public  notice,  in  all
      editions of two National Dailies (one English and one Hindi) with wide
      circulation, detailing the modalities for refund, including details on
      contact persons including names, addresses and contact details, within
      fifteen days of this Order coming into effect.


      4.    Sahara Commodity Services Corporation Limited (earlier known  as
      Sahara India Real  Estate  Corporation  Limited)  and  Sahara  Housing
      Investment Corporation  Limited  are  restrained  from  accessing  the
      securities market for raising  funds,  till  the  time  the  aforesaid
      payments are made to the satisfaction of the Securities  and  Exchange
      Board of India.


      5.    Further, Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara, Ms. Vandana Bhargava, Mr.  Ravi
      Shankar  Dubey  and  Mr.  Ashok  Roy  Choudhary  are  restrained  from
      associating themselves, with any listed public company and any  public
      company which intends to raise money from the public, till  such  time
      the aforesaid payments are made to the satisfaction of the  Securities
      and Exchange Board of India.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

34.   The order of the SEBI (FTM) came to be assailed by the two  companies,
before the SAT.  Even  during  the  course  of  appellate  proceedings,  the
companies did not disclose, the factual position.  The companies,  continued
to contest the claim of the respondents, by  relying  on  technicalities  of
law, i.e., on the same legal parameters, as had been adopted by them  before
the SEBI (FTM).  The SAT by its order  dated  18.10.2011  upheld  the  order
passed by the SEBI (FTM) dated 23.6.2011.  The SAT  directed  the  appellant
companies to refund the entire money collected from  the  investors,  within
six months (from the date of its order dated 18.10.2011).

35.   Thereupon the matter was brought to  this  Court  by  way  of  appeals
preferred by the two companies concerned, i.e., Civil Appeal nos.  9813  and
9833 of 2011.  On  28.11.2011,  this  Court  passed  the  following  interim
order:-
      “By the impugned order, the appellants  have  been  asked  by  SAT  to
      refund  a  sum  of  Rs.17,400  crores  approximately  on   or   before
      28.11.2011.  We extend the period upto 9.1.2012.”

It is, therefore, that this Court  while  issuing  the  interim  directions,
merely permitted the two companies concerned to refund a  sum  of  Rs.17,400
crores  (approximately)  as  directed  by  the  SEBI  (FTM)  and  SAT,  upto
9.1.2012.  It is, however, imperative to understand, that this  Court  while
passing the above interim order, did not vary the manner of making  refunds,
in case the two companies concerned  decided  to  make  any  refund  to  the
investors.  In this behalf it needs to be noticed, that in its  order  dated
23.6.2011, the SEBI (FTM) had clearly directed, that  such  repayment  could
only be made in cash through demand draft or  pay  order.   No  liberty  was
granted to the two companies, to convert the investment made by the  holders
of the OFCD’s, into similar  investments,  with  the  other  companies.   In
other words, cash conversion in any other format,  was  not  permitted.   To
comply with the letter and spirit of the above orders,  therefore,  even  if
refund was to be made by the investors, it could have  been  done,  only  by
way of demand drafts or pay orders, and not, by way of  cash.   The  alleged
cash payment made by the two companies,  while  redeeming  the  OFCD’s,  was
therefore per se illegal, and in violation of the  orders,  dated  23.6.2011
(passed by the SEBI (FTM)) and 18.10.2011 (passed by  the  SAT).   We  must,
therefore emphatically point out, that the very submission now made  by  the
companies, that the investors were refunded their deposits by way  of  cash,
is per se another tactic in the series of  manoeuvres  adopted  by  the  two
companies, to defeat the process of law.  Factually, there is no  acceptable
proof  of  such  refund.   This  aspect  is  being  dealt  with  separately,
hereafter.

36.   During the course of adjudication of  Civil  Appeal  No.9813  of  2011
(along with Civil Appeal No.9833 of 2011), the issues were canvassed at  the
behest of the appellants, as is apparent  from  the  order  passed  by  this
Court on 31.8.2012, on the  same  legal  issues,  which  were  canvassed  on
behalf of the companies under reference before the SEBI (FTM) and  the  SAT.
In the adjudication rendered by  this  Court,  it  was  concluded  that  the
material sought by the SEBI from the companies, though available with  them,
must be deemed to have  been  consciously  withheld.   Since  the  companies
willfully avoided to furnish the information to the SEBI, it was  felt  that
an adverse inference should be drawn  against  the  two  companies.   Having
examined the factual details  available  on  the  record,  this  Court  also
expressed an impression that the material made available  by  the  companies
“… was totally unrealistic and could well be fictitious, concocted and  made
up…”.  While disposing of the appeals, filed  by  the  two  companies,  this
Court was  not  certain  whether  all  the  subscribers  were  genuine,  and
therefore, while concluding the  matter,  this  Court  in  its  order  dated
31.08.2012, expressed the hope that all the subscribers were  genuine.   And
so also, the subscription amount, as there was indeed a needle of  suspicion
on this subject as  well.   Accordingly  this  Court,  in  its  order  dated
31.8.2012 observed,  that  “…  whole  affair  being  doubtful,  dubious  and
questionable…”.  These observations were recorded, because  the  actions  of
the appellants made the genuineness of the affairs  of  the  two  companies,
questionable.

37.   It is also important for us  to  record  that  the  positive  position
adopted by the SEBI before this Court, during the disposal of  Civil  Appeal
Nos.9813 and 9833 of 2011 was, that neither SIRECL nor SHICL  ever  provided
details of its investors  to  the  SEBI  (FTM)  or  to  the  SAT.   The  two
companies had, contested the proceedings initiated  against  them,  only  on
technical grounds.  We may record, that we were told, that even  before  the
SAT, no details were furnished.  As against the above, the position  adopted
by the SIRECL before us, during the  course  of  the  appellate  proceedings
was, that SIRECL had furnished a compact disc to the SEBI (FTM), along  with
its operating key.  The compact disc,  according  to  learned  counsel,  had
complete investor  related  data,  pertaining  to  SIRECL.   Whilst  it  was
acknowledged by the SEBI before this Court, that a compact  disc  (allegedly
containing details about the investors) was furnished by SIRECL, yet it  was
emphatically pointed out, that its operating key  was  withheld.   This  was
another  deliberate  manoeuvre  adopted,  to   withhold   investor   related
information from the SEBI(FTM).  Resultantly,  no  details  whatsoever  were
ever disclosed by SIRECL either before the SEBI (FTM) or the SAT.

38.   The position adopted by SHICL was even  worse.   It  is  necessary  to
place on record  the  fact,  that  the  SHICL,  one  of  the  two  concerned
companies, never ever disclosed the names and  other  connected  details  of
its investors to the SEBI.  We made a repeated poser,  during  open  hearing
(in the present writ petition),  about  SHICL  having  never  furnished  its
investor details. The  above  position  was  confirmed  by  learned  counsel
representing  the  SEBI.   Unfortunately,  Mr.  S.  Ganesh,  learned  Senior
Counsel for the petitioner, on the last day of hearing, ventured to  contest
the above position.  He handed over to us  two  volumes  of  papers  running
into 260 pages under the title – Note on information provided  by  SHICL  to
the SEBI).  We required him to invite our attention to documents  indicating
disclosure of the above information.  His subterfuge stood exposed, when  no
material depicting disclosure of names and other connected details by  SHICL
to the SEBI emerged from the two volumes  of  papers,  handed  over  to  us.
What is essential to  record  is,  that  till  date  SHICL  has  never  ever
supplied investor related details to the SEBI.  A fact about which there  is
now  no   ambiguity   (specially   after,   learned   counsel,   filed   the
aforementioned two volumes of papers).  Does it lie in the mouth of  learned
counsel to assert, that unjustified conclusions have been recorded,  in  the
impugned order dated 4.3.2014 against the two companies without  any  basis?
We are fully satisfied, that  the  factual  position  depicted  hereinabove,
fully justifies our mentioning in the impugned order (dated 4.3.2014),  that
the  contemnors  had  maintained  an  unreasonable  stand   throughout   the
proceedings before the SEBI, SAT, High Court, and even before this Court.

39.   According to the assertions  made  by  SIRECL,  it  had  collected  an
amount  of  Rs.19,400,86,64,200  through  its  open  ended  schemes  between
25.4.2008 and 13.4.2011.  Its collections, after taking  into  consideration
redemptions, statedly stood at Rs.17,565,53,22,500  as  on  31.8.2011.   The
above collection was allegedly made from 2,21,07,271 investors.  It  is  not
possible for us  to  narrate  similar  figures  in  respect  of  the  amount
collected by SHICL, or for that matter, the  number  of  investors,  because
the records depicting the above details have never been disclosed by  SHICL.
 The figures mentioned in the order  dated  31.8.2012,  are  therefore,  the
figures  provided  by   SIRECL   and   SHICL.    All   those   figures   are
unauthenticated.  In sum and substance, nothing was known.   All  assertions
made by the two companies were subject to verification.  The  above  factual
position indicates the basis and the rationale, of the directions issued  by
this Court on 31.8.2012.  We had  simply  required  the  two  companies,  to
deposit the admitted investor funds.  We had directed disbursement, only  on
verification.  The factual position depicted above also inter alia  depicts,
that the petitioner – Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara as promoter, and Mr. Ashok  Roy
Choudhary and Mr. Ravi Shankar Dubey, as directors, were always  treated  as
actively involved in the matter, and therefore,  various  orders  (including
restraint orders) were passed, wherein they  were  expressly  named.   Since
they shouldered the  overall  responsibility  of  the  affairs  of  the  two
companies, it was fully justified for this Court, to require them to  comply
with the orders passed by this Court on 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.


IV.   Efforts made by this Court, to cajole the  contemnors,  including  the
      petitioner – Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara, for compliance of the  orders  of
      this Court, dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012

40.   During the course of hearing of the instant  writ  petition,  we  were
given to understand, that  all  counsel  representing  the  petitioner  were
taken by surprise when we passed the order dated 4.3.2014 (extracted at  the
beginning of this order).  It was submitted, that a person of  the  eminence
of the petitioner, could not be suddenly sent to jail  without  notice.   It
was asserted, that the petitioner had  entered  appearance  to  assist  this
Court, and to explain his position, but no opportunity was granted  to  him.
Some  of  the  learned  counsel  representing  the  petitioner   accordingly
described  the  impugned  order  dated  4.3.2014  as  a  “draconian  order”.
Because, according to them,  the  said  impugned  order,  had  violated  the
petitioner’s rights under Article 21 of  the  Constitution  of  India.   And
also because, it was issued without affording the petitioner an  opportunity
of showing cause.

41.   The bona fides of the above submission, are difficult to  fathom.   It
seems to us, that rather than the petitioner tendering  his  explanation  to
this  Court,  for  not  complying  with  the  orders  passed  by   it,   the
petitioner’s counsel were posing a question to  this  Court  to  explain  to
them, the legitimacy  of  the  procedure  adopted  by  the  Court.   In  our
understanding, learned counsel who represented the petitioner,  were  surely
insincere to the cause of  justice,  when  they  drummed  their  assertions,
without blinking an eye; since they were aware, that  the  factual  position
was otherwise.  For learned counsel for  the  petitioner,  to  advance  such
submissions, to state the least, was unimaginable.  Both Mr. Ram  Jethmalani
and Dr. Rajeev Dhawan, were lead counsel representing the contemnors in  the
contempt proceedings.  They surely ought to have known better, because  they
had appeared in the contempt proceedings, in the defence of the  contemnors.
 It is not for a Court, to tender any explanation to  any  litigant,  or  to
his counsel.  Accordingly, it should never be considered as  obligatory,  on
the part of this Court, to tender any such explanation.  Undoubtedly, it  is
open to a party to seek review, of an order  passed  by  this  Court,  under
Article 137 of the Constitution of India.  Or to file a  curative  petition,
after a review petition had been rejected, as laid down  by  this  Court  in
Rupa Ashok Hurra’s case (supra), if it is felt that a  serious  mistake  had
been committed.  Just for this case, in order to depict the position in  its
correct perspective, we shall narrate  in  the  succeeding  paragraphs,  the
long rope which was extended to  the  petitioner  (as  also,  to  the  other
contemnors)  to  comply  with  the  directions  issued  by  this  Court  (on
31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012), before the order dated 4.3.2014 was passed.

42.   Ever since the disposal of Civil Appeal nos. 9813 and  9833  of  2011,
on the issue of compliance (as also, the  alleged  non-compliance),  one  or
the other proceeding was listed for hearing, for no less than the  following
35 dates, before the order dated 4.3.2014 was passed:-
      “11.9.2012, 28.9.2012,  19.10.2012,  19.11.2012,  8.1.2013,  6.2.2013,
      8.2.2013,  19.2.2013,  25.2.2013,   4.4.2013,   22.4.2013,   2.5.2013,
      8.5.2013,  17.7.2013,  24.7.2013,  30.7.2013,   6.8.2013,   13.8.2013,
      26.8.2013, 2.9.2013,  16.9.2013,  4.10.2013,  28.10.2013,  31.10.2013,
      1.11.2013, 20.11.2013, 21.11.2013, 11.12.2013,  17.12.2013,  2.1.2014,
      9.1.2014, 28.1.2014, 11.2.2014, 20.2.2014 and 26.2.2014”

In recording the dates of hearing, we have not taken into consideration  the
dates of hearing in Civil  Appeal  no.  8643  of  2012  (and  Writ  Petition
(Civil) no. 527 of 2012),  during  the  proceedings  whereof  a  three-Judge
Bench of this Court, passed the order dated 5.12.2012.  Surely,  during  the
35 dates of hearing, whereafter the order dated  4.3.2014  was  passed,  the
petitioner must have been able to understand, what was going  on.   For  the
proceedings were not smooth and favourable for the petitioner.  A number  of
earlier  orders,  affected  the  petitioner’s  rights  adversely.    It   is
therefore, that we have recorded hereinabove, that the  stand  canvassed  by
learned counsel  was  unimaginable.   We  may  therefore  first  record  the
happenings, after we passed the order dated 31.8.2012.

43.   On 6.2.2013, this Court issued notices in  Contempt  Petition  (Civil)
nos. 412 and 413 of 2012.  Personal  appearance  of  the  contemnors  (which
included the petitioner) was dispensed with.  The SEBI was also directed  to
file a status report.  The receipt of the above notices,  should  have  been
the first information to the petitioner, of this Court’s concern, about  the
non-compliance of the order dated 31.8.2012.   The  petitioner  came  to  be
represented in  the  contempt  proceedings  through  counsel,  on  4.4.2013.
Learned  counsel  for  the  petitioner,  have  however  been  making   their
submissions as if, the petitioner had entered appearance only  on  4.3.2014,
when the impugned order  was  passed.   There  were  actually  25  dates  of
hearing  after  the  petitioner  had  been  represented  in   the   contempt
proceedings, and before the impugned order was passed (on 4.3.2014).

44.   We were shocked, when we were  informed  that  extension  of  time  to
comply with this Court’s orders dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012  was,  in  the
first instance, sought by the two companies, from the SEBI.  When  the  SEBI
declined, the concerned parties approached  the  SAT  by  preferring  Appeal
nos. 42 of 2013 (Subrata Roy Sahara v. SEBI), 48 of 2013  (SHICL  v.  SEBI),
49 of 2013 (SIRECL v. SEBI) and 50 of 2013 (Ashok Roy  Chaudhary  v.  SEBI).
For just the same purpose, Writ Petition no. 2088 of 2013, was filed  before
the High Court.  We are at a loss to understand, how relaxation of an  order
passed by this Court, could have been sought either from  the  SEBI  or  the
SAT, or for that matter, even from  the  High  Court.   How  this  abuse  of
process, was handled by us, stands recorded in a subsequent paragraph.

45.   The SEBI filed Interlocutory Application  nos.  72  and  73  of  2013.
Notice in the  above  applications  was  issued  for  8.5.2013.   The  above
Interlocutory  Applications  pertained  to  proceedings  initiated  by   the
contemnors before the SAT and the High Court.   The  said  proceedings  were
initiated by the contemnors, after the SEBI had declined to extend the  time
frame,  fixed  by  this   Court   through   its   order   dated   31.8.2012.
Interestingly, the petitioner in the instant writ  petition,  had  initiated
one such proceeding in his own name (Appeal no.  42  of  2013,  Subrata  Roy
Sahara v. SEBI).  We are of the prima facie view,  that  the  initiation  of
the above proceedings was aimed at diverting the issue of implementation  of
our order dated 31.8.2012.  Accordingly on 17.7.2013, we  directed  “…  that
no High Court, Securities Appellate Tribunal and any other Forum shall  pass
any order against the orders passed by the Securities and Exchange Board  of
India (SEBI) in implementation of this Court’s judgment dated 31.8.2012”.

46.   On 24.7.2013, this Court issued notice, in Contempt  Petition  (Civil)
no. 260 of 2013 on account of non-compliance of the orders  passed  by  this
Court on 5.12.2012.  The order dated 5.12.2012 (passed in Civil  Appeal  no.
8643 of 2012 and Writ Petition (Civil) no. 527 of 2012) is  being  extracted
hereunder:-
      “This appeal is directed against the judgment  and  order  dated  29th
      November, 2012, passed by the Securities Appellate Tribunal, in Appeal
      No.221 of 2012, holding that the  same  was  premature  and  was  not,
      therefore, maintainable


      2.    In earlier appeals, being C.A.No.9813 of 2011 and C.A.No.9833 of
      2011, this Court was concerned with the powers of the  Securities  and
      Exchange Board of India (SEBI) under Section 55A(b) of  the  Companies
      Act, 1956, to administer various  provisions  relating  to  issue  and
      transfer of securities to the public by listed companies or  companies
      which intend to get their securities listed on  any  recognized  Stock
      Exchange in India and  also  the  question  whether  Optionally  Fully
      Convertible Debentures, offered by the appellants,  should  have  been
      listed on any recognized Stock Exchange in India, being  Public  Issue
      under Section 73 read with Section 60B and allied  provisions  of  the
      Companies Act. The said appeals were heard and finally disposed of  on
      31st August, 2012, with the following directions:-


           “1.    Saharas  (SIRECL  &  SHICL)  would  refund  the   amounts
           collected through RHPs dated 13.3.2008 and 16.10.2009 along with
           interest @ 15% per annum to SEBI from the date of receipt of the
           subscription amount till the date of repayment, within a  period
           of three months from  today,  which  shall  be  deposited  in  a
           Nationalized Bank bearing maximum rate of interest.


           2.    Saharas are also directed  to  furnish  the  details  with
           supporting documents to establish whether they had refunded  any
           amount to the persons who  had  subscribed  through  RHPs  dated
           13.3.2008 and 16.10.2009 within a period of 10 (ten)  days  from
           the pronouncement of this order and it is for the SEBI (WTM)  to
           examine the correctness of the details furnished.


           3.    We make it clear that if the documents produced by Saharas
           are not found genuine or acceptable, then the SEBI  (WTM)  would
           proceed as if the Saharas had not refunded  any  amount  to  the
           real and genuine subscribers who had invested money through RHPs
           dated 13.3.2008 and 16.10.2009.


           4.    Saharas are directed to furnish  all  documents  in  their
           custody,  particularly,  the  application  forms  submitted   by
           subscribers, the approval and allotment of bonds and  all  other
           documents  to  SEBI  so  as  to  enable  it  to  ascertain   the
           genuineness of the subscribers as well as the amounts deposited,
           within a period of 10 (ten) days from the date of  pronouncement
           of this order.


           5.    SEBI (WTM) shall have the liberty to engage  Investigating
           Officers, experts in Finance and Accounts and  other  supporting
           staff to carry out directions and the expenses for the same will
           be borne by Saharas and be paid to SEBI.


           6.    SEBI (WTM) shall take steps with the aid and assistance of
           Investigating Authorities/Experts in Finance  and  Accounts  and
           other supporting staff to  examine  the  documents  produced  by
           Saharas so as to ascertain their genuineness  and  after  having
           ascertained the same, they shall identify  subscribers  who  had
           invested the money on the basis  of  RHPs  dated  13.3.2008  and
           16.10.2009 and refund the amount to them with interest on  their
           production of relevant documents evidencing payments  and  after
           counter checking the records produced by Saharas.


           7.    SEBI (WTM), in the event of finding that  the  genuineness
           of the subscribers is doubtful, an opportunity shall be afforded
           to  Saharas  to  satisfactorily  establish  the  same  as  being
           legitimate and valid. It shall be open to the Saharas,  in  such
           an  eventuality  to  associate  the  concerned  subscribers   to
           establish their claims. The  decision  of  SEBI  (WTM)  in  this
           behalf will be final and binding  on  Saharas  as  well  as  the
           subscribers.


           8.    SEBI (WTM) if,  after  the  verification  of  the  details
           furnished, is unable to find out the whereabouts of all  or  any
           of  the  subscribers,  then  the  amount  collected  from   such
           subscribers will be appropriated to the Government of India.


           9.    We also appoint Mr. Justice B.N. Agrawal, a retired  Judge
           of this Court to oversee whether directions issued by this Court
           are properly and effectively complied with  by  the  SEBI  (WTM)
           from the date of this order. Mr. Justice B.N. Agrawal would also
           oversee the  entire  steps  adopted  by  SEBI  (WTM)  and  other
           officials for the effective and  proper  implementation  of  the
           directions issued by this Court. We fix an amount of Rs.5  lakhs
           towards the monthly remuneration payable  to  Mr.  Justice  B.N.
           Agrawal, this will be in addition to  travelling,  accommodation
           and other expenses, commensurate with the status of  the  office
           held by Justice B.N. Agrawal, which shall be borne by  SEBI  and
           recoverable from Saharas. Mr. Justice B.N. Agrawal is  requested
           to  take  up  this  assignment  without  affecting   his   other
           engagements.  We also order  that  all  administrative  expenses
           including the payment to the additional staff and experts,  etc.
           would be borne by Saharas.


           10.   We also make it clear that if Saharas fail to comply  with
           these directions and do not effect refund of money as  directed,
           SEBI  can  take  recourse  to  all  legal  remedies,   including
           attachment and sale of properties,  freezing  of  bank  accounts
           etc. for realizations of the amounts.


           11.   We also direct SEBI(WTM) to submit a status  report,  duly
           approved by  Mr.  Justice  B.N.  Agrawal,  as  expeditiously  as
           possible, and also permit SEBI (WTM) to seek further  directions
           from this Court, as and when, found necessary. The appeals were,
           therefore, dismissed with the aforesaid directions.

      3.    As indicated above, the present appeal is directed  against  the
      order of the Securities  Appellate  Tribunal,  in  the  Appeal,  being
      No.221  of  2012,  which  had  been  filed  on  27th  November,  2012,
      complaining that the SEBI had not accepted the documents,  which  were
      to be furnished to it by the appellants, since they  were  tendered  a
      couple of days after the stipulated period.

      4.    We are not inclined to interfere with the substance of the order
      of the Tribunal impugned in this appeal. The only  question  which  we
      are inclined to consider is whether  the  time  for  implementing  the
      directions contained in the earlier order of 31st August, 2012, may be
      extended or not.

      5.    Mr. Gopal Subramanium, learned Senior  Counsel,  submitted  that
      after the aforesaid order had been passed, certain  amounts  had  been
      paid to investors and that according to them a sum of ` 5120/-  Crores
      remained to be paid to SEBI, out of the amount already indicated,  for
      the purpose of distribution to the investors.

      6.    Having heard learned  Senior  Counsel,  Mr.  Gopal  Subramanium,
      appearing for the appellants, Mr. Datar, for SEBI and Mr. Vikas Singh,
      appearing for Universal Investors Association & Ors., who has filed  a
      separate Writ Petition, we are not inclined to accept the  submissions
      made by Mr. Gopal Subramanium, at their  face  value,  since,  in  the
      order of 31st August, 2012, it has been indicated that if any payments
      had been made, the details thereof, along with  supporting  documents,
      were to be submitted to SEBI to  verify  the  same.  Essentially,  the
      appellants have failed  on  both  counts,  since  neither  the  amount
      indicated in the order,  together  with  interest  @  15%  per  annum,
      accrued thereon, has been paid, nor have the documents been  submitted
      within the time stipulated in the said order. The reliefs  prayed  for
      in the writ petition filed by Universal Investors  Association,amounts
      to a review of the order passed by this Court on 31.08.2012.

      7.    We, therefore, dispose of the appeal and the writ  petition,  as
      also the intervention applications with the following directions:-

           (I)   The appellants shall  immediately  hand  over  the  Demand
           Drafts, which they have produced in Court, to SEBI, for a  total
           sum of ` 5120/- Crores and deposit the balance in terms  of  the
           order of 31st August, 2012, namely, ` 17,400/-  Crores  and  the
           entire amount, including the amount  mentioned  above,  together
           with interest at the rate of 15 per cent, per annum, with  SEBI,
           in two installments. The first  installment  of  10,000/-Crores,
           shall be deposited with SEBI within the first week  of  January,
           2013.  The  remaining  balance,  along  with  the  interest,  as
           calculated,  shall  be  deposited  within  the  first  week   of
           February, 2013. The time for filing documents in support of  the
           refunds made to any person, as claimed  by  the  appellants,  is
           extended by a  period  of  15  days.  On  receipt  of  the  said
           documents, SEBI shall implement the directions contained in  the
           order passed on 31st August, 2012. In default of deposit of  the
           said documents within the stipulated period, or in the event  of
           default of deposit  of  either  of  the  two  installments,  the
           directions contained in paragraph  10  of  the  aforesaid  order
           dated 31st August, 2012, shall immediately come into effect  and
           SEBI will be entitled to  take  all  legal  remedies,  including
           attachment and sale of properties,  freezing  of  bank  accounts
           etc. for relisation of the balance dues.

      8.    Let a copy of this order be made available to Mr.  Justice  B.N.
      Agrawal, who has been appointed by this Court, by tomorrow, to  enable
      His Lordship to oversee the working of the Order of 31st August, 2012,
      and this Order passed by us today.

      9.    Having regard to the nature of the case,  the  appellants  shall
      bear the costs of the respondent(s) in these proceedings.

      10.   In the event any excess payment is found to have  been  made  by
      the appellants by virtue of the earlier Order and this Order, the same
      shall be refunded to the appellants by SEBI.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

When the above order was passed by this Court,  should  the  petitioner  not
have known, that the exercise of seeking extension of time had  come  to  an
end, and the first installment of Rs.10,000 crores had to  be  paid  “within
the first week of January, 2013”?

47.   Even though responses to the contempt  petitions  referred  to  above,
had been filed,  and  we  were  hearing  learned  counsel  representing  the
contemnors, on the subject of contempt, we were also trying  to  cajole  the
two companies, into an understanding that they were obliged to  comply  with
the orders dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.  In our view,  compliance  of  the
above orders would reduce the seriousness of the issue.  The effort  on  our
part was always to avoid hardship, to any of the concerned parties.  But  in
our above effort, we could not compromise, the interest  of  the  investors.
As already noticed, in the discussion recorded under the preceding  heading,
the two companies never supplied any authentic details of  their  investors.
Nor the details  of  the  moneys  collected.   Whatever  the  two  companies
asserted, had to be accepted on its face value, to  proceed  further.   When
learned counsel for the petitioner, made a proposal  to  secure  the  amount
payable to the investors of the two companies, we were  not  averse  to  the
proposal.   We  wished  to  explore  some  intermediary  means   to   secure
compliance.  That would have deferred adoption of  harsher  measures.   With
the above object in mind, we accepted the proposal of  the  learned  counsel
for the petitioner  (and  the  other  contemnors),  to  furnish  a  list  of
unencumbered immovable properties, which would secure the liability  of  the
two companies (for compliance of the order dated 31.8.2012, as well as,  the
subsequent order dated 5.12.2012).  The  list  of  properties  furnished  to
this Court, could not have  been  so  furnished,  without  the  petitioner’s
express approval.  There can be no  doubt  about  the  aforesaid  inference,
because the stance now adopted by the petitioner shows, that the  petitioner
is in absolute charge of all the affairs of the companies.  And nothing  can
move without his active involvement.  During the course of  hearing  of  the
present petition, learned counsel have repeatedly  emphasized  that  further
deposits will be possible,  only  after  the  petitioner  is  released  from
judicial custody.  This stance shows, that in  the  affairs  of  the  Sahara
Group, Mr. Subrata  Roy  Sahara,  is  the  only  person  who  matters.   And
therefore, the other individual directors, may have hardly any  say  in  the
matter.

48.   The lists of properties which  were  provided  by  the  two  companies
during the above exercise, were rejected by the SEBI, for good  reason.   It
is not necessary for us to record the  details  herein,  why  the  lists  of
properties furnished to this Court were found to be unacceptable.   We  may,
however, record, that we were satisfied with  the  submissions  advanced  at
the behest of the SEBI, that the proposed properties, would not  secure  the
amount of the refund contemplated by  the  orders  of  this  court.   It  is
therefore, that another attempt was made, consequent upon an offer  made  on
behalf of the two companies, that other companies within  the  framework  of
the Sahara Group, would also make available to the SEBI, their  unencumbered
immovable  properties.   Is  it  possible  for  anyone  to  say,  after  the
petitioner agreed to provide the list of immovable properties, that  he  was
not aware of the nature of proceedings being conducted  in  this  Court,  or
their gravity?  Is it possible for the petitioner to say, that  he  was  not
aware of the reason, why these lists were being  furnished  to  this  Court?
There can be no doubt, that it was abundantly clear to the petitioner,  that
the  properties  mentioned  in  the  lists  furnished,  would  be  sold   if
necessary, to comply with this Court’s  order  dated  31.8.2012.   This  was
sufficient notice to the petitioner, of the seriousness of the situation.

49.   Since our efforts of this Court, to secure the  investors’  interests,
determined  vide  its  order  dated  31.8.2012,  were  being  systematically
frustrated this Court in order to demonstrate the seriousness of the  issue,
directed that “… the alleged contemnors (respondents) shall  not  leave  the
country without the permission of this Court…” till compliance of the  above
order.  The above direction was issued on 28.10.2013.  Is  it  open  to  the
learned counsel for the petitioner, after  the  above  restraint  order  was
passed, to contend that the petitioner was not aware of  the  happenings  in
Court?  He was aware that the above restraint order was passed,  during  the
pendency of the contempt proceedings, which were initiated because  of  non-
compliance of the orders dated 31.8.2012 and  5.12.2012.   It  is  therefore
incorrect to contend, that the petitioner  had  no  notice,  and  was  taken
unawares.  During the course of one  of  the  subsequent  hearings  (on  the
subject), learned counsel representing the contemnors, clarified,  that  the
properties in the list provided to this Court, could not be put to sale,  in
execution of the  orders  dated  31.8.2012  and  5.12.2012.   What  was  the
purpose sought to be achieved, if  the  properties  (included  in  the  list
furnished to this Court) could not be sold,  for  the  satisfaction  of  the
judgment dated 31.8.2012?  Surely, the contemnors, were  taking  this  Court
for a ride.  The demeanour of the contemnors to  stonewall  the  process  of
law, from the  time  investigation  was  commenced  by  the  SEBI  in  2009,
continued even after the judicial process had  attained  finality,  by  this
Court’s order dated 31.8.2012.  All along the  petitioner  feigns  ignorance
of everything.

50.   Even though this Court had no intention to  grant  any  relaxation  to
the contemnors, on the restraint order passed on 28.10.2013  (by  which  the
contemnors, were stopped from leaving this country), yet when  Interlocutory
Application no. 4 was filed (in Contempt Petition (Civil) no. 260 of  2013),
contending that Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara, had foreign commitments,  the  Court
relaxed the above order, and permitted the petitioner to  go  abroad.   But,
simultaneously the Court directed  the  petitioner,  to  immediately  return
back, and be present in the country,  in  case  of  non-compliance  of  this
Court’s  directions,  (to  submit  original  title  deeds  of   unencumbered
properties of the Sahara Group of Companies).  On 21.11.2013, the Court  was
informed by the learned counsel for  the  contemnors,  that  the  properties
depicted in the list furnished to this Court (in furtherance  of  the  order
dated 28.10.2013), could not be sold without the approval of  the  Board  of
Directors, of the concerned companies (to which  the  individual  properties
belonged).  The Court was then constrained to record, that the  order  dated
28.10.2013 passed by this Court, had not been complied with, in  its  letter
and  spirit.   It  is,  therefore,  the  Court  took  one  further  step  to
demonstrate  to  the  petitioner,  as  also,  the  other   contemnors,   the
seriousness of the issue, by ordering  on  21.11.2013  “…  that  the  Sahara
Group of Companies shall not part with any movable  or  immovable  property,
until further orders...”  Is it open to the petitioner to contend,  that  he
had no notice, of the above Court proceedings?  The business obligations  of
the petitioner, were bound to have been seriously  affected,  by  the  above
order.   The  petitioner  would  have   to   be   hugely   unconcerned   and
disinterested, if he  was  still  unaware  of  the  nature  of  the  ongoing
contempt proceedings; and where the proceedings were leading to.  The  Court
further directed (by the same order), that all the alleged contemnors  would
not leave the country, without the permission of this Court.  By  this,  the
Court restored its earlier order dated  28.10.2013.   This  order  also  had
serious repercussions,  for  the  petitioner.   When  the  above  order  was
passed, should the petitioner be permitted to contend, that he did not  have
any adverse business consequences?  If it  did,  was  it  open  for  him  to
assert, that he had no notice, and was unaware about the  direction  towards
which, the contempt proceedings were moving?

51.   Consequent upon passing of the above order dated 21.11.2013,  a  fresh
list of properties was made available by the companies, to this Court.   The
Court permitted learned Senior  Counsel  representing  the  SEBI,  time,  to
examine the authenticity of the list of properties furnished, including  the
valuation reports pertaining to the said properties.  After a few  dates  of
hearing, learned counsel for the contemnors informed this  Court,  that  the
list of properties offered, could not be sold  for  the  execution  of  this
Court’s orders dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.  We were then satisfied,  that
all the efforts made by us were systematically scuttled by  the  contemnors,
by adopting one or the other excuse.   The  petitioner  was  adopting  these
tactics because, he had notice.  Notice to  comply  with  the  orders  dated
31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.  Yet, he stonewalled all  efforts  for  compliance.
He adopted the latter.  Not even a single paisa has  been  deposited,  after
this Court’s order dated 5.12.2012.

52.   During the pendency of the contempt proceedings, we  also  decided  to
determine the veracity of  the  redemption  theory,  projected  by  the  two
companies.  As a matter of law, it was not open  to  the  two  companies  to
raise the aforesaid defence.  This is because, exactly the same defence  was
raised by the two companies, when they had approached this Court  by  filing
Civil Appeal no. 8643 of 2012 (and Writ Petition (Civil) no. 527  of  2012).
In the aforesaid Civil Appeal,  it  was  submitted  on  behalf  of  the  two
companies, that they should be exempted from depositing the  amount  already
redeemed by them.  The above contention advanced by the  two  companies  was
not accepted, by the three-Judge Division Bench, when it disposed  of  Civil
Appeal no. 8643 of 2012 (and Writ Petition  (Civil)  no.  527  of  2012)  by
order dated 5.12.2012.  It is, therefore apparent, that the instant  defence
of having already redeemed most of the OFCD’s,  was  not  open  to  the  two
companies (and even  the  contemnors).   Yet,  so  as  to  ensure,  that  no
injustice was done, we permitted the two companies to place material on  the
record of this case, to substantiate the factum of  redemption.   The  above
issue has been dealt with by us in this judgment (under the heading  IX,  “A
few words, about the defence of redemption of OFCD’s,  offered  by  the  two
companies”).  It is, therefore, that details about the  conclusions  on  the
alleged redemptions, are not being expressed here.  All  that  needs  to  be
stated is, that the two companies adopted the same tactics, as were  adopted
by them on all earlier occasions.  No material  worth  the  name,  was  ever
produced before this Court, to establish the  defence  of  redemption,  even
though ample opportunities were afforded to the petitioner to  do  so.   The
instant factual position, has been placed on the record of this  case,  only
to demonstrate the efforts made by this  Court,  to  cajole  the  contemnors
(including the petitioner – Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara) into compliance of  this
Court’s orders dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.  In  the  process,  the  Court
examined each and every defence raised on behalf of the two companies.   The
Court also examined alternative avenues by  which,  the  compliance  of  the
orders dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012, could be ensured.   In  recording  our
conclusions, we may only state, that the  petitioner  only  engaged  eminent
learned Senior Counsel, to avoid or defer compliance.

53.   Having done the utmost, in requiring the  contemnors  to  comply  with
the orders dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012,  wherein  this  Bench  would  meet
exclusively for the benefit of the contemnors, the Court felt  that  it  had
miserably failed, to persuade the contemnors to comply with its  directions.
 Accordingly  on  4.3.2014,  in  exercise  of  the  powers  conferred  under
Articles 129 and 142 of the Constitution of India, this  Court  ordered  the
arrest and detention of all the contemnors (except  Mrs.  Vandana  Bhargava)
in judicial custody at Delhi, till the next date of hearing.  By  the  order
dated 4.3.2014, the Court expressly granted liberty  to  the  contemnors  to
propose an acceptable solution, for execution of its orders.   Mrs.  Vandana
Bhargava, who was excused from the order  of  detention,  was  permitted  to
coordinate with those whose detention  the  Court  had  ordered,  so  as  to
enable them to formulate an acceptable solution for execution of  the  above
orders.  It is apparent, that right  from  the  beginning,  and  even  after
ordering the detention of the contemnors including  the  petitioner  herein,
The Court was only endeavouring, to ensure  the  compliance  of  the  orders
passed by this Court on 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.  On the following  date  of
hearing  i.e.,  on  7.3.2014,  at  the  asking  of   the   learned   counsel
representing the contemnors, we enhanced the  visitation  times  permissible
to the detenues, so as to enable them to meet  their  financial  consultants
and lawyers for two  hours  every  day.   On  26.3.2014,  unilaterally,  and
without the asking of the contemnors, the Court also  passed  the  following
order:-
                   “We  have  gone  through  the  fresh  proposal  filed  on
      25.03.2014.     Though the same is not in compliance  with  our  Order
      dated 31.08.2012 or the Order  passed  by  the  three-Judge  Bench  of
       this  Court  on 05.12.2012 in Civil Appeal No.8643  of  2012  and  on
      25.02.2013  in  I.A. No.67 of 2013 in Civil  Appeal  No.9813  of  2011
      with I.A. No.5  of  2013 in Civil  Appeal  No.9833  of  2011,  we  are
      inclined to grant interim bail to the contemnors who are  detained  by
       virtue  of  our  order  dated 04.03.2014,  on  the   condition   that
      they  would  pay  the  amount  of Rs.10,000  crores  -  out  of  which
      Rs.5,000 crores to be deposited before this Court and for the  balance
      a Bank Guarantee of a nationalized bank  be  furnished  in  favour  of
      S.E.B.I. and be deposited before this Court.

                  On compliance, the contemnors be released  forthwith   and
      the amount deposited be released to S.E.B.I.  We make  it  clear  that
       this  order  is  passed  in  order  to facilitate the  contemnors  to
      further raise the balance amount so as  to  comply  with  the  Court's
      Orders mentioned above.”

We are not,  and  have  never  been  interested  in  the  detention  of  the
petitioner (and the two directors) in judicial custody.   Our  only  purpose
has been, to ensure compliance of this Court’s orders  dated  31.8.2012  and
5.12.2012.

54.   Despite affording the contemnors close to  40  hearings,  and  despite
putting them to terms which ought to have shown them,  that  leniency  would
not  be  extended  forever,  the  contemnors  have  remained  adamant,   and
steadfast.  They made only one deposit  of  Rs.5,120  crores  on  5.12.2012.
Besides  that  amount,  not  a  single  paisa  has  been  deposited  by  the
contemnors.  The thought, that repeatedly comes to our mind is, why the  two
companies had not been able to pay anything for  the  last  about  1½  years
(close to 17 months) from this Court’s order dated 5.12.2012, whereas, in  a
period of three/four  months  (before  our  order  dated  31.8.2012)  SIRECL
claims to have unilaterally refunded Rs.17,443 crores, and SHICL  claims  to
have on its own, redeemed Rs.5,442  crores,  to  their  investors.   If  the
money could be easily collected and disbursed to  the  investors  then,  why
not now?  Considering the attitude of the petitioner before this Court,  one
wonders what would happen to the judicial system, if every Court  order  had
to be implemented, in the manner as the one in hand.  We are informed,  that
the total amount presently payable in terms  of  this  Court’s  order  dated
31.8.2012, has swelled up to Rs.36,608 crores.  In the  above  scenario,  no
other order, but the one passed by us, could have been passed  on  4.3.2014.


55.   Our leniency is apparent from the fact, that  we  have  by  our  order
dated 26.3.2014 ordered the  petitioner  and  the  other  contemnors  to  be
released on bail, on the receipt of a payment of Rs.10,000 crores, which  is
less than a third of the amount presently due.  That would  constitute,  the
first small step, taken by the  contemnors,  for  the  satisfaction  of  the
orders passed by this Court on 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.   The  above  orders
must, under all circumstances, be given effect to in letter and spirit,  and
till that is done, the process of enforcing compliance,  shall  have  to  go
on.  The petitioner may be released from judicial custody,  if  he  complies
with  our  order  dated  26.3.2014.   That  would  however  not  excuse  the
petitioner from making the balance payment, in terms  of  the  orders  dated
31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012, even if it means the re-arrest  of  the  petitioner
again and again, for the purpose of compliance of this Court’s orders.


V.    Whether there is no provision,  whereunder  an  order  of  arrest  and
      detention can be passed for the execution of a money-decree?

56.   One of the emphatic  contentions  advanced  by  some  of  the  learned
counsel for the petitioner was, that execution of a money-decree by  way  of
arrest was  a  procedure  “unknown  to  law”.   Recourse  to  arrest  of  an
individual  for  recovery  of  money,  according  to  one  learned  counsel,
constituted a “draconian order”.  During the course  of  their  submissions,
learned counsel for the petitioner, chose to  address  the  Court  by  using
language, which we had not heard (either as practicing  Advocates,  or  even
as  Judges  in  the  High  Courts  or  this  Court).   We  would,   however,
unhesitatingly state, that it  is  not  possible  for  us  to  accept,  that
learned counsel who addressed the instant submission, were  unaware  of  the
relevant provisions of law.  It is however interesting to  notice,  that  in
the written submissions handed over to us  during  the  course  of  hearing,
reference was actually made to such a provision.  It  was  asserted  in  the
written submissions prepared by Mr. Ram Jethmalani,  that  “No  imprisonment
for failure to comply with a decree or order for payment  of  money  can  be
inflicted on a person liable to pay in compliance,  without  complying  with
the conditions of Section 51 proviso (b) of the CPC.”.  A  contradiction  in
terms.  But there were many such  contradictions,  even  on  facts.   A  new
phase of advocacy seems to have dawned.

57.   It is,  therefore,  that  we  shall  first  venture  to  set  out  the
provisions contained in the  Code  of  Civil  Procedure,  1908  (hereinafter
referred to as, the CPC), as also, the  Code  of  Criminal  Procedure,  1973
(hereinafter referred to as,  the  Cr.P.C.),  to  highlight  the  provisions
whereunder, a Court may order arrest and detention, for the execution  of  a
money-decree (or for the enforcement of a financial liability).

58.   It is necessary, first of all, to place on record, the  provisions  of
Sections 51, 55 and 58 of the CPC.  The same are being extracted hereunder:-

      “51.  Powers of Court to enforce execution
           Subject to such conditions and limitations as may be prescribed,
           the Court may, on the application of  the  decree-holder,  order
           execution of the decree-

           (a) by delivery of any property specifically decreed;

           (b) by attachment and sale or by the sale without attachment  of
           any property;

           (c) by arrest and  detention  in  prison  for  such  period  not
           exceeding the period specified in section 58, where  arrest  and
           detention is permissible under that section;

           (d) by appointing a receiver; or

           (e) in such other manner as the nature of the relief granted may
           require:


           Provided that, where the decree is for  the  payment  of  money,
           execution by detention in prison shall not  be  ordered  unless,
           after giving the judgment-debtor an opportunity of showing cause
           why he should not be committed to prison, the Court, for reasons
           recorded in writing, is satisfied-

           (a) that the judgment-debtor,  with  the  object  or  effect  of
           obstructing or delaying the execution of the decree,-

                 (i) is likely to abscond or leave the local limits  of  the
                 jurisdiction of the Court, or

                 (ii) has, after the institution of the suit  in  which  the
                 decree was passed, dishonestly transferred,  concealed,  or
                 removed any part of his property, or  committed  any  other
                 act of bad faith in relation to his property, or

           (b) that the judgment-debtor has, or has had since the  date  of
           the decree, the means to pay the amount of the  decree  or  some
           substantial part thereof and refuses or neglects or has  refused
           or neglected to pay the same, or

           (c) that the decree is for a sum for which  the  judgment-debtor
           was bound in a fiduciary capacity to account.

           Explanation.- In the calculation of the means of  the  judgment-
           debtor for the purposes of clause (b), there shall be  left  out
           of account any property which, by or under  any  law  or  custom
           having the force of law for the time being in force,  is  exempt
           from attachment in execution of the decree.”

      55.   Arrest and detention

           (1) A judgment-debtor may be arrested in execution of  a  decree
           at any hour and on any day, and shall, as soon  as  practicable,
           be brought before the Court, and his detention  may  be  in  the
           civil prison of the district in which  the  Court  ordering  the
           detention is situate, or,  where  such  civil  prison  does  not
           afford suitable accommodation, in  any  other  place  which  the
           State Government  may  appoint  for  the  detention  of  persons
           ordered by the Courts of such district to be detained:

           Provided, firstly, that, for the purpose  of  making  an  arrest
           under this section, no dwelling-house  shall  be  entered  after
           sunset and before sunrise:

           Provided, secondly, that no outer door of a dwelling-house shall
           be broken open unless such dwelling-house is in the occupancy of
           the judgment-debtor and he refuses or in any way prevents access
           thereto, but when the officer authorised to make the arrest  has
           duly gained access to any dwelling-house, he may break open  the
           door of any room in which he has reason to believe the judgment-
           debtor is to be found:

           Provided, thirdly, that, if the room is in the actual  occupancy
           of a woman who is not the judgment-debtor and who  according  to
           the customs of the  country  does  not  appear  in  public,  the
           officer authorised to make the arrest shall give notice  to  her
           that she is at  liberty  to  withdraw,  and,  after  allowing  a
           reasonable time for her to withdraw and  giving  her  reasonable
           facility for withdrawing, may enter the room for the purpose  of
           making the arrest:

           Provided, fourthly, that, where the decree in execution of which
           a judgment-debtor is arrested, is a decree for  the  payment  of
           money and the judgment-debtor pays the amount of the decree  and
           the costs of the arrest  to  the  officer  arresting  him,  such
           officer shall at once release him.

           (2) The State Government may, by notification  in  the  Official
           Gazette, declare that any  person  or  class  of  persons  whose
           arrest might be attended with danger  or  inconvenience  to  the
           public shall not be liable to arrest in execution  of  a  decree
           otherwise than in accordance  with  such  procedure  as  may  be
           prescribed by the State Government in this behalf.

           (3) Where a judgment-debtor is arrested in execution of a decree
           for the payment of money and brought before the Court, the Court
           shall inform him that he may apply to be declared an  insolvent,
           and that he may be discharged, if he has not committed  any  act
           of bad faith regarding the subject of the application and if  he
           complies with provisions of the law of insolvency for  the  time
           being in force.

           (4) Where a judgment-debtor expresses his intention to apply  to
           be  declared  an  insolvent  and  furnishes  security,  to   the
           satisfaction of the Court, that he  will  within  one  month  so
           apply, and that  he  will  appear,  when  called  upon,  in  any
           proceeding upon the application or upon the decree in  execution
           of which he was arrested, the Court may release him from arrest,
           and, if he fails so to apply and to appear, the Court may either
           direct the security to be realized or commit him  to  the  civil
           prison in execution of the decree.

1


2 58.       Detention and release


           (1) Every person detained in the civil prison in execution of  a
           decree shall be so detained,-

                 (a) where the decree is for the payment of a sum  of  money
                 exceeding five thousand rupees, for a period not  exceeding
                 three months, and


                  (b) where the decree is for the payment of a sum of  money
                 exceeding two  thousand  rupees,  but  not  exceeding  five
                 thousand rupees, for a period not exceeding six weeks:


           Provided that he shall be released from  such  detention  before
           the expiration of the said period of detention-

                 (i)  on  the  amount  mentioned  in  the  warrant  for  his
                 detention being paid to the officer in charge of the  civil
                 prison, or

                 (ii) on  the  decree  against  him  being  otherwise  fully
                 satisfied, or

                 (iii) on the request of the person on whose application  he
                 has been so detained, or

                 (iv) on the omission by the person, on whose application he
                 has been so detained, to pay subsistence allowance:

           Provided,  also,  that  he  shall  not  be  released  from  such
           detention under clause (ii) or clause (iii), without  the  order
           of the Court.

           (1A) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby  declared  that  no
           order for detention of the judgment-debtor in  civil  prison  in
           execution of a decree for the payment of money  shall  be  made,
           where the  total  amount  of  the  decree  does  not  exceed two
           thousand rupees.


           (2) A judgment-debtor released from detention under this section
           shall not merely by reason of his release be discharged from his
           debt, but he shall not be liable to  be  re-arrested  under  the
           decree in execution of  which  he  was  detained  in  the  civil
           prison.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

A perusal of Section 51 of the CPC, leaves no room for any doubt,  that  for
the execution of a decree for payment  of  money,  an  executing  Court  may
order the arrest and detention of the judgment-debtor.  Section  55  of  the
CPC lays down the manner and modalities to be followed, while  executing  an
order of arrest or detention.  A perusal of Section 58 of the CPC  postulate
the detention of a judgment-debtor for up to six weeks for the  recovery  of
a meager amount, of less than Rs.5,000/-.  Where the amount is in excess  of
Rs.5,000/-, the provision  postulates,  detention  for  upto  three  months.
Interestingly, the first proviso to Section 58(1) of the CPC clearly  brings
out, the purpose of the person’s detention.  It provides for  the  concerned
person’s release, on the satisfaction of the money-decree, even  before  the
duration, for which he had been ordered to  be  detained.   But  the  second
proviso to Section 58(1)  of  the  CPC  provides,  that  such  an  order  of
detention would not be revoked “without the order of the  Court.”.   Another
interesting aspect pertaining to the detention  of  an  individual  for  the
execution of a money-decree, is contained  in  Section  58(2)  of  the  CPC,
which provides, that a person who  has  been  ordered  to  be  arrested  and
detained (in the course  of  execution  of  a  money-decree)  and  has  been
released from jail, would not be treated as having been discharged from  his
debt.  In other words, the detention of a  judgment-debtor  in  prison  (for
the execution of a money-decree),  would  not  liberate/free  him  from  the
financial liability which he owes to the  decree-holder.   It  is  therefore
apparent, from the provisions of the CPC, that a Court  can  order  for  the
arrest and detention of a person, even  for  the  enforcement  of  a  paltry
amount of Rs.2,000/- (and also for recovery of amounts, in excess thereof).

59.   We may also refer to the provisions under the  Cr.P.C.  which  mandate
arrest and detention, for compliance of a monetary  payment.   Reference  in
this behalf is to be made to Sections 125 and 128 of the Cr.P.C., which  are
being extracted hereunder:-
      “125.      Order for maintenance of wives, children and parents-

      (1)   If any person having sufficient means  neglects  or  refuses  to
      maintain-

           (a) his wife, unable to maintain herself, or

           (b) his legitimate or illegitimate minor child, whether  married
           or not, unable to maintain itself, or

           (c) his legitimate or illegitimate child (not  being  a  married
           daughter) who has attained majority, where  such  child  is,  by
           reason of any physical or mental abnormality or injury unable to
           maintain itself, or

           (d) his father or mother, unable to maintain himself or herself,

           A Magistrate of the first class may, upon proof of such  neglect
      or refusal, order such person to make  a  monthly  allowance  for  the
      maintenance of his wife or such  child,  father  or  mother,  at  such
      monthly rate, as such magistrate thinks fit, and to pay  the  same  to
      such person as the Magistrate may from time to time direct:

      Provided that the Magistrate may order the father of  a  minor  female
      child referred to in clause (b) to  make  such  allowance,  until  she
      attains her majority, if the Magistrate is satisfied that the  husband
      of such minor female child, if married, is not possessed of sufficient
      means.

      Provided further that the Magistrate may, during the pendency  of  the
      proceeding regarding monthly allowance for the maintenance under  this
      sub-section, order such person to make a  monthly  allowance  for  the
      interim maintenance of his wife or such child, father or  mother,  and
      the  expenses  of  such  proceeding  which  the  Magistrate  considers
      reasonable, and to pay the same to such person as the  Magistrate  may
      from time to time direct:

      Provided also that an application for the monthly  allowance  for  the
      interim maintenance and  expenses  for  proceeding  under  the  second
      proviso shall, as far as possible, be disposed of  within  sixty  days
      from the date of the service of notice  of  the  application  to  such
      person.

      Explanation: For the purposes of this Chapter.

           (a) “minor” means a person who,  under  the  provisions  of  the
           Indian Majority Act, 1875 (9 of 1875)  is  deemed  not  to  have
           attained his majority;

           (b) “wife” includes a woman who has been  divorced  by,  or  has
           obtained a divorce from, her husband and has not remarried.

      (2)   Any Such allowance for the maintenance  or  interim  maintenance
      and expenses of proceeding shall be  payable  from  the  date  of  the
      order, or, if so  ordered,  from  the  date  of  the  application  for
      maintenance or interim maintenance and expenses of proceeding, as  the
      case may be.

      (3)   If any person so  ordered  fails  without  sufficient  cause  to
      comply with the order, any such Magistrate may, for  every  breach  of
      the order, issue a warrant for levying the amount due  in  the  manner
      provided for levying fines, and may  sentence  such  person,  for  the
      whole, or any part of each month’s allowance for  the  maintenance  or
      the interim maintenance and expenses of proceeding, as  the  case  be,
      remaining unpaid after the execution of the warrant,  to  imprisonment
      for a term which may extend to one month or until  payment  if  sooner
      made:

      Provided that no warrant shall be  issued  for  the  recovery  of  any
      amount due under this section unless application be made to the  court
      to levy such amount within a period of one year from the date on which
      it became due:

      Provided further that if such person offers to maintain  his  wife  on
      condition of her living with him, and she refuses to  live  with  him,
      such Magistrate may consider any grounds of refusal stated by her, and
      may make an order under this section notwithstanding such offer, if he
      is satisfied that there is just ground for so doing.

      Explanation: If a husband has contracted marriage with  another  woman
      or keeps a mistress, it shall be considered to be just ground for  his
      wife’s refusal to live with him.

      (4) No  wife  shall  be  entitled  to  receive  an allowance  for  the
      maintenance or the interim maintenance and expenses of proceeding,  as
      the case may be, from her husband under this section if she is  living
      in adultery, or if, without any sufficient reason, she refuses to live
      with her husband, or if they are living separately by mutual consent.

      (5) On proof that any wife in whose favour  an  order  has  been  made
      under this section is living in adultery, or that  without  sufficient
      reason she refuses to live with her husband, or that they  are  living
      separately by mutual consent, the Magistrate shall cancel the order.


      128.  Enforcement of order of maintenance.

      A copy of the order of maintenance or interim maintenance and expenses
      of proceeding, as the case may be, shall be given without  payment  to
      the person in whose favour it is made, or to his guardian, if any,  or
      to the person  to whom  the  allowance  for  the  maintenance  or  the
      allowance for the interim maintenance and expenses of  proceeding,  as
      the case may be, is to be paid; and such order may be enforced by  any
      Magistrate in any place where the person against whom it is  made  may
      be, on such Magistrate being satisfied  as  to  the  identity  of  the
      parties and the non-payment of the allowance, or as the case  may  be,
      expenses, due.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

Rather than venturing an interpretation of  Sections  125  and  128  of  the
Cr.P.C., in order to demonstrate the nature of orders, that  can  be  passed
thereunder, reference may be made to the decision rendered by this Court  in
Kuldip Kaur v.  Surinder  Singh,  (1989)  1  SCC  405,  wherein  this  Court
observed as under:-
      “6.   A distinction has to  be  drawn  between  a  mode  of  enforcing
      recovery on the one hand and effecting actual recovery of  the  amount
      of monthly allowance  which  has  fallen  in  arrears  on  the  other.
      Sentencing a person to jail is a 'mode of enforcement'. It  is  not  a
      'mode  of  satisfaction'  of  the  liability.  The  liability  can  be
      satisfied only by making actual payment  of  the  arrears.  The  whole
      purpose of sending to jail is to oblige a person  liable  to  pay  the
      monthly allowance  who  refuses  to  comply  with  the  order  without
      sufficient cause, to obey the order  and  to  make  the  payment.  The
      purpose of sending him to jail is not to wipe out the liability  which
      he has refused to discharge. Be it also realised that a person ordered
      to pay monthly allowance can be sent to jail only if he fails  to  pay
      monthly allowance 'without sufficient cause' to comply with the order.
      It would indeed  be  strange  to  hold  that  a  person  who  'without
      reasonable cause' refuses to comply with the order  of  the  Court  to
      maintain his  neglected  wife  or  child  would  be  absolved  of  his
      liability merely because he prefers to go to jail. A sentence of  jail
      is no substitute for the recovery of the amount of  monthly  allowance
      which has fallen in arrears. Monthly allowance is  paid  in  order  to
      enable the wife and child to live  by  providing  with  the  essential
      economic wherewithal. Neither the neglected  wife  nor  the  neglected
      child can live without funds for purchasing  food  and  the  essential
      articles to enable them to live. Instead of providing  them  with  the
      funds, no useful purpose would be served by  sending  the  husband  to
      jail. Sentencing to jail  is  the  means  for  achieving  the  end  of
      enforcing the order by recovering the amount of arrears. It is  not  a
      mode of discharging liability.  The  section  does  not  say  so.  The
      Parliament in its wisdom has not said so. Commonsense does not support
      such a construction. From where does the Court  draw  inspiration  for
      persuading itself that the  liability  arising  under  the  order  for
      maintenance would stand  discharged  upon  an  effort  being  made  to
      recover it? The order for monthly allowance  can  be  discharged  only
      upon the monthly allowance being recovered. The  liability  cannot  be
      taken to have been discharged by sending the person liable to pay  the
      monthly allowance, to jail. At the cost of repetition it may be stated
      that it is only a mode or method of recovery and not a substitute  for
      recovery. No other view is possible. That is the  reason  why  we  set
      aside the order under appeal and passed  an  order  in  the  following
      terms:

           'Heard both the sides.

           The  appeal  is  allowed.  The  order  passed  by  the   learned
           Magistrate as confirmed by the High Court  in  exercise  of  its
           revisional jurisdiction to the effect that the amount of monthly
           allowance payable under  Section 125 of  the  Code  of  Criminal
           Procedure is wiped out and is not recoverable any more by reason
           of the fact that respondent No. 1, Surinder Singh, was  sent  to
           jail in exercise of the powers under Section 125 of the Code  of
           Criminal Procedure is set aside. In our opinion, respondent  No.
           1, husband of appellant, is not absolved of his liability to pay
           the monthly allowance by reason of his undergoing a sentence  of
           jail and the amount is  still  recoverable  notwithstanding  the
           fact that the respondent No. 1 husband who is liable to  pay  he
           monthly allowance has undergone a sentence of jail  for  failure
           to pay the same. Our reasons for reaching this  conclusion  will
           follow.

           So far as the  amount  of  monthly  allowance  awarded  in  this
           particular case is concerned, by consent of parties, we pass the
           following order in regard to future payments  with  effect  from
           15th August, 1986.

           We direct that respondent No. 1, Surinder Singh  shall  pay  Rs.
           275 (Rs.200 for the wife and Rs.75 for the child) as and by  way
           of maintenance to the appellant Smt. Kuldip Kaur commencing from
           August 15, 1986. The amount of Rs.275 shall be paid by the  15th
           of every  succeeding  month.  On  failure  to  pay  any  monthly
           allowance for any month hereafter on the part of respondent  No.
           1, Surinder Singh, the  learned  Metropolitan  Magistrate  shall
           issue a warrant for his arrest, cause him to be arrested and put
           in jail for his failure to comply with this Court's order and he
           shall not be released till he makes the payment.

           With regard to the arrears which have become due till August 15,
           1986, learned Counsel  for  the  appellant  states  that  having
           regard to the fact that respondent No.  1,  has  agreed  to  the
           aforesaid consent order, the appellant will not  apply  for  the
           respondent being sent to jail under Section 125 of the  Code  of
           Criminal Procedure but will reserve the liberty to  realize  the
           said amount (Rs.5090 plus the difference between the amount that
           became due and the amount actually paid under the interim order)
           under the law except by seeking an order for sending  respondent
           No. 1 to jail.

           The appeal will stand disposed of accordingly.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

On the subject in hand, reference may also be made to a recent  judgment  of
this Court in Poongodi v.  Thangavel,  (2013)  10  SCC  618.   The  relevant
observations rendered by  this  Court  in  the  above  judgment  are,  being
reproduced hereunder:-
      “6.  In  another  decision  of   this   Court   in Shantha   v.   B.G.
      Shivananjappa, (2005) 4 SCC 468, it has been held that  the  liability
      to pay maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C. is in  the  nature  of  a
      continuing liability. The nature of the right to  receive  maintenance
      and the concomitant liability to pay was also noticed in a decision of
      this Court in Shahada Khatoon and Ors. v. Amjad Ali and Ors., (1999) 5
      SCC 672. Though  in  a  slightly  different  context,  the  remedy  to
      approach  the  court  by  means  of  successive   applications   under
      Section 125(3)   Cr.P.C.  highlighting  the  subsequent  defaults   in
      payment of maintenance  was  acknowledged  by  this  Court  in Shahada
      Khatoon.

      7. The ratio of the decisions in the aforesaid cases squarely  applies
      to the present case. The application dated  05.02.2002  filed  by  the
      Appellants under Section   125(3)   was   in   continuation   of   the
      earlier   applications and  for  subsequent  periods  of  default   on
      the  part   of   the  Respondent.  The  first   proviso   to  Section
      125(3),   therefore   did  not extinguish or limit the entitlement  of
      the Appellants to the maintenance granted by the learned trial  court,
      as has been held by the High Court.

      8. In view of the above, we are left in no doubt that the order passed
      by the High  Court  needs  to  be  interfered  with  by  us  which  we
      accordingly do. The order dated 21.04.2004 of the High  Court  is  set
      aside and we now issue directions to the Respondent to pay the  entire
      arrears of maintenance due to the Appellants commencing from the  date
      of filing of the Maintenance  Petition  (M.C.  No.  1  of  1993)  i.e.
      4.2.1993 within  a  period  of  six  months  and  current  maintenance
      commencing from the month of September,  2013  payable  on  or  before
      7th of October, 2013  and  thereafter  continue  to  pay  the  monthly
      maintenance on or before the 7th of  each  successive  month.  If  the
      above order of this Court is not complied with by the Respondent,  the
      learned Trial Court is directed to issue a warrant for the  arrest  of
      the Respondent and ensure that the same is executed and the respondent
      taken  into  custody   to   suffer   imprisonment   as   provided   by
      Section 125(3) Cr.P.C.”.
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

It is, therefore apparent, that even  for  a  petty  amount  of  maintenance
(which in Kuldip Kaur’s case (supra) was a meager  amount  of  Rs.275/-  per
month), the respondent was ordered to be arrested and put in  jail  for  his
failure to comply with the Court’s order, with a further direction  that  he
would not be released till he had made the payment.  Most  importantly,  the
purpose of sending a person to jail, must be understood as being  a  manner,
procedure or device, for the satisfaction  of  the  liability.   Arrest  and
detention is only to coerce compliance.  The liability to pay,  would  stand
discharged only by actual payment, of the amount due.   Remaining  in  jail,
would not discharge the liability to pay.

60.   Insofar as the provisions of the Cr.P.C. are concerned, reference  may
also be made to Sections  357,  421  and  431,  which  are  being  extracted
hereunder:-
      “357. Order to pay compensation.

      (1) When a Court imposes a sentence of fine or a sentence (including a
      sentence of death) of which fine forms a part,  the  Court  may,  when
      passing judgment order the whole or any part of the fine recovered  to
      be applied-

      (a) in defraying the expenses properly incurred in the prosecution;

      (b) in the payment to any person  of  compensation  for  any  loss  or
      injury caused by the offence, when compensation is, in the opinion  of
      the Court, recoverable by such person in a Civil Court;

      (c) when any person is convicted of any offence for having caused  the
      death of another person or of having abetted the commission of such an
      offence, in paying compensation to the  persons  who  are,  under  the
      Fatal Accidents Act, 1855 (13 of 1855), entitled  to  recover  damages
      from the person sentenced for the loss resulting  to  them  from  such
      death;

      (d) when any person is convicted of any offence which includes  theft,
      criminal misappropriation, criminal breach of trust, or  cheating,  or
      of having dishonestly received or retained, or of  having  voluntarily
      assisted in disposing of, stolen property knowing or having reason  to
      believe the same to be stolen, in compensating any bona fide purchaser
      of such property for the loss of the same if such property is restored
      to the possession of the person entitled thereto.

      (2) If the fine is imposed in a case which is subject  to  appeal,  no
      such payment shall be made before the period  allowed  for  presenting
      the appeal has elapsed, or, if an  appeal  be  presented,  before  the
      decision of the appeal.

      (3) When a Court imposes a sentence, of which fine  does  not  form  a
      part, the Court may, when passing judgment order the accused person to
      pay, by way of compensation, such amount as may be  specified  in  the
      order to the person who has suffered any loss or injury by  reason  of
      the act for which the accused person has been so sentenced.

      (4) An order under this section may also be made by an Appellate Court
      or by the High Court or Court of Session when exercising its powers of
      revision.

      (5) At the time of awarding compensation in any subsequent civil  suit
      relating to the same matter, the Court shall take into account any sum
      paid or recovered as compensation under this section.

      421. Warrant for levy of fine.

      (1) When an offender has been sentenced  to  pay  a  fine,  the  Court
      passing the sentence may take action for the recovery of the  fine  in
      either or both of the following ways, that is to say, it may-

      (a) issue a warrant for the levy of the amount by attachment and  sale
      of any movable property belonging to the offender;

      (b) issue a warrant to the Collector of the district, authorizing  him
      to realise the amount as arrears of land revenue from the  movable  or
      immovable property, or both, of the defaulter:

      Provided that, if the sentence directs that in default of  payment  of
      the fine, the offender shall be imprisoned, and if such  offender  has
      undergone the whole of such imprisonment in default,  no  Court  shall
      issue such warrant unless, for  special  reasons  to  be  recorded  in
      writing, it considers it necessary so to do, or unless it has made  an
      order for the payment of expenses or  compensation  out  of  the  fine
      under section 357.

      (2) The State Government may make rules regulating the manner in which
      warrants under clause (a) of sub- section (1) are to be executed,  and
      for the summary determination of any claims made by any  person  other
      than the offender in respect of any property attached in execution  of
      such warrant.

      (3) Where the Court issues a warrant to the Collector under clause (b)
      of  sub-section  (1),  the  Collector  shall  realise  the  amount  in
      accordance with the law  relating  to  recovery  of  arrears  of  land
      revenue, as if such warrant were a certificate issued under such law:

      Provided that no such warrant shall  be  executed  by  the  arrest  or
      detention in prison of the offender.

      431. Money ordered to be paid recoverable as fine.-

      Any money (other than a fine) payable by  virtue  of  any  order  made
      under this Code, and the method of recovery of which is not  otherwise
      expressly provided for, shall be recoverable as if it were a fine:


      Provided that Section 421 shall, in its application to an order  under
      Section 359, by virtue of this section, be  construed  as  if  in  the
      proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 421, after the words and figures
      “under Section 357”, the words and figures “or an order for payment of
      costs under Section 359” had been inserted."
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

The above provisions were examined by this Court in  K.A.  Abbas  H.S.A.  v.
Sabu Joseph & Anr. Etc., (2010)  6  SCC  230,  a  relevant  extract  of  the
observations made in the above judgment, are being reproduced hereunder:-
      “17.  In Balraj v. State of UP, AIR 1995 SC 1935, this Court has held,
      that, Section 357(3) Cr. P.C. provides for ordering of payment by  way
      of compensation to the victim by  the  accused.  It  is  an  important
      provision and it must also be noted that power to  award  compensation
      is not ancillary to other sentences but it is in addition thereto.  In
      Hari Kishan v. Sukhbir Singh and Ors., AIR 1988 SC  2127,  this  Court
      has observed that, Sub-section (1) of Section 357  provides  power  to
      award compensation to victims of the offence out of  the  sentence  of
      fine imposed on accused.

      18.   In this case, we are not concerned with Sub-section (1). We  are
      concerned only with Sub-section (3). It is an important provision  but
      Courts have seldom invoked it. Perhaps due to ignorance of the  object
      of it. It empowers the Court to award compensation  to  victims  while
      passing judgment of conviction. In addition to conviction,  the  Court
      may order the accused to pay some amount by  way  of  compensation  to
      victim who has suffered by the action of accused. It may be noted that
      this power of Courts to award compensation is not ancillary  to  other
      sentences but it is in addition thereto. This power was intended to do
      something to reassure the victim that he or she is  not  forgotten  in
      the  criminal  justice  system.  It  is  a   measure   of   responding
      appropriately to crime as well of  reconciling  the  victim  with  the
      offender. It is, to some extent, a constructive approach to crimes. It
      is  indeed  a  step  forward  in  our  criminal  justice  system.  We,
      therefore, recommend to all Courts to exercise this power liberally so
      as to meet the ends of justice in a better way.


      19.   In Dilip S. Dahanukar v. Kotak Mahindra Co. Ltd. and Anr. (2007)
      6 SCC 528, this Court differentiated between  fine  and  compensation,
      and while doing so, has  stated  that  the  distinction  between  Sub-
      sections (1) and  (3)  of  Section 357 is  apparent.  Sub-section  (1)
      provides for application  of  an  amount  of  fine  while  imposing  a
      sentence of which fine forms a part; whereas Sub-section (3) calls for
      a situation where a Court imposes a sentence of which  fine  does  not
      form a part of the sentence.


      The court further observed:

           27. Compensation is awarded towards sufferance of  any  loss  or
           injury by reason of an  act  for  which  an  accused  person  is
           sentenced. Although it provides for a  criminal  liability,  the
           amount which has been awarded as compensation is  considered  to
           be recourse of the victim  in  the  same  manner  which  may  be
           granted in a civil suit.


      Finally the court summed up:

           31. We must, however, observe that there  exists  a  distinction
           between fine and compensation, although, in a way  it  seeks  to
           achieve the same purpose.  An  amount  of  compensation  can  be
           directed to be recovered as  a  'fine'  but  the  legal  fiction
           raised in relation to recovery of fine only, it is in that sense
           `fine' stands on a higher footing than compensation  awarded  by
           the Court.


      20. Moving over to the question, whether a  default  sentence  can  be
      imposed on default of payment of compensation, this Court in the  case
      of Hari Singh v. Sukhbir Singh and in Balraj v. State of U.P, has held
      that it was open to all courts  in  India  to  impose  a  sentence  on
      default  of  payment  of  compensation  under   Sub-section   (3)   of
      Section 357. In Hari Singh v. Sukhbir Singh (supra),  this  Court  has
      noticed certain factors which requires to be taken into  consideration
      while passing an order under the section:

           “11. The payment  by  way  of  compensation  must,  however,  be
           reasonable. What is reasonable, may depend upon  the  facts  and
           circumstances of each case. The quantum of compensation  may  be
           determined by taking into  account  the  nature  of  crime,  the
           justness of claim by the victim and the ability  of  accused  to
           pay. If there are more than one accused they may be asked to pay
           in equal terms unless their capacity to pay varies considerably.
           The payment may also  vary  depending  upon  the  acts  of  each
           accused. Reasonable  period  for  payment  of  compensation,  if
           necessary by installments, may also  be  given.  The  Court  may
           enforce the order by imposing sentence in default.”


            xxx        xxx         xxx        xxx        xxx


      22. The law laid down in Hari  Singh  v.  Sukhbir  Singh  (supra)  was
      reiterated by this Court in the  case  of  Suganthi  Suresh  Kumar  v.
      Jagdeeshan, (2002) 2 SCC 420. The court observed:


           “5. In the said decision this Court reminded all concerned  that
           it is well to remember the emphasis laid on the need for  making
           liberal use of Section 357(3) of the Code. This was observed  by
           reference to a decision of this Court in, 1989 Cri  LJ  116 Hari
           Singh v. Sukhbir Singh.


           xxx                 xxx                  xxx                 xxx
              xxx

           10. That apart, Section 431 of the Code has only prescribed that
           any money (other than fine) payable by virtue of an  order  made
           under the Code shall be recoverable "as if it were a fine".  Two
           modes  of  recovery  of  the  fine  have   been   indicated   in
           Section 421(1) of the Code. The proviso to the Sub-section  says
           that if the sentence directs that in default of payment  of  the
           fine, the offender shall be imprisoned, and if such offender has
           undergone the whole of such imprisonment in  default,  no  court
           shall issue such warrant for levy of the amount.

           xxx                 xxx                  xxx                 xxx
              xxx

      23. In order to  set  at  rest  the  divergent  opinion  expressed  in
      Kunhappu's case  (supra),  this  Court  in  the  case  of  Vijayan  v.
      Sadanandan K. and Anr., (2009) 6 SCC 652, after noticing the provision
      of Section 421 and 431 of Cr.PC, which dealt with mode of recovery  of
      fine and Section 64 of IPC, which empowered the courts to provide  for
      a sentence of imprisonment on default of payment of  fine,  the  Court
      stated:

           “24. We have carefully considered the submissions made on behalf
           of the respective parties. Since  a  decision  on  the  question
           raised in this petition is still  in  a  nebulous  state,  there
           appear to be two views as  to  whether  a  default  sentence  on
           imprisonment can be  imposed  in  cases  where  compensation  is
           awarded  to  the  complainant  under  Section 357(3) Cr.P.C.  As
           pointed out by Mr.  Basant  in Dilip  S.  Dahanukar's case,  the
           distinction between a fine and compensation as understood  under
           Section 357(1)(b) and Section 357(3) Cr.P.C. had been explained,
           but the question as to whether a default sentence  clause  could
           be   made   in   respect   of   compensation    payable    under
           Section 357(3) Cr.P.C, which is central to the decision in  this
           case, had not been considered.


      The court further held:

           31. The provisions of Sections 357(3) and 431 Cr.P.C., when read
           with Section 64 IPC, empower the Court, while  making  an  order
           for payment of compensation, to also include a default  sentence
           in case of non-payment of the same.

           32.  The observations made by this  Court  in Hari  Singh's case
           (supra) are as important today as they were when they were  made
           and if, as submitted by Dr. Pillay, recourse can only be had  to
           Section 421 Cr.P.C. for enforcing the same, the very  object  of
           Sub-section (3)  of  Section 357 would  be  frustrated  and  the
           relief  contemplated  therein   would   be   rendered   somewhat
           illusory.”


      24. In Shantilal v. State of M.P., (2007) 11 SCC 243,  it  is  stated,
      that, the sentence of imprisonment for default in payment of a fine or
      compensation is different from a normal sentence of imprisonment.  The
      court also delved into the factors  to  be  taken  into  consideration
      while passing an order under Section 357(3) of the Cr.PC.  This  Court
      stated:

           “31. …The term of imprisonment in default of payment of fine  is
           not a sentence. It is a penalty which a person incurs on account
           of non-payment of fine.  The  sentence  is  something  which  an
           offender must undergo unless it is set aside or remitted in part
           or in whole  either  in  appeal  or  in  revision  or  in  other
           appropriate judicial  proceedings  or  "otherwise".  A  term  of
           imprisonment ordered in default of payment of fine stands  on  a
           different footing. A person is required to undergo  imprisonment
           either because he is unable to pay the amount of fine or refuses
           to pay such amount. He, therefore, can always avoid  to  undergo
           imprisonment in default  of  payment  of  fine  by  paying  such
           amount. It is, therefore, not only  the power,  but  the duty of
           the court to keep in view the nature of  offence,  circumstances
           under which it was committed, the position of the  offender  and
           other relevant considerations before ordering  the  offender  to
           suffer imprisonment in default of payment of fine.”
                                                      (emphasis in original)

      25. In Kuldip Kaur v. Surinder Singh and Anr., AIR 1989 SC 232, in the
      context of Section 125 Cr.PC observed that sentencing a person to jail
      is a mode of enforcement…


           xxx                 xxx                  xxx                 xxx
              xxx

      26. From the above line of cases,  it  becomes  very  clear,  that,  a
      sentence of imprisonment can be granted  for  default  in  payment  of
      compensation awarded under Section 357(3) of Cr.PC. The whole  purpose
      of the provision is to accommodate the interests of the victims in the
      criminal justice system. Sometimes the  situation  becomes  such  that
      there is no purpose is served by keeping a person behind bars. Instead
      directing the accused to pay an amount of compensation to  the  victim
      or affected party can ensure delivery  of  total  justice.  Therefore,
      this grant of compensation is sometimes in lieu of  sending  a  person
      behind bars or in addition to a very light sentence  of  imprisonment.
      Hence on default of payment of this compensation, there must be a just
      recourse. Not imposing a sentence of imprisonment would mean  allowing
      the accused to get away without paying the compensation  and  imposing
      another fine would be impractical as it would  mean  imposing  a  fine
      upon another fine and therefore would not ensure proper enforcement of
      the  order   of   compensation.   While   passing   an   order   under
      Section 357(3), it is imperative for the courts to look at the ability
      and the capacity of the accused to pay the same  amount  as  has  been
      laid down by the cases above, otherwise the very purpose  of  granting
      an order of compensation would stand defeated.


           xxx                 xxx                  xxx                 xxx
         xxx

      29. Section 431 clearly provides that an order of  compensation  under
      Section 357(3) will be recoverable in the same way as  if  it  were  a
      fine. Section421 further provides the mode of recovery of a  fine  and
      the section clearly provides that a person can be imprisoned for  non-
      payment of fine. Therefore, going by the provisions of the  code,  the
      intention of the  legislature  is  clearly  to  ensure  that  mode  of
      recovery of a fine and compensation is on the same footing.  In  light
      of the aforesaid reasoning, the contention of the accused  that  there
      can  be  no  sentence  of  imprisonment  for  default  in  payment  of
      compensation under Section 357(3) should fail.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

It is therefore apparent, that even under  the  provisions  of  the  Cr.P.C.
there is an elaborate procedure  prescribed,  whereunder  a  person  can  be
subjected to arrest  and  detention  for  the  satisfaction  of  a  fine  or
compensation (i.e., for the recovery of a financial liability).

61.   From the above provisions of the CPC,  as  also,  the  Cr.P.C.  it  is
apparent, that to enforce a financial liability ordered by a Court,  one  of
the permissible means is, by way of arrest and detention.   The  submissions
advanced by the learned  counsel  for  the  petitioner,  that  there  is  no
provision, whereunder, an order of arrest and detention can be  passed,  for
the execution of a money-decree, cannot therefore be accepted.  It  is  also
not possible for us to infer, that learned counsel  were  oblivious  of  the
provisions contained in the  civil/criminal  procedure  codes.   It  may  be
pointed  out,  that  there  are  a  large  number  of  standalone  statutory
enactments, whereunder arrest and detention is ordered for the execution  of
a financial liability.


VI.   Whether it was imperative  for  this  Court  to  adopt  the  procedure
      prescribed under Section 51 (and other allied provisions) of the CPC?

      Whether if the above procedure was not followed,  the  impugned  order
      passed by this Court on 4.3.2014  was  rendered  void,  and  as  such,
      unsustainable in law?

62.   Despite the written submission filed by Shri Ram Jethmalani, which  we
have adverted to in the  immediately  preceding  part  of  this  order,  the
credit for advancing submissions  on  the  issue  depicted  in  the  heading
hereinabove, goes to Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, learned Senior Counsel,  who
also represented the  petitioner.   It  was  his  submission,  that  it  was
imperative for this Court before ordering the detention of  the  petitioner,
to ensure compliance of the preconditions referred to in Section 51  of  the
CPC.  Section 51 is once again being extracted hereunder:-
      “51.  Powers of Court to enforce execution

           Subject to such conditions and limitations as may be prescribed,
           the Court may, on the application of  the  decree-holder,  order
           execution of the decree-

           (a) by delivery of any property specifically decreed;

           (b) by attachment and sale or by the sale without attachment  of
           any property;

           (c) by arrest and  detention  in  prison  for  such  period  not
           exceeding the period specified in section 58, where  arrest  and
           detention is permissible under that section;

           (d) by appointing a receiver; or

           (e) in such other manner as the nature of the relief granted may
           require:


           Provided that, where the decree is for  the  payment  of  money,
           execution by detention in prison shall not  be  ordered  unless,
           after giving the judgment-debtor an opportunity of showing cause
           why he should not be committed to prison, the Court, for reasons
           recorded in writing, is satisfied-

           (a) that the judgment-debtor,  with  the  object  or  effect  of
           obstructing or delaying the execution of the decree,-

                 (i) is likely to abscond or leave the local limits  of  the
                 jurisdiction of the Court, or

                 (ii) has, after the institution of the suit  in  which  the
                 decree was passed, dishonestly transferred,  concealed,  or
                 removed any part of his property, or  committed  any  other
                 act of bad faith in relation to his property, or

           (b) that the judgment-debtor has, or has had since the  date  of
           the decree, the means to pay the amount of the  decree  or  some
           substantial part thereof and refuses or neglects or has  refused
           or neglected to pay the same, or

           (c) that the decree is for a sum for which  the  judgment-debtor
           was bound in a fiduciary capacity to account.

           Explanation.- In the calculation of the means of  the  judgment-
           debtor for the purposes of clause (b), there shall be  left  out
           of account any property which, by or under  any  law  or  custom
           having the force of law for the time being in force,  is  exempt
           from attachment in execution of the decree.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

Referring to Section 51 of the CPC, it was the  pointed  contention  of  the
learned  counsel,  that  the  proviso  to  Section   51,   lays   down   the
preconditions for  execution  of  a  money-decree  (by  way  of  arrest  and
detention, in prison).   While  inviting  our  attention  to  the  aforesaid
proviso, it was asserted, that it was imperative for a Court, to  afford  an
opportunity to show cause to a judgment-debtor, before he  is  committed  to
prison.  Furthermore, while interpreting  the  above  proviso,  it  was  the
submission of learned Senior Counsel, that such detention could be  ordered,
only and only, if the Court felt that the  judgment-debtor  had  consciously
obstructed  or  delayed  the  execution  of  a  money-decree.   Such  active
obstruction or delay, according to the learned counsel, could be  inferable,
if the Court was apprehensive, that the  judgment-debtor  would  abscond  or
leave the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Court.  Or  if  the  Court
was  satisfied,  that  the  judgment-debtor  had  dishonestly   transferred,
concealed or removed his property, so as  to  avoid  the  execution  of  the
money-decree.  Or if it was found by the  Court,  that  the  judgment-debtor
had committed an act of bad faith in relation  to  his  property,  with  the
above stated objectives.  Or if the Court could arrive  at  the  conclusion,
that even though the judgment-debtor had means to pay the  amount  expressed
in the decree (or some substantial part thereof), yet  he  was  refusing  or
neglecting to pay the same.  According to learned counsel, any  one  of  the
above alternatives would enable the Court concerned, to enforce payment,  by
way of arrest and detention.  It was however the contention of  the  learned
Senior Counsel, that none of the  above  preconditions  existed,  when  this
Court all of a sudden, without affording an opportunity to  the  petitioner,
ordered his arrest and detention along with two other directors on  4.3.2014
(by passing the impugned order).

63.   In addition to the above submission, learned  Senior  Counsel  invited
our attention to Order XXI rules 37 and 40 of the CPC.  The above Rules  are
being extracted hereunder:-
      “37.  Discretionary power to  permit  judgment-debtor  to  show  cause
           against detention in prison

           (1)  Notwithstanding  anything  in   these   rules,   where   an
           application is for the execution of a decree for the payment  of
           money by the arrest and detention  in  the  civil  prison  of  a
           judgment-debtor who is liable to be arrested in pursuance of the
           application, the  Court shall,  instead  of  issuing  a  warrant
           for his arrest, issue a notice calling upon him to appear before
           the Court on a day to be specified in the notice and show  cause
           why he should not be committed to the civil prison:

           Provided that such notice shall not be necessary if the Court is
           satisfied, by affidavit, or otherwise, that, with the object  or
           effect of delaying the execution of the  decree,  the  judgment-
           debtor is likely to abscond or leave the  local  limits  of  the
           jurisdiction of the Court.

           (2) Where appearance is not made in obedience to the notice, the
           Court shall, if the decree-holder so requires, issue  a  warrant
           for the arrest of the judgment-debtor.

      40.   Proceedings on appearance of  judgment-debtor  in  obedience  to
           notice or after arrest

           (1) When a judgment-debtor appears before the Court in obedience
           to a notice issued under rule 37, or is brought before the Court
           after being arrested in execution of a decree for the payment of
           money, the Court shall proceed to  hear  the  decree-holder  and
           take all such evidence as may  be  produced  by him  in  support
           of his application  for  execution,  and  shall  then  give  the
           judgment-debtor an opportunity of showing cause  why  he  should
           not be committed to the civil prison.

           (2) Pending the conclusion of the inquiry under sub-rule (1) the
           Court may, in its discretion, order the  judgment-debtor  to  be
           detained  in  the  custody  of  an  officer  of  the  Court   or
           release him on his furnishing security to  the  satisfaction  of
           the Court for his appearance when required.

           (3) Upon the conclusion of the inquiry under  sub-rule  (1)  the
           Court may, subject to the provisions of section 51  and  to  the
           other provisions of this Code, make an order for  the  detention
           of the judgment-debtor in the civil prison  and  shall  in  that
           event cause him to be arrested if he is not already under arrest
           :

           Provided that  in  order  to   give   the   judgment-debtor   an
           opportunity of satisfying the  decree,  the  Court  may,  before
           making the order of detention, leave the judgment-debtor in  the
           custody of an officer of the Court for a  specified  period  not
           exceeding fifteen days or release him on his furnishing security
           to the satisfaction of  the  Court  for his  appearance  at  the
           expiration of the specified period if the decree be  not  sooner
           satisfied.

           (4) A judgment-debtor  released  under  this  rule  may  be  re-
           arrested.
           (5) When the Court does not make an order of detention under sub-
           rule (3), it shall disallow the application and, if the judgment-
           debtor is under arrest, direct his release.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

Relying on the afore-extracted rules from Order  XXI  of  the  CPC,  it  was
sought to be asserted, that a show cause notice  to  a  judgment-debtor  was
imperative, before  he  could  be  committed  to  civil  prison.   In  fact,
according  to  learned  counsel,  rule  40  extracted  above,   affords   an
opportunity  to  the  judgment-debtor  to  lead   evidence   in   order   to
demonstrate, why he should not be committed to civil prison.  Based  on  the
aforementioned assertions, it was sought to  be  contended,  that  since  no
procedure, of the nature referred to hereinabove, had been  followed  before
issuing the order dated 4.3.2014, the said order must be  treated  as  void,
as it must be deemed to have been  passed  in  violation  of  the  mandatory
procedure, established by law.

64.   In order to support his  above  submissions,  learned  Senior  Counsel
also  placed  reliance  on  Supreme  Court  Rules,  1966.   He  invited  our
attention to Order XIII rule 6, which is being reproduced hereunder:-
                                 “Order XIII
                        Judgments, decrees and Orders

      6.    The decree passed or order made by the Court  in  every  appeal,
      and any order for costs in connection with  the  proceedings  therein,
      shall be transmitted by the Registrar to the Court  or  Tribunal  from
      which the appeal was brought, and steps for the  enforcement  of  such
      decree or order shall be taken in that court or Tribunal  in  the  way
      prescribed by law.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

It was sought to be asserted, on the basis  of  the  above  rule,  that  the
power of execution of an order passed by this Court in appeal, did not  rest
with this  Court,  but  was  to  be  exercised  by  the  Court  or  Tribunal
concerned, in the manner “prescribed by law”.  It was accordingly  asserted,
that this Court had transgressed the aforesaid rule framed  by  this  Court,
inasmuch as, it had exercised the power of an executing Court while  passing
the order dated 4.3.2014, whereas, no such power was vested in this Court.

65.   In order to demonstrate, that it was not within  the  jurisdiction  of
this Court (in exercise of the power vested in it under Article 142  of  the
Constitution of India), to pass the impugned order dated  4.3.2014,  learned
Senior Counsel placed reliance on the judgment rendered  by  this  Court  in
Supreme Court  Bar  Association’s  case  (supra),  wherein  this  Court  had
declared the legal position as under:-
      “47.  The plenary powers of  this  court  under  Article  142  of  the
      Constitution are inherent in the Court and are complementary to  those
      powers which are  specifically  conferred  on  the  court  by  various
      statutes though are not limited by those statutes. These  powers  also
      exist independent of the statutes with a view to do  complete  justice
      between the parties. These powers are of very wide amplitude  and  are
      in the nature of supplementary powers. This power exists as a separate
      and independent basis of jurisdiction, apart  from  the  statutes.  It
      stands upon the foundation, and the basis for its exercise may be  put
      on a different and perhaps even wider footing, to prevent injustice in
      the process of litigation and  to  do  complete  justice  between  the
      parties. This plenary jurisdiction is, thus, the  residual  source  of
      power which this Court may draw upon as necessary whenever it is  just
      and equitable to do so and in particular to ensure the  observance  of
      the due process of law, to do complete justice  between  the  parties,
      while administering justice according to law. There is no  doubt  that
      it is an indispensable adjunct to all other powers and  is  free  from
      the restraint of jurisdiction and operates as a valuable weapon in the
      hands of the Court to prevent "clogging or obstruction of  the  stream
      of justice". It, however, needs  to  be  remembered  that  the  powers
      conferred on the Court by Article 142 being curative in nature  cannot
      be construed as  powers  which  authorise  the  Court  to  ignore  the
      substantive rights of a litigant while dealing with  a  cause  pending
      before it. This power cannot be used  to  "supplant"  substantive  law
      applicable to the case or cause  under  consideration  of  the  court.
      Article 142, even with the width of its amplitude, cannot be  used  to
      build a new edifice where none existed earlier,  by  ignoring  express
      statutory provisions dealing with a subject  and  thereby  to  achieve
      something indirectly which cannot be achieved  directly.  Punishing  a
      contemner advocate, while dealing with a contempt  of  court  case  by
      suspending his licence to  practice,  a  power  otherwise  statutorily
      available only to the Bar Council of India, on  the  ground  that  the
      contemner is also an  advocate,  is,  therefore,  not  permissible  in
      exercise of the jurisdiction under Article 142.  The  construction  of
      Article 142 must be functionally informed by the salutary  purpose  of
      the Article, viz., to do complete  justice  between  the  parties.  It
      cannot be otherwise. As already noticed  in  a  case  of  contempt  of
      court, the contemner and the court cannot be  said  to  be  litigating
      parties.”

Reliance was also placed  by  the  learned  Senior  Counsel,  for  the  same
objective, on P. Ramachandra Rao v. State of Karnataka, (2002)  4  SCC  578.
In order to understand the exact purport of the  decision,  learned  counsel
invited our attention to the factual position which  constituted  the  basis
of the above adjudication.  The  factual  position  has  been  expressed  in
paragraph 2 of the above judgment, which is being reproduced hereunder:-
      “2.   In Criminal Appeal No.535/2000 the appellant was working  as  an
      Electrical Superintendent in the Mangalore City Corporation.  For  the
      check period 1.5.1961 to 25.8.1987 he was found to have amassed assets
      disproportionate to his known sources of income. Charge-sheet accusing
      him of offences under Section 13(1)(e) read with Section 13(2) of  the
      Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 was filed on 15.3.1994. The accused
      appeared before  the  Special  Court  and  was  enlarged  on  bail  on
      6.6.1994. Charges were framed on 10.8.1994 and the case proceeded  for
      trial on 8.11.1994. However, the trial did not commence. On  23.2.1999
      the learned Special Judge who was seized of  the  trial  directed  the
      accused to be acquitted as the trial had not commenced till  then  and
      the period of two years had elapsed which obliged him  to  acquit  the
      accused in terms of the directions of this court in Raj Deo Sharma Vs.
      State of Bihar (1998) 7 SCC 507 (hereinafter, Raj Deo  Sharma-I).  The
      State of Karnataka through the D.S.P. Lokayukta,  Mangalore  preferred
      an appeal before the High Court putting in issue the acquittal of  the
      accused. The learned Single Judge of the High Court, vide the impugned
      order, allowed the appeal,  set  aside  the  order  of  acquittal  and
      remanded the case to the Trial Court, forming an opinion that  a  case
      charging an accused with corruption was an exception to the directions
      made in Raj Deo Sharma-I as clarified by this Court in Raj Deo  Sharma
      (II) Vs. State of Bihar (1999) 7 SCC 604. Strangely  enough  the  High
      Court not only condoned a delay  of  55  days  in  filing  the  appeal
      against acquittal by the State but also allowed the appeal  itself  --
      both without even issuing notice to the accused. The aggrieved accused
      has filed this appeal by special leave. Similar are the facts  in  all
      the other appeals. Shorn of details, suffice it to say that in all the
      appeals the accused persons who were facing corruption  charges,  were
      acquitted by the Special Courts for failure of commencement  of  trial
      in spite of lapse of two years from the date of framing of the charges
      and all the State appeals were  allowed  by  the  High  Court  without
      noticing the respective accused persons.”

In the  factual  scenario  noticed  hereinabove,  this  Court  recorded  its
conclusions, in respect of the power available to Constitutional Courts,  by
recording the following observations:-
      “27.  Prescribing periods of limitation at the end of which the  trial
      court would be obliged to terminate the  proceedings  and  necessarily
      acquit or discharge the accused, and further, making  such  directions
      applicable to all the cases in the present and for the future  amounts
      to legislation, which, in our opinion,  cannot  be  done  by  judicial
      directives and within the  arena  of  the  judicial  law-making  power
      available  to  constitutional  courts,  howsoever  liberally  we   may
      interpret Articles 32, 21,  141  and  142  of  the  Constitution.  The
      dividing line is fine but perceptible. Courts  can  declare  the  law,
      they can interpret the law, they can remove obvious lacunae  and  fill
      the gaps but they cannot entrench upon in  the  field  of  legislation
      properly meant for the legislature. Binding directions can  be  issued
      for enforcing the law and appropriate directions may issue,  including
      laying down of time limits or chalking out a calendar for  proceedings
      to follow, to redeem the injustice done or for taking care  of  rights
      violated, in a given case or set of cases, depending on facts  brought
      to the notice of the court. This is permissible for judiciary  to  do.
      But it may not, like legislature, enact a provision akin to or on  the
      lines of Chapter XXXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.”

It was, therefore the vehement contention of the  learned  counsel  for  the
petitioner, that the order passed by this Court was  clearly  impermissible,
not only under the provisions of the CPC, but also in terms of  the  Supreme
Court Rules, 1966, coupled with the legal position declared by this Court.

66.   Before endeavouring to deal  with  the  submissions  advanced  at  the
hands of the learned counsel for the petitioner, on the basis of Section  51
of the CPC, and other allied  provisions  referred  to  hereinabove,  it  is
relevant to keep in mind, that the  orders  dated  31.8.2012  and  5.12.2012
(the implementation whereof is subject matter of consideration),  arose  out
of proceedings initiated by the SEBI (FTM), under  the  SEBI  Act.   In  the
context under reference, it is necessary to peruse Sections 11(3),  15U  and
15Y of the SEBI Act.  The same are accordingly being extracted hereunder:-
      “11(3)     Notwithstanding anything contained in  any  other  law  for
      the time being in force while exercising the powers  under  22  clause
      (i) or clause (ia) of sub-section (2) or sub-section (2A),  the  Board
      shall have the same powers as are vested in a Civil  Court  under  the
      Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), while  trying  a  suit,  in
      respect of the following matters, namely:

(i)         the discovery and production  of  books  of  account  and  other
      documents, at such place and such time as  may  be  specified  by  the
      Board;

      (ii)  summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and  examining
      them on oath;

      (iii)       inspection of any books, registers and other documents  of
      any person referred to in section 12, at any place;

      (iv)  inspection of any book, or register, or other document or record
      of the company referred to in sub-section (2A);

      (v)    issuing  commissions  for  the  examination  of  witnesses   or
      documents.

      15U.  Procedure and powers of the Securities Appellate Tribunal-

      (1) The Securities Appellate  Tribunal  shall  not  be  bound  by  the
      procedure laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of  1908),
      but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice and,  subject
      to the other provisions of this Act and of any rules,  the  Securities
      Appellate Tribunal shall have powers to regulate their  own  procedure
      including the places at which they shall have their sittings.

      (2) The Securities Appellate Tribunal shall have, for the purposes  of
      discharging their functions under this Act, the  same  powers  as  are
      vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5  of
      1908), while trying a suit,  in  respect  of  the  following  matters,
      namely:

           (a) summoning and enforcing the attendance  of  any  person  and
           examining him on oath;

           (b) requiring the discovery and production of documents;

           (c) receiving evidence on affidavits;

           (d) issuing commissions for  the  examination  of  witnesses  or
           documents;

           (e) reviewing its decisions;

           (f) dismissing an application for  default  or  deciding  it  ex
      parte;

           (g) setting aside any order of dismissal of any application  for
           default or any order passed by it ex parte;

           (h) any other matter which may be prescribed.

      (3) Every proceeding before the Securities Appellate Tribunal shall be
      deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections  193
      and 228, and for the purposes of section 196 of the Indian Penal  Code
      (45 of 1860), and the Securities Appellate Tribunal shall be deemed to
      be a Civil Court for all the purposes of section 195 and Chapter  XXVI
      of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973(2 of 1974).

      15Y.  Civil Court not to have jurisdiction –
      No Civil Court shall  have  jurisdiction  to  entertain  any  suit  or
      proceeding in respect of any  matter  which  an  Adjudicating  Officer
      appointed  under  this  Act  or  a   Securities   Appellate   Tribunal
      constituted under this Act is  empowered  by  or  under  this  Act  to
      determine and no injunction shall be granted by  any  court  or  other
      authority in respect of any action taken or to be taken  in  pursuance
      of any power conferred by or under this Act.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

A perusal of the above provisions reveals, that the functionaries under  the
SEBI Act, have been vested on some subjects, with  the  same  powers,  which
are available to a Civil Court under the CPC.   This  necessarily  leads  to
the inference, that other provisions of the CPC are per se,  not  applicable
to the subjects not covered by the above  provisions.   Similarly,  for  the
SAT, it has been specially provided, that the provisions of the CPC will  be
inapplicable to it, however, in its functioning it would be  guided  by  the
principles of natural justice.  The above provision also vests in  the  SAT,
some powers as are vested in a Civil Court.   Obviously  therefore,  on  the
remaining subjects the provisions  of  the  CPC  would  not  be  applicable.
Since the provisions in the CPC relating to execution  have  not  been  made
applicable for  enforcement  of  orders  passed  under  the  SEBI  Act,  the
conclusion has to be, that the same (including the  provisions  referred  to
by learned counsel), would not be applicable for the enforcement  of  orders
passed under the SEBI Act.  Furthermore, Section 15Y of the  SEBI  Act  bars
Civil Courts from entertaining any suit  or  proceeding,  in  respect  of  a
controversy governed by the SEBI Act.  It is, therefore apparent,  that  the
provisions of the CPC are per se inapplicable to proceedings under the  SEBI
Act.

67.   It is however important to notice, that the SEBI Act does not  provide
either to the SEBI or the SAT, power  for  execution  of  orders  passed  by
either of them.  Therefore, no such power could be exercised  by  the  above
fora for executing even the appellate order(s) passed by  this  Court  under
Section 15Z of the SEBI Act.  It was when the  legal  position  stood  thus,
that the question of execution of the orders dated 31.8.2012  and  5.12.2012
arose (during the pendency of Contempt Petition (Civil) nos. 412 and 413  of
2012 and Contempt Petition (Civil) no. 260 of 2013).

68.   It is in the above background,  that  we  shall  first  determine  the
submissions advanced by learned Senior Counsel, based on Section 51  of  the
CPC.  First and foremost, the procedure contemplated  under  Section  51  of
the CPC  has  not  been  adopted  by  the  SEBI  Act,  either  expressly  or
impliedly.  Secondly, Section 51, deals with the power of a Civil  Court  to
enforce execution of money-decrees rendered by a Civil  Court.   Herein,  we
are concerned with the execution of orders emanating from the provisions  of
the SEBI Act, and not out of  orders  in  proceedings,  initiated  before  a
Civil Court.  Insofar as the SEBI  Act  is  concerned,  as  already  noticed
hereinabove, Section 15Y totally excludes the jurisdiction of Civil  Courts,
in respect of subjects governing investors’ interest and the  regulation  of
the securities market.  There can, therefore be no doubt that Section 51  of
the CPC is per se inapplicable to the controversy in hand.

69.   There can however be no doubt, that even though the provisions of  the
CPC are  inapplicable  to  proceedings  under  the  SEBI  Act  (except  when
expressly provided for), yet we all understand, that the provisions  of  the
CPC have evolved as a matter of long years of experience  emanating  out  of
the common law of England.   Even  though  the  same  may  not  be  binding,
insofar as the present controversy is concerned, yet if an order  is  passed
keeping in mind the parameters laid down in the CPC, it would be  sufficient
to conclude that the rules of natural  justice  were  fully  complied  with.
We are of the view that the conditions contemplated in  Section  51  of  the
CPC as preconditions, for the arrest and detention of a judgment-debtor  for
executing a Court’s order, can be demonstrated as having been duly  complied
with, before this Court passed the impugned  order  dated  04.03.2014.   The
proviso to Section 51 of the  CPC  contemplates  certain  preconditions  for
execution of a money-decree by way of arrest and detention  in  prison.   As
already  discussed  above,  on  the  satisfaction  of   any   one   of   the
preconditions, a money-decree  can  be  executed,  by  ordering  arrest  and
detention of the judgment-debtor in prison.

70.   The first situation contemplated by the proviso to Section 51  of  the
CPC is, when the executing Court entertains the  view,  that  the  judgment-
debtor is likely to abscond or leave the local jurisdiction  of  the  Court,
with the object of obstructing or delaying  the  execution  of  the  decree.
Insofar as the instant aspect of the matter is  concerned,  it  is  apparent
that this Court actually entertained  the  view,  that  the  petitioner  was
“likely” to abscond or leave the local limits of the  jurisdiction  of  this
Court, for obstructing or delaying the execution  of  the  decree.   It  is,
therefore, that this Court by its order dated 28.10.2013 directed,  that  “…
the alleged contemnors (respondents) shall not  leave  the  country  without
the  permission  of  this  Court…”.   Even  though  the  above   order   was
subsequently relaxed by this Court on a request made by the petitioner,  yet
once again on 21.11.2013, this Court  directed  “…  the  alleged  contemnors
shall not leave the country without the permission  of  this  Court.”.   The
first of the postulated preconditions for ordering arrest and  detention  of
a judgment-debtor, for  the  execution  of  the  liability  resting  on  the
shoulders of the two companies, was therefore clearly made out,  before  the
impugned order dated 4.3.2014 was passed.

71.   Another alternative  pre-condition  contemplated  in  the  proviso  to
Section 51 of the CPC is, when a judgment-debtor has the means  to  pay  the
amount of the decree (or some substantial part thereof), and yet refuses  or
neglects to pay the same.  Insofar as the instant aspect of  the  matter  is
concerned,  the  two  concerned  companies  could  have  easily   paid   the
contemplated amounts, by selling their assets (in terms of  their  affidavit
dated 4.1.2012).  It is also relevant to mention,  that  in  the  affidavits
filed by the two concerned companies before  the  SAT  on  14.9.2011  (taken
from Volume II of additional documents filed by the respondents in  Contempt
Petition (Civil) no. 412 of 2012), it was acknowledged on behalf of the  two
companies, that the book  value/market  value  of  their  properties  as  on
30.8.2011 were as under:-
|                              |Book Value    |Market Value  |
|                              |(Rs. in       |(Rs. in       |
|                              |Crores)       |Crores)       |
|SIRECL                        |              |              |
|Investments                   |6,430         |36,021        |
|Cash/Current Assets etc.      |15,937        |20,297        |
|SHICL                         |              |              |
|Investments                   |1,865         |5,498         |
|Cash/Current Assets etc.      |6,027         |7,682         |
|Total                         |30,259        |69,498        |

The market value of the assets acknowledged  by  the  two  companies,  would
have undoubtedly appreciated further, from the  figures  depicted  in  2011.
During the course of hearing before this Court, on several occasions it  was
undertaken by the contemnors, that they would dispose  of  the  unencumbered
immovable properties owned by the Sahara Group, to comply  with  the  orders
dated  31.8.2012  and  5.12.2012.   In  this  background  it  may  also   be
mentioned, that the official website of  Sahara  India,  indicates  the  net
worth of the Sahara Group as Rs.68,174/- crores.   According  to  the  above
website, the Sahara Group has a land bank  of  approximately  36,631  acres,
and the market value of the Group assets/potential earning is  to  the  tune
of Rs.1,52,518 crores.  It is also not a matter of dispute, that the  Sahara
Group owns premium hotels in London (the Grosvenor House) and  in  New  York
(the New York Plaza).  The above hotels, according to the Sahara Group,  are
valued at over several thousand crores of rupees.  Be that as it may,  after
the passing of the orders dated 31.8.2012  and  5.12.2012,  no  payment  has
been made by the two concerned  companies.   The  last  deposit  of  Rs.5120
crores was made on 5.12.2012.  It is, therefore apparent,  that  inspite  of
their means to pay, the two companies have refused and neglected to pay  the
amount due in its entirety (or even a substantial  part  thereof).   Another
postulated  pre-condition  for  ordering  the  arrest  and  detention  of  a
judgment-debtor, for the execution of a money-decree, was therefore  clearly
made out, before the impugned order dated 04.03.2014 was passed.

72.    We  are  prima  facie  satisfied,  that  yet  another   pre-condition
contemplated in the proviso to Section 51 of the  CPC  was  also  made  out.
The reason for expressing the instant view is, that no clear responses  were
ever given by the two companies.  The position  remained  the  same  whether
those answers were sought by the SEBI(FTM), or the  SAT,  or  even  by  this
Court.  When SIRECL was required to disclose the  manner  in  which  it  had
made payments by way of redemption to  the  OFCD’s  holders,  the  following
sources were disclosed:-
|    |                                           |Rupees      |
|    |                                           |(In Crores) |
|1.  |Sahara Credit Co-operative Society Ltd.    |13,366.18   |
|2.  |Sahara India Commercial Corporation Limited|4384.00     |
|3.  |Sahara Q Shop                              |2258.32     |
|4.  |Ketak City Homes Ltd.                      |19.43       |
|5.  |Kirit City Homes Ltd.                      |44.05       |


Likewise, when similar information about redemptions was sought from  SHICL,
the following sources were disclosed:-




At the cost of repetition we may record,  that  when  asked  the  manner  in
which the companies had forwarded the above mentioned payments  to  the  two
companies, the response was, that the above  amounts  were  never  released,
but were  transferred  to  Sahara  India  (Firm),  for  disbursement.   When
details of the above transactions were sought, the Court was  informed  that
the above transactions were made by way of cash, and the requirement of  the
Court to show banking transactions, was unfair.   When  asked  how  the  two
companies had collected the cash funds, which  were  paid  to  Sahara  India
(Firm), the response was, that the two companies  which  had  collected  the
funds, had collected the same by way of cash.  When asked how  disbursements
were made to the  investors,  the  response  was,  that  about  95%  of  the
payments made to  the  investors,  were  also  made  by  way  of  cash.   To
demonstrate the receipt and payment of the funds by  way  of  cash,  learned
Senior  Counsel  representing  the  contemnors  (including  the   petitioner
herein), invited our attention  to  the  books  of  accounts  (only  general
ledger entries) to demonstrate proof of the  transactions  under  reference.
Details in this behalf have been recorded by us under  the  heading  “A  few
words, about the defence  of  redemption  of  OFCD’s,  offered  by  the  two
companies”.  The  above  explanation  may  seem  to  be  acceptable  to  the
contemnors, but our view is quite the converse.  It is not possible  for  us
to accept, that the funds amounting to thousands of crores, were  transacted
by way of cash.  We would, therefore, on the face of it,  reject  the  above
explanation tendered on behalf of the two companies.   It  is  necessary  to
notice, that one of the preconditions  contemplated  under  the  proviso  to
Section 51 postulates, that if the  judgment-debtor  dishonestly  transfers,
conceals or removes any part of his property, or  commits  any  act  of  bad
faith in relation  to  his  property,  the  concerned  executing  Court  can
enforce a money-decree, by way of arrest and detention.   Since  a  farcical
explanation was tendered  by  the  two  companies  in  respect  of  receipt,
payment and transfer of thousands of  crores  of  rupees  by  way  of  cash,
without reference to any banking transactions whatsoever, it was  legitimate
to infer dishonest transfers, as well  as,  bad  faith,  on  behalf  of  the
contemnors.  Therefore, for yet another reason, it was open for this  Court,
to order arrest and detention  of  the  contemnors  (including  the  present
petitioner), for enforcement of the  directions  issued  by  this  Court  on
31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.

73.    The  three  preceding  paragraphs  clearly  demonstrate,  that  three
different conditions contemplated in the proviso to Section 51 of  the  CPC,
were  satisfied,  before  we  ordered  the  arrest  and  detention  of   the
contemnors,  for  enforcement  of  the  orders   passed   by   this   Court.
Satisfaction of any one of the conditions, expressed in the foregoing  three
paragraphs, would have been sufficient to order the arrest and detention  of
the petitioner, under Section 51 of  the  CPC.   Our  instant  determination
should not be understood to mean, that Section 51 of the CPC  is  applicable
to the facts and circumstances of  this  case.   The  instant  determination
should only be understood to mean, that the parameters laid down in  Section
51 of the CPC, stood fully satisfied, before the arrest and detention  order
dated 4.3.2014 was passed.

74.    For  the  same  reasons  as  have  been  recorded  in  the  foregoing
paragraph, even rules  37  and  40  of  Order  XXI  of  the  CPC,  would  be
inapplicable for the execution of this Court’s orders  dated  31.8.2012  and
5.12.2012.  Firstly, because the above provisions of the  CPC,  relating  to
execution, have not been made applicable for enforcement  of  orders  passed
under the SEBI Act.  Secondly, a perusal of rule 37(1) of Order XXI  of  the
CPC reveals, that where a Court is satisfied  that  the  judgment-debtor  is
likely to abscond or leave the local  limits  of  the  jurisdiction  of  the
Court, the procedural requirements  of  the  aforesaid  rules  is  expressly
excluded.  Likewise, sub-rule (2) of  rule  37  of  Order  XXI  of  the  CPC
provides, that  the  procedural  requirements  depicted  therein,  would  be
inapplicable when the judgment-debtor does not  enter  appearance  before  a
Court in obedience of a notice  issued  to  him.   The  impression  of  this
Court, that the appellant would abscond, and the fact,  that  the  appellant
did not enter appearance when summoned  to  do  so,  is  apparent  from  the
orders passed by this Court (already extract above).  Yet, at  the  cost  of
repetition, we may reiterate, that by an order dated 28.10.2013, this  Court
directed, that “…the alleged contemnors (respondents) shall  not  leave  the
country without the permission of  this  Court…”.   Even  though  the  above
order was relaxed by this Court on a request made  by  the  petitioner,  yet
once again on 21.11.2013 this  Court  directed  “…  the  alleged  contemnors
shall not leave the country without the permission  of  this  Court.”.   The
above restraint order was subsisting when the petitioner’s order  of  arrest
and detention was passed.  Furthermore, having expressed  its  satisfaction,
that the information furnished by the contemnors (including the  petitioner)
did not establish the stance adopted by them, this Court by its order  dated
20.2.2014  noticing  the  defiant  and  non-cooperative  attitude   of   the
contemnors, had directed “the personal presence of  the  alleged  contemnors
and the directors of the respondent companies in Court on February 26,  2014
at 2.00 pm…”  On 25.2.2014, a mention was made on behalf of  the  petitioner
herein, for exemption from personal presence on  26.2.2014.   The  same  was
declined.  Despite the above refusal, Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara did  not  enter
appearance before  this  Court  on  26.2.2014.   The  other  directors  were
present.  Thus there is no room for any doubt, that the above provision  was
rendered inapplicable, insofar as the petitioner is  concerned.   A  perusal
of  rule  40  of  Order  XXI  of  the  CPC  reveals,  that  the   procedural
requirements expressed in the same, would come into play inter  alia,  after
the person concerned “… is brought before the Court after being arrested  in
execution of a decree for payment of money…”.  Reference to above  rule,  on
behalf of the petitioner,  is  therefore  wholly  misconceived.   The  above
deliberations,  should  not  be  understood  to  mean,  that  the  aforesaid
provisions of the CPC, relied upon by the learned counsel,  were  applicable
to  this  case.   The  above  deliberations  only  demonstrated,  that   the
parameters laid down in the above provisions cannot be stated to  have  been
disregarded, when the impugned order dated 4.3.2014 was passed.

75.   Insofar as rule 6 of Order XIII of the Supreme Court Rules,  1966,  is
concerned, the same mandates the enforcement of  an  order  passed  by  this
Court, by transmitting the order to be enforced to the  “Court  or  Tribunal
in the way prescribed by law”.  We have already concluded hereinabove,  that
no executing mechanism was in place under the provisions of  the  SEBI  Act,
when the orders dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012  were  passed.   Thus  viewed,
even rule 6 of Order  XIII  of  the  Supreme  Court  Rules,  1966  would  be
inapplicable to deal with the issue in hand, as  it  was  not  possible  for
this Court to transmit “… to the Court or Tribunal  from  which  the  appeal
was brought ...” for execution of this Court’s orders  dated  31.8.2012  and
5.12.2012.

76.   The orders dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012, could  therefore  have  only
been executed by this Court, in exercise of the power conferred on it  under
Articles 129 and 142 of the Constitution of India.  Passing an  order  under
the above provisions was necessary to ensure the observance of  due  process
of law, in the facts and circumstances of this case,  and  to  maintain  the
majesty of law and the dignity of this  Court.   The  impugned  order  dated
4.3.2014 was  accordingly  passed  thereunder.   The  power  of  arrest  and
detention can be exercised, as and when this  Court  is  satisfied,  in  the
facts and circumstances with which this  Court  is  confronted  in  a  given
case, that the above means should  be  adopted  for  the  execution  of  its
orders.

77.    Irrespective  of  the  submissions  noticed  hereinabove,   Mr.   Ram
Jethmalani, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf  of  the  petitioner,
placed vehement reliance on the judgment rendered by  this  Court  in  Jolly
George Varghese & Anr. v. Bank of  Cochin,  (1980)  2  SCC  360,  so  as  to
contend, that detention per se was impermissible for enforcement of a  money
decree.  Reliance was placed on the following observations recorded  in  the
above judgment:-
      “10.   Equally  meaningful  is  the  import   of   Article 21 of   the
      Constitution in the context of imprisonment for non-payment of  debts.
      The high value of human dignity and the  worth  of  the  human  person
      enshrined in Article 21, read with Articles 14 and 19,  obligates  the
      State not to incarcerate except under law  which  is  fair,  just  and
      reasonable in its procedural essence. Maneka Gandhi's  case  (1978)  1
      SCC 248, as developed further in Sunil Batra v. Delhi  Administration,
      (1978) 4 SCC 494, Sita Ram and Ors. v. State of  U.P.,  (1979)  2  SCC
      656, and Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration (W.P. no.  1009  of  1979
      decided on December 20, 1979), lays down the proposition.  It  is  too
      obvious to need elaboration that to cast a person in prison because of
      his poverty and consequent inability to meet his contractual liability
      is appalling.  To be poor, in this land of  daridra  narayana,  is  no
      crime and to recover debts by the procedure of putting one  in  prison
      is too flagrantly violative of Article 21 unless there is proof of the
      minimal fairness of  his  wilful  failure  to  pay  in  spite  of  his
      sufficient means and absence of more terribly pressing claims  on  his
      means such as medical bills to treat cancer or  other  grave  illness.
      Unreasonableness and unfairness in such a procedure is inferable  from
      Article 11 of the Covenant. But this is precisely  the  interpretation
      we have put on the proviso to Section 51 C.P.C. and the lethal blow of
      Article 21 cannot strike down the provision, as now interpreted.

      11.   The words which hurt are "or has  had  since  the  date  of  the
      decree, the means to pay the amount  of  the  decree".  This  implies,
      superficially read, that if at any time after the passing  of  an  old
      decree the judgment-debtor had come by  some  resources  and  had  not
      discharged the decree, he could be detained in prison even  though  at
      that later point of time he was found to be penniless. This is  not  a
      sound position apart from being inhuman  going  by  the  standards  of
      Article 11 (of the Covenant) and Article 21 (of the Constitution). The
      simple default to discharge is not enough. There must be some  element
      of bad faith beyond mere  indifference  to  pay,  some  deliberate  or
      recusant disposition in the past or, alternatively, current  means  to
      pay the decree or a substantial part of it. The  provision  emphasizes
      the need to establish not mere omission to  pay  but  an  attitude  of
      refusal on demand verging on dishonest  disowning  of  the  obligation
      under the decree. Here considerations of the debtor's  other  pressing
      needs and straitened circumstances will  play  prominently.  We  would
      have, by  this  construction,  sauced  law  with  justice,  harmonized
      Section 51 with the Covenant and the Constitution.


      12.   The question may squarely arise  some  day  as  to  whether  the
      proviso to Section 51 read with Order 21.  Rule 37 is in excess of the
      Constitutional mandate in Article 21 and bad in part. In  the  present
      case since we are remitting the matter for reconsideration, the  stage
      has not yet arisen for us to go into the vires, that  is  why  we  are
      desisting from that essay.

      13.   In the present case the debtors are in distress because  of  the
      blanket distraint of their properties. Whatever might have been  their
      means once,  that  finding  has  become  obsolete  in  view  of  later
      happenings.  Sri Krishnamurthi lyer for the respondent  fairly  agreed
      that the law being what we have stated, it is necessary to direct  the
      executing court to re-adjudicate on the present means of  the  debtors
      vis-a-vis  the   present   pressures   of   their   indebtedness,   or
      alternatively whether they have  had  the  ability  to  pay  but  have
      improperly evaded or  postponed  doing  so  or  otherwise  dishonestly
      committed acts of bad faith respecting their assets.  The  court  will
      take note of other honest and urgent pressures on their assets,  since
      that is the exercise expected  of  the  court  under  the  proviso  to
      Section 51.  An   earlier   adjudication   will   bind   if   relevant
      circumstances have not materially changed.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

We have given our thoughtful consideration to the  submissions  advanced  at
the hands of the learned counsel for the petitioner, based on  the  judgment
rendered by this Court in Jolly George Verghese’s case (supra).  We  are  of
the view, that the conclusions to which  our  attention  has  been  invited,
must be viewed with reference to the factual matrix,  as  also,  the  actual
consideration which  had  resulted  in  the  above  determination.   In  the
instant view of the matter, the  factual  matrix  taken  into  consideration
emerges from  the  following  narration  in  Jolly  George  Verghese’s  case
(supra):-
      “1.   This litigation has secured special leave  from  us  because  it
      involves a profound issue of constitutional and international law  and
      offers a challenge to the nascent champions of human rights  in  India
      whose politicized pre-occupation has forsaken the civil  debtor  whose
      personal liberty is imperilled by the judicial process itself,  thanks
      to Section 51 (Proviso) and Order 21, Rule 37, Civil  Procedure  Code.
      Here is an appeal by judgment-debtors- the appellants - whose personal
      freedom is in peril because a court warrant for arrest  and  detention
      in the civil prison is chasing them for non-payment of an  amount  due
      to a bank - the respondent, which has ripened into a  decree  and  has
      not yet been discharged. Is such deprivation of liberty illegal?


              xxx         xxx        xxx        xxx        xxx

      4.    The facts. The judgment-debtors (appellants) suffered  a  decree
      against them in O.S. No. 57 of 1972 in a  sum  of  Rs.2.5  lakhs,  the
      respondent-bank being the decree-holder. There  are  two  other  money
      decrees against the appellants (in O.S. 92 of 1972 and  94  of  1974),
      the total sum payable by them being over Rs.7 lakhs. In  execution  of
      the decree in question (O.S. 57 of 1972)  a  warrant  for  arrest  and
      detention in the civil prison  was  issued  to  the  appellants  under
      Section 51 and Order 21, Rule. 37 of the Civil Procedure Code on  June
      22, 1979.  Earlier, there had been a similar  warrant  for  arrest  in
      execution of the same  decree.   Besides  this  process,  the  decree-
      holders had proceeded against the properties of  the  judgment-debtors
      and in consequence, all these immovable properties had  been  attached
      for the purpose of sale in discharge  of  the  decree  debts.   It  is
      averred that the execution court has also appointed a Receiver for the
      management  of  the  properties  under  attachment.   In  short,   the
      enjoyment or even the power to alienate the properties by the judgment-
      debtors has been forbidden by the court direction keeping  them  under
      attachment and appointing a Receiver to  manage  them.   Nevertheless,
      the court has issued a warrant  for  arrest  because,  on  an  earlier
      occasion, a similar warrant had been already issued.  The High  Court,
      in a short order, has summarily dismissed the revision  filed  by  the
      judgment-debtors against the order of arrest.  We see no investigation
      having been made by the executing court regarding the current  ability
      of the judgment-debtors to clear off the  debts  or  their  mala  fide
      refusal, if any, to discharge the  debts.   The  question  is  whether
      under such circumstances the personal freedom of the  judgment-debtors
      can  be  held  in  ransom  until  repayment  of  the  debt,   and   if
      Section 51 read with Order 21, Rule 37, C.P.C.  does  warrant  such  a
      step, whether the provision of law is constitutional,  tested  on  the
      touchstone of fair procedure under Article 21 and in  conformity  with
      the inherent dignity of the human person in the light of Article 11 of
      the International Covenant on Civil and  Political  Rights.  A  modern
      Shylock is shackled by law's humane handcuffs.
              xxx         xxx        xxx        xxx        xxx

      9.    We concur  with  the  Law  Commission  in  its  construction  of
      Section 51 C.P.C.  It  follows  that  quondom  affluence  and  current
      indigence without intervening dishonesty or bad faith  in  liquidating
      his liability can be consistent  with  Article  11  of  the  Covenant,
      because then no detention is permissible under Section 51, C.P.C.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

Having  perused  the  judgment  rendered  by  this  Court  in  Jolly  George
Verghese’s case (supra), we are of the view, that the  conclusions  recorded
therein, have a pointed and definite reference to the ability of a judgment-
debtor, to pay off his debt.  The conclusion drawn in  the  above  judgment,
was with respect to a judgment-debtor, who was unable to pay off  his  debt.
Accordingly it was felt, that an order of detention in prison should not  be
adopted, to effectuate the execution of the decree.  While dealing with  the
preconditions expressed in the proviso to Section 51 of  the  CPC,  we  have
already concluded, that the Sahara Group has enormous  assets  with  a  huge
market and marketable value.  It is also clear  that  after  5.12.2012,  the
two companies have not deposited a  single  paisa,  in  furtherance  of  the
compliance of this Court’s orders (dated 31.8.2012 and  5.12.2012).   It  is
therefore clear, that despite  the  petitioner  (and  the  other  companies)
having means to pay, they have unfairly and willfully  failed  to  pay.   It
is, therefore also clear, that the petitioner in the  present  case  is  not
similarly situated  as  the  petitioner  in  Jolly  George  Verghese’s  case
(supra).  Accordingly  reliance  placed  by  the  learned  counsel  for  the
petitioner on the above judgment, is wholly misconceived.



VII.  Whether the impugned order dated 4.3.2014, was passed in violation  of
      the rules of natural justice?


78.   While arguing on merits, the very first plea  advanced  on  behalf  of
the petitioner was, that the order of detention dated  4.3.2014  was  passed
all of a sudden, without affording any opportunity to the  petitioner.   Dr.
Rajeev Dhawan, learned Senior Counsel, who spearheaded  submissions  on  the
instant issue, informed this Court, that an order passed  without  affording
an opportunity of  hearing,  by  any  authority  whosoever  (including  this
Court), would be constitutionally unacceptable,  and  therefore  void.   The
order dated 4.3.2014,  according  to  learned  Senior  Counsel,  was  passed
without affording the petitioner any opportunity  to  know  why,  and  also,
without any effective opportunity to respond to, whatever was the  basis  of
passing such order.  The petitioner, according to learned counsel,  is  till
date not aware of the reasons which had prompted  this  Court  to  pass  the
impugned order dated 4.3.2014.  He apologized to  us,  while  informing  us,
that he had no option but to be blunt.  Referring to the impugned order,  he
reiterated, “Your Lordships have passed a draconian order”.  Learned  Senior
Counsel in  the  above  context,  asserted,  that  this  Court  had  made  a
“…terrible terrible mistake…, which  needed  to  be  corrected…”.   In  this
behalf his submission was, that “…to err was human…”  and  his  advice  was,
that “... it is  imperative  for  you,  to  correct  this  blunder...”.   In
supporting the above contention advanced  by  Dr.  Rajeev  Dhawan,  Mr.  Ram
Jethmalani,  learned  Senior  Counsel,  also  representing  the  petitioner,
submitted, that “… the whole Bar was shell-shocked…”, when  this  Court  out
of the blue, directed the arrest of the petitioner,  without  affording  him
any opportunity to state his case.  It was the  contention  of  the  learned
Senior Counsel, that  the  order  passed  by  this  Court  on  4.3.2014  was
“…extremely disturbing…”. It was submitted, that there  was  no  hearing  of
the matter. Suddenly on the conclusion of the day’s hearing on 4.3.2014,  “…
when there was still much to be said…”, a judicial order was passed, to  the
detriment of the petitioner “… depriving him of his civil liberties…”.   The
order, it was contended, “… was  an  absolute  nullity…”.   Learned  counsel
advised  the  Court,  “…  humility  was  the  greatest  attribute  of  human
resource…”, and as such, “… you must have the courage to  accept,  that  the
order dated 4.3.2014 was a nullity  in  law...,  and  you  should  have  the
courage to recall your  void  order…”.   We  were  also  advised,  that  the
mandate expressed in Article 142 of the Constitution of India  (under  which
provision, the order dated 4.3.2014, was  passed),  “…  was  to  do  justice
according to law, and not by whim or  caprice...”.   During  the  course  of
hearing, learned counsel for the petitioner, addressed a number  of  queries
to the Bench.  Has any person ever been committed to jail,  without  knowing
what offence he had committed?  The whole of the criminal law  is  codified,
has anybody ever been incarcerated, except according to the  procedure  laid
down in the Cr.P.C.?  What offence, punishable under what provision of  law,
has the petitioner committed, that you have sent him to jail?  Can an  order
of  arrest  and  detention  be  passed  orally…,  without  there  being  any
writing…, without there being any notice…, without any opportunity to  reply
to the same?  “… You have done all this, and more…”,  we  were  told.   What
has been done by this Court on 4.3.2014, according to learned  counsel,  was
a blunder which needed to be revised.   Dr.  Rajeev  Dhawan  then  affirmed,
confirmed and repeated what his colleague had submitted.   He  informed  us,
“… Mr. Ram Jethmalani is right… we all make mistakes...”.   He  went  on  to
state “… we tell very rarely, what we have had to tell this Bench,  that  it
has gone terribly terribly wrong...”  He, however, reminded us,  that  every
extraordinary situation, has to be dealt with, in an  equally  extraordinary
manner i.e., in exactly the manner he had  done.   By  informing  the  Court
upfront, that it had erred, and therefore,  the  mistake  committed  by  it,
needed to be corrected, Mr. Ram Jethmalani in the  above  context  told  the
Court, “Acknowledgement of a mistake enhances the prestige of the Court.   I
hope your Lordships will acknowledge this mistake.”

79.   Seriously, we were taken aback by the ferocity with which,  the  above
submissions were advanced.  Had we been a part of  the  audience,  we  would
have acclaimed the courage and the capacity of learned  Senior  Counsel,  to
be able to call a spade a spade.  We would have felt,  that  their  eminence
was rightfully bestowed on them, and well deserved.  That of  course,  would
have been subject to the condition, that what  was  sought  to  be  conveyed
through  erudite  grandiloquence,  was  factually  correct.   The   question
therefore that needs to be considered  is,  whether  the  above  submissions
made by the learned counsel for the petitioner,  are  based  on  a  truthful
foundation.  If their assertions  are  correct,  we  would  concede  at  the
beginning, that their inferences would have to be accepted as correct.

80.   Mr. Arvind Datar, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the SEBI  would
contend, that there was nothing farther from the truth,  in  what  had  been
submitted on behalf of the petitioner.   We  were  taken  through  piles  of
pleadings, paper work, and orders passed by this Court,  to  demonstrate  an
express written notice to the petitioner,  his  written  response,  numerous
opportunities of hearing afforded to  learned  Senior  Counsel  representing
him, and finally, even an  opportunity  of  personal  oral  hearing  to  the
petitioner - Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara, himself.

81.   Before examining the veracity  of  the  submissions  advanced  by  the
learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner, we would unhesitatingly  concede,
that they were correct on  one  aspect  of  the  matter.   That  it  was  an
extraordinary situation.  For many many years now, ever since we moved  from
the Bar to the Bench, we were the ones who were posing  the  questions,  and
the warring factions projecting their conflicting  claims  before  us,  were
obliged to respond.  Now for once, questions were being posed by a  litigant
asking the Court, for its response.  Not that we find  anything  wrong  with
that, only that we too were shell-shocked, that we had committed a  blunder,
as to be informed by learned counsel, that we had passed a void order,  that
needed to be corrected.   We would like to acknowledge, that  all  this  was
possible because of the legal acumen possessed by  learned  Senior  Counsel.
If what was stated was correct,  no  Court  would  have  any  hesitation  to
correct such an error.  The Court was an  unconnected  disinterested  party.
The Court would neither gain nor loose, if the contentions advanced  by  the
petitioner, were to be accepted.  In such an eventuality, by  rendering  the
correction, the purpose of law would be served, justice would be  done.   We
would never ever, refrain from rising to  such  an  occasion.   But  if  the
factual position on the basis whereof the assertions were  made,  was  found
to  be  incorrect,  learned  Senior  Counsel  would  most  definitely   have
committed a terrible professional mistake.   We  say  so,  because  Mr.  Ram
Jethmalani and Dr. Rajeev Dhawan,  learned  Senior  Counsel,  attended  each
date of hearing, of the proceedings in Contempt Petition  (Civil)  nos.  412
and 413 of 2012 and Contempt Petition (Civil) no.  260  of  2013,  and  were
personally aware of the day to day happenings.

82.   Now the merits of the contention.  Interlocutory Application  nos.  68
and 69 of 2013 in Civil Appeal no. 9813 of 2011  were  filed  by  the  SEBI.
The prayers made therein inter alia, read as under:-
      “(d)  pass an order permitting SEBI [WTM] to take measures for  arrest
           and detention in  civil  prison  of  promoter  of  Saharas  Shri
           Subrata Roy Sahara and the two male directors, viz., Shri  Ashok
           Roy  Choudhary  and  Shri  Ravi  Shankar  Dubey   after   giving
           reasonable opportunity of hearing.

      (f)   pass an order directing the promoter of SIRECL  and  SHICL  Shri
           Subrata Roy Sahara and their Directors,  viz.,  Shri  Ashok  Roy
           Choudhary, Shri Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ms. Vandana  Bhargava  to
           deposit forthwith their respective passport with  the  Secretary
           General of this Hon’ble Court  and  not  to  leave  the  country
           without the prior permission of this Hon’ble Court; and

      (g)   pass such other and/or further order(s) as  this  Hon’ble  Court
           may deem fit and proper in the facts and  circumstances  of  the
           case.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

In view of the above prayers made in Interlocutory Application nos.  68  and
69 of 2013, wherein notice was issued to the petitioner,  can  it  be  said,
that the petitioner had no notice?  Can it not be said,  that  there  was  a
pending  Interlocutory  Application  expressly,  seeking  his   arrest   and
detention?  We are fully satisfied, that the petitioner –  Mr.  Subrata  Roy
Sahara had due notice, as also, that he was fully alive  to  the  basis  and
reasons, why his arrest and detention (along with the directors of  the  two
companies) was being sought.

83.   The said Interlocutory Application nos. 68 and 69 of 2013  were  taken
up for consideration on 22.4.2013.  Mr. Gaurav  Kejriwal,  Mr.  U.U.  Lalit,
and Mr. C.A. Sundaram, learned Senior Counsel appearing for  the  contemnors
undertook to file their response  to  the  above  applications,  within  one
week.  Accordingly, liberty was granted to Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara  (and  the
other  contemnors)  to  file  their  reply  affidavits  by  29.4.2013.   The
petitioner herein - Mr. Subrata Roy  Sahara,  actually  filed  his  personal
counter affidavit dated 8.5.2013 in reply to Interlocutory Application  nos.
68 and 69 of 2013.  He asserted in paragraph 2 of his affidavit as under:-
      “… while so seeking relief for arrest and detention in a civil prison,
      depositing of passport etc., would not be warranted in fact or in law.
       I submit that such reliefs are granted in extreme cases of  execution
      of decree only when it is established that  a  judgment-debtor  having
      the means to pay,  is  willfully  and  intentionally  not  paying  the
      amount…”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

In paragraph 4 of the counter  affidavit  filed  by  the  petitioner  –  Mr.
Subrata Roy Sahara, to Interlocutory Application nos. 68 and 69 of 2013,  it
was submitted:-
      “Without prejudice to the aforesaid,  I  further  submit  that,  there
      would be no warrant or justification for SEBI to seek reliefs as  they
      have prayed for.  In the first place, all my assets have already  been
      attached by SEBI and  particulars  of  which  are  given  to  SEBI  in
      compliance of its order.  It is neither allegation of SEBI that I have
      secreted  away  any  assets,  nor  any  part  of  moneys  received  by
      SIRECL/SHICL from the investors has been diverted to  me.   Whilst  so
      there is no case made out by SEBI, for the orders as sought  by  SEBI.
      Apart from the aforesaid, I also submit that I am businessman, holding
      Indian passport residing in India and most of my assets and businesses
      are in India.  My entire family and home, is also in India.  While  so
      there   cannot   be   any   apprehension,   leave   alone   reasonable
      apprehension/ground requiring my detention or restrain on  any  travel
      as sought for.  In absence of  any  such  reasonable  apprehension,  I
      submit that the application is not bona  fide  and  warranted  in  any
      manner whatsoever.”.
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

His above affidavit ended with a prayer, that  the  relief  sought  by  SEBI
ought not to be granted.  In view of the  above  personal  counter-affidavit
filed by the petitioner, is it not abundantly  clear,  that  the  petitioner
was conscious of the  implications  of  the  prayer  made  in  Interlocutory
Application nos. 68 and 69 of 2013?  We are  also  satisfied,  that  he  was
also fully conscious, of the provisions under which the prayer made  had  to
be examined, and therefore, relied upon the various technicalities  of  law,
in his defence.  He also placed, certain personal factors on record  in  his
defence.  In other words, not only was he aware  of  the  reasons,  why  his
arrest and detention was sought, but he had availed of  the  opportunity  to
respond  to  the  same  in  writing.   We  are  fully  satisfied,  that  the
petitioner – Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara had a notice depicting the  reasons  why
his arrest and  detention  was  sought,  and  an  opportunity  to  carefully
respond to the same, by stating his defence in writing.

84.   The matter was thereafter posted  for  hearing  on  2.5.2013.   Having
found, that  the  petitioner  -  Mr.  Subrata  Roy  Sahara  (and  the  other
contemnors) were engaging themselves in unnecessary litigation  arising  out
of our order dated 31.8.2012, the following interim order came to be  passed
on 2.5.2013:-
      “We are inclined to  stay  all  further  proceedings  in  Appeal  Nos.
      42/2013 (Subrata Roy Sahara v. SEBI), 48/2013 (SHICL v. SEBI), 49/2013
      (SIRECL v. SEBI) and 50/2013 (Ashok Roy  Chaudhary  &  Ors.  v.  SEBI)
      pending before the Securities Appellate Tribunal, Mumbai, and in  Writ
      Petition No. 2088/2013 pending before the High Court of Judicature  at
      Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, since we are examining the question, whether
      the respondents have complied with the various  conditions  stipulated
      in our judgment dated 31st August, 2012.”

85.   Interlocutory Application nos. 68 and  69  of  2013  continued  to  be
listed on each date of hearing thereafter, i.e., on 2.5.2013,  8.5.2013  and
17.7.2013.  To ensure, that the issue of compliance of the orders passed  by
us on 31.8.2012, would be listed only before this Court,  we  passed,  inter
alia, the following order on 17.7.2013:-
                  “We call for the Appeals Nos.42/2013 (titled  Subrata  Roy
      Sahara v. SEBI), 48/2013  (titled  SHICL  v.  SEBI),  49/2013  (titled
      SIRECL v. SEBI) and 50/2013 (titled Ashok Roy Chaudhary & Ors.,  SEBI)
      pending before the  Securities  Appellate  Tribunal  Mumbai  and  W.P.
      No.2088 of 2013 (titled Sahara India Lucknow & Anr., v. SEBI)  pending
      before the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad,  which  shall  stand
      transferred to this Court.

                  We make it clear that no High Court, Securities  Appellate
      Tribunal and any other Forum shall pass any orders against the  orders
      passed  by  Securities  and  Exchange  Board  of   India   (SEBI)   in
      implementation of this Court's judgment dated 31.08.2012.”

The above order was considered essential because it seemed to us,  that  the
petitioner  was  unnecessarily  opening   and   extending   the   litigation
pertaining to  the  execution  of  order  dated  31.8.2012,  to  other  Fora
including the High Court.

86.   The matter was then taken up for hearing on  various  dates  including
24.7.2013, 30.7.2013, 6.8.2013, 13.8.2013, 26.8.2013,  2.9.2013,  16.9.2013,
4.10.2013  and  28.10.2013.   On  all   the   above   dates,   Interlocutory
Application nos. 68 and 69 of 2013, were actually posted  for  hearing.   By
now, enough time had been afforded to the petitioner to  solicit  compliance
of the orders passed by  this  Court.   Rather  than  actual  compliance  by
making financial deposits, an alternative route was sought to be treaded  by
Mr. C.A. Sundram, learned Senior Counsel.  Learned Senior  Counsel  informed
us, that the contemnors were willing to make  available  to  the  SEBI,  the
details  of  unencumbered  properties  worth  Rs.20,000/-  crores.   It  was
apparent, that the implied purpose to make available  the  above  properties
was, to guarantee the  payment  ordered  by  this  Court  on  31.8.2012  and
5.12.2012.  Noticing the above  factual  position,  this  Court  passed  the
following order:-
      “Mr. C.A. Sundaram, learned Senior Counsel  appearing  for  respondent
      No.5 (alleged contemnor), brought to our notice letter  dated  October
      17, 2013 received from the  Managing  Director  and  CEO  of  the  PNB
      Investment Services Limited. The same is taken on record and is marked
      as 'Annexure-A'.

      Mr. Sundaram, on the basis of the  said  letter  and  on  instructions
      received from the  Sahara  Group  of  Companies,  submitted  that  the
      alleged contemnors are willing to make available to SEBI the  original
      title deeds of unencumbered properties, worth  `20,000  crores,  along
      with proper valuation reports, within a period  of  three  weeks  from
      today. SEBI, in turn, will examine the same and make  their  response,
      which shall be considered by this Court on the next date of hearing.

      Till the above direction is complied with to the satisfaction of SEBI,
      the alleged contemnors  (respondents)  shall  not  leave  the  country
      without the permission of this Court.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

It is in furtherance of the prayer (f)  made  in  Interlocutory  Application
nos. 68 and 69  of  2013,  that  the  above  order  came  to  be  passed  on
28.10.2013, restraining the  petitioner  (and  the  other  contemnors)  from
leaving the country, without this Court’s permission.   This  Court  through
its above order, issued its first disciplinary order.  We  had  hoped,  that
the above order would convey to  the  contemnors,  the  seriousness  of  the
matter.

87.   The matter was then taken up  on  31.10.2013  and  1.11.2013.   Having
considered the submissions advanced  on  behalf  of  the  petitioner  -  Mr.
Subrata Roy Sahara in Interlocutory Application no. 4 (in Contempt  Petition
(Civil) no. 260 of 2013 in Civil Appeal no. 8643 of 2012),  that  he  needed
to go abroad urgently, in connection  with  some  business  commitments,  we
permitted him the liberty to leave the  country,  with  a  clear  direction,
that he would return back before the expiry of the period  of  three  weeks,
if the directions issued by us  in  the  order  dated  28.10.2013  were  not
complied with.  An extract of the  above  order  dated  1.11.2013  is  being
reproduced hereunder:-
      “For the reasons indicated in para 4 of the application,  we  make  it
      clear that it is open for  the  alleged  contemnor  No.5  in  Contempt
      Petition (Civil) Nos. 412 and 413 of 2012 to go abroad,  but,  in  the
      event of non-compliance of the directions contained in the order dated
      October 28, 2013, he shall immediately return back and be  present  in
      the country before the  expiry  of  the  period  of  three  weeks,  as
      indicated in the said order.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

It is therefore apparent, that this Court did  not  wish  any  harm  to  the
petitioner.  The requests made by him were duly considered, and  appropriate
orders were passed, to ensure  that  his  business  ventures  would  not  be
adversely affected.

88.   The matter was taken up for  hearing  thereafter,  on  20.11.2013  and
21.11.2013.  On 21.11.2013, finding the conduct of the  petitioner  and  the
other contemnors unacceptable, and in  complete  disregard  with  the  order
passed by us on 28.10.2013,  we  issued  further  directions  on  21.11.2013
restraining the Sahara Group of Companies, from parting with any movable  or
immovable properties, until further orders.  We further directed,  that  all
the alleged contemnors would  not  leave  the  country,  without  the  prior
permission of this Court.  In this behalf it would be relevant  to  mention,
that the above order came to be passed  because,  the  Court  felt  that  an
attempt  had  been  made  to  mislead  the  Court,  by  submitting  a  false
evaluation report.  In this  behalf  we  may  record,  that  learned  Senior
Counsel representing the SEBI had invited our attention to an  order  passed
by the Bombay High Court, depicting that the main properties offered by  the
alleged contemnors, in compliance with the order dated 28.10.2013,  fell  in
the CRZ Zone, where no construction whatsoever was permissible.  An  extract
of the order dated 21.11.2013 is reproduced hereunder:-
      “We are convinced that the order dated 28.10.2013 passed by this Court
      has not been  complied  with  in  its  letter  and  spirit.   In  such
      circumstances, we direct that the Sahara Group of Companies shall  not
      part with any movable or immovable properties  until  further  orders.
      We further direct that all the alleged contemnors shall not leave  the
      country without the permission of this Court.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

This was another order, in the series of  corrective  and  deterrent  orders
passed by this Court, in the process of  enforcement  of  our  orders  dated
31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.  This Court through  its  above  order,  restrained
the entire Sahara  Group  of  Companies,  from  transferring  any  of  their
movable or immovable properties.  Needless to mention, that the above  order
was also clearly passed in furtherance of the prayer made  in  Interlocutory
Application nos. 68 and 69 of 2013, which was actually listed on  the  above
date of hearing.  This was another order in the series of orders  passed  by
this Court, which would have  certainly  made  the  petitioner  aware,  that
sequentially harsher orders were being passed by this Court,  in  the  light
of the prayers made in the aforesaid Interlocutory Applications.

89.   The matter was then listed  for  hearing  on  11.12.2013,  17.12.2013,
2.1.2014 and 9.1.2014.  On all the above  dates,  Interlocutory  Application
nos. 68 and 69 of 2013 were also listed  for  hearing.   On  9.1.2014,  this
Court passed the following order:-
       “Heard counsel on either side.

      Mr. C.A. Sundaram, learned Senior Counsel appearing  for  one  of  the
      alleged contemnors, submitted that earlier this Court on December  11,
      2013 has only reiterated the submission  made  by  Mr.  Arvind  Datar,
      learned Senior Counsel appearing for SEBI, that they did not  disclose
      the source from which they got money  for  repayment,  despite  SEBI's
      letter dated May 28, 2013.

      Mr. Sundaram is right in his submission.  However,  we  feel  that  it
      would be appropriate to give a direction of the nature stated above.

      Accordingly, we direct the alleged contemnors to disclose the complete
      details and source from which they repaid the amount to the  investors
      as also the manner of making payments. They shall  also  disclose  the
      information which SEBI has sought from them from time  to  time.  Such
      information shall be provided to SEBI and also be filed in this  Court
      by January 23, 2014.

      Put up on January 28, 2014 at 2.00 p.m.

      In the meantime, SEBI shall verify the information provided to  it  by
      the alleged contemnors.”

It is imperative for us to give the  background  explaining  why  the  order
extracted hereinabove came to be passed.  In this behalf it is  relevant  to
mention, that Mr. Arvind Datar, learned Senior  Counsel  appearing  for  the
SEBI, had informed this Court, that the contemnors including the  petitioner
herein,  had  been  asserting  that  they  had  refunded  Rs.17,443   crores
(approximately) in the case of SIRECL and  Rs.5,442  crores  (approximately)
in the case of SHICL, but had  not  given  any  details,  nor  produced  any
relevant record to  show  the  source  from  which  the  two  companies  had
collected the money, for such huge repayments.  This information,  according
to Mr. Datar, had been sought  by  the  SEBI  from  the  alleged  contemnors
through a letter dated 28.5.2013 (i.e., more than six months  prior  to  the
passing of the above order).  We were  of  the  view,  that  mentioning  the
aforesaid factual position was sufficient to prompt  the  two  companies  to
furnish the abovesaid details.  The  demeanour  of  the  two  companies  has
remained the same,  throughout.   They  have  never  supplied  any  investor
related  information.   Not  even  such  information,   which   would   have
substantiated their own defence.  It is this repeated  behaviour,  that  has
given us the repeated impression, that the submissions  advanced  on  behalf
of the two companies,  were  just  a  pack  of  lies.   The  fact  that  the
companies had not furnished the above details, was brought to our notice  by
Mr. Datar on 9.1.2014, prompting us to pass an express order  directing  the
two companies,  as  also,  the  alleged  contemnors  including  the  present
petitioner – Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara, to furnish  the  required  particulars.
The above order discloses the games  the  two  companies,  and  the  alleged
contemnors, have been playing with this Court.

90.   Thereafter the matter was taken up  for  consideration  on  28.1.2014,
when we passed the following order:-
       ““Heard Mr. Ram Jethmalani, learned Senior Counsel and Mr. Arvind  P.
      Datar, learned Senior Counsel.

      Mr. Datar submitted that the Saharas have not disclosed the details as
      to when the refund was made.  Reference was made to pages 6  to  9  of
      the reply affidavit filed today.

      Mr. Datar further submitted that the SEBI requires an explanation from
      Saharas with regard to the payments made on  behalf  of  Sahara  India
      Real Estate  Corporation  Ltd.  (SIRECL)  (partnership  firm)  by  the
      following firms, as mentioned below:-



      |    |                                      |Rupees     |
|    |                                      |(In Crores)|
|1.  |Sahara Credit Co-operative Society    |13,366.18  |
|    |Ltd.                                  |           |
|2.  |Sahara India Commercial Corporation   |4384.00    |
|    |Limited                               |           |
|3.  |Sahara Q Shop                         |2258.32    |
|4.  |Ketak City Homes Ltd.                 |19.43      |
|5.  |Kirit City Homes Ltd.                 |44.05      |


      Similarly, SEBI requires Saharas to show the following  payments  made
      on behalf  of  Sahara  Housing  Investment  Corporation  Ltd.  (SHICL)
      (partnership firm), by the following firms, as mentioned below:-


      |    |                                      |Rupees     |
|    |                                      |(In Crores)|
|1.  |SICCL                                 |2479.00    |
|2.  |Sahara Q Shop                         |2411.90    |


      Further, the Saharas will also provide  the  bank  statements  of  the
      above firms showing when the amount was paid to the partnership  firms
      and subsequently when and how partnership firm made the  disbursement,
      as sought for by the SEBI.

      Mr.  Ram  Jethmalani,  learned  Senior  Counsel  appearing   for   the
      respondents submitted that he will examine the same and come out  with
      a response within a week.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

The above order is  self-explanatory.   The  two  companies,  as  also,  the
contemnors including the present petitioner, were  obviously  not  providing
the required bank statements, even though in Appeal no. 49 of 2013 filed  by
SIRECL before the SAT, it had committed to furnish bank accounts  of  Sahara
India  to  establish  redemption  of  payments.   The   relevant   paragraph
containing the assertions made therein is being extracted hereunder:-
      “(ee)       The Appellant has invested the funds of OFCD  as  per  the
      details mentioned in the  Affidavit  dated  04.01.2012  of  Shri  B.M.
      Tripathi filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in  Civil  Appeal  No.
      9833 of 2011 which is already on the record  of  the  Hon’ble  Supreme
      Court.  Further, it is submitted that in order to make redemptions  to
      the OFCD holders, the Appellant had to  dispose  of  the  investments.
      Amounts realized on such disposal were utilized to pay the  investors,
      on redemption  through  Sahara  India-Partnership  Firm  to  make  the
      redemptions.  The redemptions made to investors are clearly  reflected
      and found in the Books of Accounts of  Sahara  India.   The  Appellant
      crave leave to refer to and rely upon bank accounts of Sahara India as
      and when produced.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

In a similar Appeal no. 48 of 2013, filed by SHICL before the  SAT,  exactly
the same stance (as adopted by SIRECL,  and  extracted  above),  was  taken.
Even  though  the  position  adopted  by  the  two   companies   was,   that
verification  of  redemption  of  OFCD’s  could  be  established  from  bank
accounts of Sahara India Limited, the said bank accounts depicting the  said
transactions were not being disclosed.  A perusal of the above  order  dated
28.1.2014 reveals, that Mr. Ram Jethmalani, learned  Senior  Counsel  sought
time to examine the  matter,  so  as  to  be  able  to  come  out,  with  an
appropriate response.   On  20.2.2014,  conflicting  stands  were  taken  by
learned counsel appearing for the alleged contemnors (including the  present
petitioner).  One learned counsel, went to the extent  of  contending,  that
the position adopted by the two  companies  in  the  two  appeals,  was  the
result of a typographical error.  All  along,  most  ridiculous  and  absurd
defences were raised.  Our impression  is,  that  this  was  done  to  avoid
furnishing of the information sought.  Maybe there  was  no  information  to
supply.

91.   This Court was also  convinced,  that  the  attitude  of  the  alleged
contemnors was defiant and non-cooperative, insofar  as  the  implementation
of its orders dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012 was concerned.  Accordingly  the
personal presence of the alleged  contemnors  was  ordered.   This  was  yet
another order, in the line of orders passed by us, this  time  sterner  than
the previous ones.  Yet again, aimed at cajoling compliance  of  the  orders
dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.  On all the  earlier  dates  of  hearing,  as
also on 20.2.2014, Interlocutory Application nos. 68 and  69  of  2013  were
posted for hearing.  It was evident, that  the  order  dated  20.2.2014  was
passed by this Court, in furtherance  of  the  prayers  made  in  the  above
Interlocutory  Applications.   A  relevant  portion  thereof  is  reproduced
hereunder:-
      “Heard Mr. Ram  Jethmalani  and  Mr.  C.A.  Sundaram,  learned  Senior
      Counsel appearing for the alleged contemnors and Mr. Arvind P.  Datar,
      learned Senior Counsel appearing for SEBI.

      In view  of  the  conflicting  stands  taken  by  the  Senior  Counsel
      appearing  for  the  alleged  contemnors  and  the  defiant  and  non-
      cooperative attitude  adopted  by  the  contemnors  in  honouring  the
      judgment dated August 31, 2012, passed by this Court as well as orders
      dated December 05, 2012 and February 25, 2013 passed in  Civil  Appeal
      No. 8643 of 2012 and IA No. 67 of 2013 by a three Judge Bench of  this
      Court, we direct the personal presence of the alleged  contemnors  and
      the Directors of the respondent companies in  Court  on  February  26,
      2014 at 2.00 p.m., on which date the matter will be next taken up.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

A perusal of the above order reveals, that the  contemnors  were  to  appear
personally before this  Court  on  26.2.2014.   Most  importantly,  it  also
reveals why the petitioner was being summoned to this Court.   We  are  also
satisfied, that the petitioner was fully conscious, of  the  reason  why  he
was being summoned to Court,  anyway  his  personal  presence  was  directed
(along with the other contemnors).  It therefore does not lie in  the  mouth
of the petitioner – Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara, or  his  learned  counsel,  that
they were not aware why the above summoning order was passed.

92.   On 25.2.2014, an oral request was made by Mr. Ram Jethmalani,  learned
Senior Counsel.   He prayed for  exemption,  of  the  petitioner’s  personal
presence.  The above oral request was specifically turned  down.   When  the
matter was taken up on 26.2.2014, whilst the other alleged  contemnors  were
present in Court, Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara, the  petitioner  herein,  did  not
enter appearance.  This Court passed the following order  on  26.2.2014,  to
enforce the presence of the petitioner Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara  on  the  next
date of hearing, i.e., on 4.3.2014:-
      “This Court passed  an  order  on  February  20,  2014  directing  the
      personal presence of the alleged contemnors and the Directors  of  the
      respondent companies today, i.e. on February 26, 2014 at 2.00 p.m.  On
      our directions, Mr. Ashok Roy Choudhary, Mr. Ravi  Shankar  Dubey  and
      Smt. Vandana Bhargava are present in Court today.

      Even though, Mr. Ram Jethmalani, learned Senior Counsel appearing  for
      the alleged contemnors, made a mention yesterday, i.e. on February 25,
      2014, before this Bench for dispensing with the personal  presence  of
      Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara,  alleged  contemnor  No.5,  that  request  was
      specifically turned down by this Court.

      Today, when the matter is taken up,  same  request  was  made  by  Mr.
      Jethmalani, by moving an application, which was supported by a medical
      certificate.  The  said  medical  certificate  was  issued  by  Sahara
      Hospital and, in our view, the factual position indicated therein does
      not solicit the exemption sought.

      Since, we have already  declined  to  grant  exemption  from  personal
      presence of alleged contemnor No.5 on February 25, 2014,  we  find  no
      reason to accede to the renewal of the request made today.

      Accordingly, we issue non-bailable warrants of arrest qua Mr.  Subrata
      Roy Sahara, alleged contemnor No.5.  He shall be arrested and produced
      before this Court on March 04, 2014 at 2.00 p.m.

      The afore-mentioned Directors,  who  are  present  today,  shall  also
      remain present in Court on the next date.

      Put up on March 04, 2014 at 2.00 p.m.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

On 4.3.2014, all  the  contemnors  were  present.   Not  only  were  learned
counsel appearing for the petitioner  permitted  to  address  arguments,  we
afforded an opportunity of hearing to  each  of  the  directors  present  in
Court, as also, Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara.  In the facts and  circumstances  of
the controversy it needs to be noticed, that  Mr.  Subrata  Roy  Sahara  was
repeatedly heard on 4.3.2014, as and when he desired to  express  his  view,
till he had nothing further to state.

93.   It is thereupon that the impugned order dated  4.3.2014  extracted  at
the beginning of this order, was passed.

94.   Based on the factual position noticed in the foregoing paragraphs,  it
was the vehement contention of Mr.  Arvind  Datar,  learned  Senior  Counsel
appearing for the SEBI, that the entire basis of the  submissions  canvassed
on behalf of the petitioner  was  fallacious.   It  was  submitted,  that  a
written prayer was made in Interlocutory  Application  nos.  68  and  69  of
2013, inter alia praying for the arrest  of  the  petitioner  herein  –  Mr.
Subrata Roy Sahara, and also, that  of  two  other  male  directors  of  the
companies, namely, Mr. Ashok Roy Choudhary and Mr. Ravi Shankar Dubey.   The
impugned order  dated  4.3.2014,  was  exactly  to  the  above  effect.   In
consonance with the prayer made  by  the  SEBI,  the  impugned  order  dated
4.3.2014 directed the arrest and detention of Mr. Subrata  Roy  Sahara,  Mr.
Ashok Roy Choudhary and Mr. Ravi Shankar Dubey.  We did not traverse  beyond
the prayers made in the Interlocutory Applications.  We did  not  order  the
arrest and detention of another contemnor Smt. Vandana Bhargava, because  no
prayer for her arrest had  been  made,  and  also  because  of  the  reasons
expressed in the order dated 4.3.2014.  There could therefore be  no  reason
to doubt, that the order dated 4.3.2014 had been passed  in  furtherance  of
express prayers made to this Court, in  Interlocutory  Application  nos.  68
and 69 of 2013.

95.   We find each one of the submissions advanced by Mr.  Arvind  Datar  on
behalf  of  the  SEBI,  as  fully  justified.   We  have  recorded  our  own
observations, at the end of each of the above paragraphs, dealing  with  the
factual position brought to our notice, by the learned  Senior  Counsel  for
the SEBI.  We are satisfied, that Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara was well  aware  of
the proceedings before this Court.  He was well aware of  the  prayers  made
in Interlocutory Application nos. 68 and 69 of 2013.  He filed  his  written
response thereto, by way of an affidavit.  The petitioner was aware  of  the
seriousness of the issue, on account of various restraining, corrective  and
deterrent orders passed by this Court, from time to time, each  graver  than
the previous ones.  He remained unaffected to all the efforts made  by  this
Court, to enforce refund of the moneys collected by the  two  companies,  to
those who had invested in their OFCD’s, along with  interest,  in  terms  of
this Court’s orders dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.  It is,  therefore,  that
this Court was left with no other  option,  but  to  order  the  arrest  and
detention of two of the directors, and Mr.  Subrata  Roy  Sahara.   We  were
satisfied, that the above order was necessary to ensure  the  observance  of
the due process of law, in the facts and circumstances  of  the  case.   The
above order was also imperative, if  we  were  to  perform  our  duties  and
functions effectively, and if we were to maintain the majesty of law  and/or
the dignity of the Supreme Court.

96.   It is not possible for us to accept,  that  while  passing  the  above
order, no opportunity was afforded to  the  petitioner  -  Mr.  Subrata  Roy
Sahara.  Indeed every response made by the  alleged  contemnors,  was  taken
into consideration on each occasion.  The alleged contemnors were  found  to
be  playing  tricks  with  this  Court.   Not  only  were  learned   counsel
representing the alleged  contemnors  heard  from  time  to  time,  personal
hearing was also afforded to the directors and Mr. Subrata Roy  Sahara,  the
petitioner herein on  4.3.2014.   In  fact,  Mr.  Subrata  Roy  Sahara,  the
petitioner herein, was heard repeatedly to his heart’s content,  before  the
order dated 4.3.2014 was passed.  For the reasons recorded  hereinabove,  it
is not possible for us to accept the contention advanced  at  the  hands  of
the learned counsel for the petitioner, that the order  dated  4.3.2014  was
passed without following the rules of natural justice, or  that,  the  above
order violates any of the petitioner’s fundamental rights.


VIII. Whether the impugned order dated 4.3.2014, is vitiated on  account  of
      bias?

97.   To be fair to Mr.  Ram  Jethmalani  and  Dr.  Rajeev  Dhawan,  learned
Senior Counsel representing the petitioner, it  is  essential  to  indicate,
that one of the reasons expressed by them, for us not to  hear  this  matter
was, that we  entertained  a  bias  against  the  petitioner.   The  pointed
contention was, that the deliberations conducted  by  us,  had  generated  a
reasonable apprehension in the mind of the petitioner, that we  had  already
arrived at a final resolve, and that, we would not be  satisfied  under  any
circumstances, with the petitioner’s arguments and  submissions  on  merits.
It was, therefore submitted, that the merits of the  controversy  would  not
make any difference to this Bench, since the Bench  had  already  pre-judged
the matter, and that, no relief could be expected  by  the  petitioner  from
us.

98.   In order to support his above submission, learned Senior  Counsel  for
the petitioner argued, that the petitioner had been confined to Tihar  Jail,
since 4.3.2014, without any  justification.   It  was  submitted,  that  the
incarceration of the petitioner was void, and  with  the  march  of  events,
during the course of hearing of the instant petition, it had further  become
clear to the petitioner, that  it  was  likely  that  the  petitioner  would
continue to remain in custody for an indefinite period.  In this  behalf  it
was submitted, that it was  the  petitioner’s  impression  that  the  Judges
hearing the matter,  wished  to  enforce  the  orders  dated  31.8.2012  and
5.12.2012, at all costs.  It was submitted, that the above orders  had  been
substantially complied with, yet without  following  the  rules  of  natural
justice, the petitioner has been accused of not complying  with  the  orders
of this Court.  It was submitted, that the petitioner’s  incarceration  vide
order dated 4.3.2014 was a complete nullity, and it was  the  duty  of  this
Court, to terminate  his  unlawful  detention,  and  to  order  his  release
forthwith.

99.   It  was  the  pointed  submission  of  the  learned  counsel  for  the
petitioner, that during the course of hearing (of Contempt Petition  (Civil)
nos. 412 and 413 of 2012 and Contempt Petition (Civil) no.260 of  2013),  in
order to determine whether or not the  respondents  therein  (including  the
present petitioner) were actually guilty of  contempt,  one  of  the  Judges
hearing the matter (J.S. Khehar, J.), had presumably in agreement  with  the
other Judge on the Bench (K.S. Radhakrishnan, J.) informed learned  counsel,
that the issue as to whether the respondents in  the  above  petitions,  had
committed contempt or not,  would  only  be  considered  after  the  Court’s
satisfaction, that  the  orders  dated  31.8.2012  and  5.12.2012  had  been
complied with.  It was the submission of the learned Senior Counsel for  the
petitioner, that when the petitioner’s detention was  ordered  on  4.3.2014,
neither the petitioner nor his counsel understood the purpose for which  the
petitioner, as promoter of the two companies, and  the  other  directors  of
the two companies, had been summoned  to  this  Court.   Besides  the  above
stated factual submission, it was also the contention of the learned  Senior
Counsel for the petitioner, that the petitioner is  still  unaware,  of  the
reasons for which his detention has been ordered.

100.  It was submitted, that under the stress created by  the  order  passed
by this Court on 4.3.2014, by which the petitioner’s liberty had been  taken
away, the petitioner  has  made  repeated  efforts  to  suggest  a  possible
settlement, yet all efforts made  by  the  petitioner  were  rejected.   The
petitioner’s proposals were construed, according to learned counsel,  as  an
insult to  the  Court.   It  was  submitted,  that  all  these  events,  had
generated a reasonable apprehension in the  mind  of  the  petitioner,  that
this Court had already arrived at a final decision.   In  order  to  support
the instant submission, learned counsel  for  the  petitioner  invited  this
Court’s attention to something which had completely shocked the  petitioner,
and had made him incapable to expecting a just decision at the hands of  the
Judges hearing the matter.  In this behalf it was pointed out, that  in  the
impugned order a finding had been recorded, that “…  all  the  fact  finding
authorities had opined that a majority of the investors did not exist…”   It
was submitted, that the identity of the authorities  which  had  arrived  at
the above conclusion, had  not  been  disclosed,  by  this  Court.   It  was
pointed out, that no such mention had been made in the  affidavit  filed  by
the SEBI, and  no  such  submission  was  advanced,  during  the  course  of
hearing.  It was therefore, the contention of the learned  counsel  for  the
petitioner, that the petitioner was of the firm belief, that in view of  our
pre-disposition, legitimate verification of the documents furnished  by  the
two companies to the SEBI, cannot be expected.  It was submitted,  that  the
situation created by this Court was such,  that  the  petitioner  is  in  no
position, even to make an effort  to  find  a  compromise  solution  to  the
problem.  It  was  also  the  assertion  of  the  learned  counsel  for  the
petitioner,    that    the    impugned    order    recited,     that     the
respondents/contemnors  (including  the  petitioner  herein)   were   heard,
whereas, the respondents were called upon when only a few minutes were  left
for this Court to rise on 4.3.2014.  While acknowledging, that all the  four
respondents (including the present petitioner) were individually  asked,  as
to whether they had anything to say, they were not informed what  they  were
asked to respond to.  Accordingly, all  the  respondents  who  had  appeared
before this Court on 4.3.2014, were  fully  justified  in  stating  to  this
Court on 4.3.2014, that their response was the same as  had  been  submitted
to this Court, on their behalf, by their respective learned Senior  Counsel.
 It was accordingly sought to be suggested, that only an  illusory  hearing,
in total defiance of the rules of  natural  justice,  was  afforded  to  the
petitioner, and  the  other  contemnors/respondents.   Based  on  the  above
premise, it was the  submission  of  the  learned  Senior  Counsel  for  the
petitioner, that on account of the lack of confidence of the petitioner,  in
this Bench, it would be improper for this Bench to hear the present case  on
its merit, and to render judgment thereon.

101.  In order to support his above  contention,  and  to  bring  forth  the
principles enunciated by this Court, which  were  relevant  to  the  present
case, Mr. Ram Jethmalani, learned Senior Counsel, placed reliance  on  Manak
Lal v. Dr. Prem Chand, (1957), SCR 575.  Inviting the Court’s  attention  to
the factual background of the controversy in the above case, it was  brought
out, that Dr. Prem Chand, the respondent,  had  filed  a  complaint  against
Manak Lal, the petitioner, under the Bar Councils Act. During the course  of
adjudication, both the Members of the Tribunal (under the Bar Councils  Act)
and the Judges of the High Court of Rajasthan,  accepted  the  complainant’s
version, and rejected the pleas raised by  Manak  Lal.   Resultantly,  Manak
Lal was held guilty of gross professional  misconduct.   It  was  the  above
finding, which was assailed by Manak Lal before this Court.  The  contention
advanced on his behalf was, that the Members of the Tribunal,  nominated  to
enquire into the misconduct of Manak Lal,  had  been  improperly  nominated.
The improper constitution of the Tribunal was premised  on  the  fact,  that
Shri Chhangani who was the Chairman of the Tribunal, had previously filed  a
power of attorney on behalf of Dr. Prem Chand, in a matter being  determined
under Section 145 of the Cr.P.C.  It was submitted that Shri Chhangani,  had
also argued the above matter, on behalf of  Dr.  Prem  Chand  on  23.8.1952.
Having appeared for the opponent, it was submitted, that Shri Chhangani  was
disqualified from acting as Chairman/Member of the Tribunal.  This Court  in
the above factual background, held as under:-
      “There is some force in this argument. It is well settled  that  every
      member of a tribunal that is called upon to try issues in judicial  or
      quasi-judicial proceedings must be able to act judicially; and  it  is
      of the essence of judicial decisions and judicial administration  that
      judges should be able to act impartially, objectively and without  any
      bias. In such cases the test  is  not  whether  in  fact  a  bias  has
      affected the judgment; the test always  is  and  must  be  whether  a,
      litigant could reasonably apprehend that  a  bias  attributable  to  a
      member of the tribunal might have operated against him  in  the  final
      decision of the tribunal. It is in this sense that it, is  often  said
      that justice must not only be done but must also appear to be done.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

On the issue, that justice must not only be done, but must  also  appear  to
be done, this Court in the  above  judgment,  had  relied  on  the  judgment
rendered in Frome United Breweries Co. v. Bath Justices, (1926) AC 586,  and
thereupon, had observed as under:-
     “As Viscount Cave L. C. has observed in From United Brewerses  Co.  v.
     Bath Justices, "this rule has been asserted not only in  the  case  of
     Courts of Justices and other judicial tribunals but  in  the  case  of
     authorities which, though in no sense to be called Courts, have to act
     as judges of the rights of others ". In dealing  with  cases  of  bias
     attributed to members constituting tribunals, it is necessary to  make
     a distinction between pecuniary interest and prejudice so  attributed.
     It is obvious that pecuniary interest, however small it may  be  in  a
     subject-matter of the proceedings, would wholly  disqualify  a  member
     from acting as a judge. But where pecuniary interest is not attributed
     but instead a  bias  is  suggested,  it  often  becomes  necessary  to
     consider whether  there  is  a  reasonable  ground  for  assuming  the
     possibility of a bias and whether it is likely to produce in the minds
     of the litigant, or the public at large a reasonable doubt  about  the
     fairness of the administration  of  justice.  It  would  always  be  a
     question of fact to be decided in each  case.  "  The  principle  says
     Halsbury, "nemo debet esse  judex  in  causaproprta  sua  precludes  a
     justice, who is interested in the subject matter of  a  dispute,  from
     acting as a justice therein” (Halsbury’s Laws of  England,  Vol.  XXI,
     page 535, para 952). In our opinion, there is  and  can  be  no  doubt
     about the validity of this principle and we  are  prepared  to  assume
     that this principle applies not only to the justices as  mentioned  by
     Halsbury but to all tribunals and bodies which are given  jurisdiction
     to determine judicially the rights of parties.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

In Manak Lal’s case (supra), reliance was also placed by this Court  on  Rex
v. Sussex Justices, Ex parte McCarthy, (1924) 1  KB  256.   Relying  on  the
above judgment, this Court had expressed as under:-
      “In support of his argument, Shri Daphtary referred us to the decision
      in Rex v. Sussex Justices, Ex parte McCarthy.  In this case, the Court
      was dealing with a case arising out of a  collision  between  a  motor
      vehicle belonging to the applicant and one belonging  to  W.   At  the
      hearing of the summons the acting clerk to the justices was  a  member
      of the firm of solicitors who were acting for W in a claim for damages
      against the applicant for injuries received in  the  collision.  After
      the evidence was recorded  the  justices  retired  to  consider  their
      decision and the acting clerk also retired  with  them  in  case  they
      should desire to be advised on any point of  law.  The  applicant  was
      convicted  in  the  case.   This  conviction  was  challenged  by  the
      applicant on the ground that it was vitiated by the  improper  conduct
      of the justices in allowing the acting clerk  to  be  associated  with
      them when they deliberated about the merits of the case. An  affidavit
      was filed on behalf of the justices that they reached  their  decision
      without consulting the acting clerk and that the acting clerk  had  in
      fact abstained from referring to the case. This affidavit was accepted
      as true by all the learned judges who  heard  the  case  and  yet  the
      conviction was quashed. "The question is" observed  Lord  Hewart  C.J.
      “whether the acting clerk was so related to  the  case  in  its  civil
      aspect, as to be unfit to act as  a  clerk  to  the  justices  in  the
      criminal matter" and the learned judge added that "the answer to  that
      question depends not upon what exactly was done but  upon  what  might
      appear to be done.  Nothing  is  to  be  done  which  creates  even  a
      suspicion that there has been an improper interference in  the  course
      of justice." Lush  J.  who  agreed  with  Lord  Hewart  C.J.  likewise
      accepted the affidavit made on behalf of the  justices  but  observed,
      "that they  have  placed  themselves  in  an  impossible  position  by
      allowing the clerk in those circumstances to  retire  with  them  into
      their consultation room."
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

This Court in Manak Lal’s case (supra)  also  placed  reliance  on   Rex  v.
Essex Justices,  Ex  parte  Perkins,  (1927)  2  KB  475.   The  conclusions
recorded in the latter judgment were accepted by this Court, by  holding  as
under:-
      “The same principle was enunciated with equal emphasis in Rex v. Essex
      Justices, Ex parte Perkins. This was a dispute between a  husband  and
      his wife and it appeared that the wife had consulted  the  solicitor’s
      clerk in their office about the preparation of a  deed  of  separation
      from her husband and the lawyer acted in the matter for a  time  after
      which she ceased to consult him. No mention of the matter was made  to
      the solicitor himself except one very  short  reference  to  it  in  a
      weekly report from his clerk.  Subsequently the solicitor acted  as  a
      clerk to the justices who tried the case. He stated in  his  affidavit
      that, when acting as a clerk  to  the  justices  on  the  occasion  in
      question, he had no knowledge that his firm had acted for the wife and
      that he was in no way adverse to the husband.  It was urged  that  the
      decision of the justices should be set aside as the justices were  not
      properly constituted and it appears also to have been  suggested  that
      the decision might, perhaps,  have  been  influenced  by  a  prejudice
      though indirectly and to a very small extent. Rejecting  the  argument
      that the decision of the justices had been influenced even remotely by
      the impropriety alleged, Avory J. stated that "though the clerk to the
      justices and the ’justices did not know that his firm  had  acted  for
      the applicant’s wife, the  necessary,  or  at  least  the  reasonable,
      impression, on the mind of the applicant would be that justice was not
      done seeing that the solicitor  for  his  wife  was  acting  with  the
      justices and advising’ them on the hearing of the  summons  which  she
      had taken against him."
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

The submission of Shri  Ram  Jethmalani,  learned  Senior  Counsel  for  the
petitioner, having placed reliance  on  the  judgments  was,  that  we  were
disqualified from hearing the merits of  the  claim  projected  through  the
instant petition, because of our bias.

102.   Dr.  Rajeev  Dhawan,  learned  Senior  Counsel  for  the  petitioner,
seconded  the  position  expressed  by  Mr.  Ram  Jethmalani.  It  was   his
contention, that there is a pre-disposition in the matter  on  the  part  of
the Bench.  The above pre-disposition, according to him, appears  to  be  on
the basis of a strong commitment towards the “other  side”.   The  inference
of his assertion, according to learned counsel, could be gathered  from  the
fact, that all the proposals offered by the petitioner for his release  from
detention, had been rejected by us,  one  after  the  other.   According  to
learned counsel, the Bench had demonstrated its rigidity to such an  extent,
that the petitioner  finds  “no  play  in  the  joints”.   In  other  words,
according to learned counsel, we were willing to accept  nothing  short  of,
what we  had  already  ordered.   The  Bench  according  to  learned  Senior
Counsel, had repulsed all  alternative  reasonable  grounds  of  compromise.
Learned counsel then invited our attention to  an  order  passed  by  us  on
26.3.2014.  The said order is being extracted hereunder:-
            “We have gone through the fresh proposal  filed  on  25.03.2014.
       Though the same is not in compliance with our Order dated  31.08.2012
      or the Order  passed  by  the  three-Judge  Bench  of  this  Court  on
      05.12.2012 in Civil Appeal No.8643 of 2012 and on 25.02.2013  in  I.A.
      No.67 of 2013 in Civil Appeal No.9813 of 2011 with I.A. No.5  of  2013
      in Civil Appeal No.9833 of 2011, we are inclined to grant interim bail
      to the contemnors who are  detained  by  virtue  of  our  order  dated
      04.03.2014, on the  condition  that  they  would  pay  the  amount  of
      Rs.10,000 crores - out of which Rs.5,000 crores to be deposited before
      this Court and for the balance a Bank Guarantee of a nationalized bank
      be furnished in favour of S.E.B.I. and be deposited before this Court.
       On compliance, the contemnors be released forthwith  and  the  amount
      deposited be released to S.E.B.I.

            We make  it  clear  that  this  order  is  passed  in  order  to
      facilitate the contemnors to further raise the balance amount so as to
      comply with the Court's Orders mentioned above.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

It was submitted,  that  the  above  order  passed  by  this  Court  was  an
impossible  order.   Because  it  was  impossible  to  implement.   It   was
submitted, that even after the passing of the above  order,  the  petitioner
had repeatedly sought modification thereof, through further  proposals.   In
order to demonstrate bias at the hands of the Bench, it was contended,  that
all  subsequent   proposals   made   by   the   petitioner   were   rejected
unceremoniously.  This, according to the  learned  Senior  Counsel  for  the
petitioner demonstrates, that the mind of the Judges hearing the matter  was
closed, and that, even genuine proposals made by the petitioner  were  being
rejected, without due application of mind.

103.  All that has been noticed hereinabove, has been so recorded,  lest  we
are  accused  of,  not  having  taken  into  consideration  the  submissions
advanced by the  learned  counsel  for  the  petitioner,  in  their  correct
perspective.  However brazen the arguments may be, it is  our  onerous  duty
to deal with the contentions advanced by the learned Senior Counsel for  the
petitioner.   We will make a humble effort to deal with  the  same,  in  the
following paragraphs.

104.  No allegation of bias or prejudice was levelled, when this very  Bench
was constituted to decide Civil Appeal nos. 9813 and 9833 of 2011.   We  had
heard the learned Senior Counsel for the two companies at great length,  and
had adjudicated the matter taking into consideration each and  every  aspect
of the controversy projected before us. It has never been the  case  of  the
petitioner, that we were biased when we had disposed of the appeals  by  our
common order dated 31.8.2012.  On the issue of disbursement of  payments  by
the two companies (to the SEBI), the date of deposit,  was  extended  by  an
order dated 5.12.2012, passed by a  three-Judge  Division  Bench  (in  Civil
Appeal no. 8643 of  2012  and  Writ  Petition  (Civil)  no.  527  of  2012).
Neither of us was on the three-Judge Division Bench, which passed the  order
dated 5.12.2012.  It needs to be clearly understood, that  the  order  dated
31.8.2012 read with the order dated 5.12.2012 is final and binding,  and  no
proceedings are pending before this Court, either at the hands  of  the  two
companies, or the petitioner herein, for their  reconsideration  on  merits.
We have neither the jurisdiction, nor the authority to relax the  terms  and
conditions of the above orders.  In fact, we would  be  committing  contempt
if we were to, on our own,  interfere  with  the  above  directions.   As  a
matter of fact, it is not open to us, to relax the  order  dated  5.12.2012,
which was passed by a three-Judge Division Bench, requiring  the  contemnors
to deposit the first installment of Rs.10,000 crores, in the first  week  of
January 2013.

105.  On 6.2.2013, we issued notice, in Contempt Petition (Civil)  Nos.  412
and 413 of 2012.  On 24.7.2013,  we  issued  notice,  in  Contempt  Petition
(Civil) No. 260 of 2013.  We heard the above contempt petitions on  numerous
dates (details whereof have already been enumerated above).   No  allegation
of bias was ever levelled  by  any  of  the  contemnors,  not  even  by  the
petitioner  herein,  before  the  hearing  of  the  present  writ  petition.
Despite prolonged hearings in the matters pertaining to the  two  companies,
which would directly affect the petitioner herein,  no  allegation  of  bias
was ever levelled against this Bench hither to  before.  We  are  therefore,
satisfied that the instant plea  of  bias,  is  based  on  the  petitioner’s
frustration, arising out of  being  cornered  into  a  situation,  wherefrom
there is no escape.

106.   The  assertion,  that  we  would   not   be   satisfied   under   any
circumstances, with the petitioner’s arguments and  submissions  on  merits,
is clearly misconceived.  The assertion made by the petitioner, that we  had
already prejudged the matter, and no relief could be expected  from  us,  is
likewise a total misconstruction of the proceedings  we  are  dealing  with.
It needs to be understood, that there is no lis pending before  us,  wherein
we have to determine the merits of the claims raised by the  rival  parties.
In a situation, where rival  claims  of  parties,  have  to  be  decided  on
merits, such a submission could have possibly  been  made.   Merits  of  the
claims (and counter-claims) have already been settled by this Court’s  order
dated 31.8.2012.  The proceeding wherein the impugned order was passed,  was
being conducted in the contempt jurisdiction of this  Court  (under  Article
129 of the Constitution of  India).   The  scope  of  the  instant  contempt
jurisdiction extends to, punishing contemnors for violating Court’s  orders;
punishing contemnors for disobeying  Court’s  orders;  punishing  contemnors
for breach of undertakings given to Courts.  It also extends to  enforcement
of Court’s orders.  Contempt jurisdiction even extends  to  punishing  those
who scandalize (or lower the authority of) any Court;  punishing  those  who
interfere in due course of judicial proceedings;  and  punishing  those  who
obstruct the administration of  justice.   During  the  course  of  hearing,
learned counsel again and again, admitted breach  of  this  Court’s  orders,
dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.  It was inter alia  admitted,  that  payments
could not be made within the time frame  stipulated.   Contempt  by  way  of
breach of this Court’s orders having been admitted, the allegation  of  bias
is clearly a plea which is  not  available  to  the  petitioner.    In  such
consideration, there is no room which remains for  further  adjudication  on
merits.  There cannot, therefore be a prejudged mind (all  that  has  to  be
decided, has already been adjudged).  For  the  same  reason,  there  is  no
scope for a compromise.  Issues of compromise arise between  parties,  while
merits of rival claims are pending.  The dispute  between  the  parties  has
already been settled, and  contempt  by  way  of  breach  has  already  been
admitted.  The question of compromise does not arise at  all.  We  therefore
reject all the above submissions advanced by the  learned  counsel  for  the
petitioner.

107.  We shall  now  deal  with  the  substance,  and  the  import,  of  the
judgments relied upon.  It is not the case of the petitioner, that  we  have
any connection with either the two companies under reference, or  any  other
company/firm which  constitutes  the  Sahara  Group.   We  may  state,  that
neither of us has even a single share with the two  concerned  companies  or
with any other company/firm comprising of the Sahara  Group.   In  order  to
remove all ambiguity in the matter we would further state, that  neither  of
us, nor any of our dependent family members, own even a single share in  any
company whatsoever.  Neither of us has been assisted in this case,  for  its
determination on merits by any law clerk,  intern  or  staff  member,  while
hearing, dealing with or deciding the controversy.  Nor  has  any  assertion
in this behalf, been made against us,  by  the  petitioner  or  his  learned
counsel.   Accordingly the factual position, which  was  the  basis  of  the
decisions relied upon by the learned counsel, is not available in the  facts
and circumstances of this case.  In the above view of the matter, it is  but
natural to conclude, that none of the judgments relied upon by  the  learned
Senior Counsel for the petitioner, on the subject of  bias,  are  applicable
to the facts and circumstances of this case.  We are satisfied that none  of
the  disguised  aspersions  cast  by  learned  Senior  Counsel,   would   be
sufficient to justify the invocation of the maxim,  that  justice  must  not
actually be done, but must also appear  to  be  done.   As  already  noticed
above, even though our combination as a Bench, did not exist  at  the  time,
when the present petition was filed,  a  Special  Bench,  with  the  present
composition, was constituted by Hon’ble the Chief Justice, as  a  matter  of
his conscious determination.  No litigant, can be permitted to dissuade  us,
in discharging the onerous responsibility assigned  to  us  by  Hon’ble  the
Chief Justice.

108.  Once it is understood, that  we  are  no  longer  possessed  with  any
adjudicatory role, insofar as the controversy on merits  is  concerned,  the
principal allegation of bias itself pales into insignificance.   This  Court
by its order dated 31.8.2012 had directed the two  companies  to  “…  refund
the amounts collected through RHPs  dated  13.3.2008  and  16.10.2009  along
with interest at the rate of 15% per annum to the SEBI,  from  the  date  of
receipt of the subscription amount till the  date  of  repayment,  within  a
period of three months from today…”  The above amount  was  payable  by  the
two companies by 30.11.2012.  It is not a matter of  dispute,  that  neither
the two companies nor its promoter or the directors, ever  sought  extension
of time in making the above payment,  by  initiating  proceedings  known  to
law, either in Civil Appeal no. 9813 or 9833 of 2011.   The  two  companies,
however, filed Writ Petition (Civil) no. 527 of 2012 in the same manner,  as
the petitioner has filed the present  writ  petition.   The  filing  of  the
above writ petition was itself a matter of serious concern  with  the  legal
fraternity, to the extent that  the  President  of  the  Supreme  Court  Bar
Association had  suo  moto  intervened  in  the  above  matter,  to  advance
submissions  before  the  three-Judge  Division  Bench.    The   three-Judge
Division Bench while disposing of  the  matter  on  5.12.2012,  declined  to
accept the prayer made by the two companies, for taking  into  consideration
the refund already made by way of redemptions to investors.  At the time  of
disposal of Writ Petition (Civil) no. 527 of  2012  (and  Civil  Appeal  no.
8643 of 2012) on 5.12.2012, it was directed, that the demand  draft  in  the
sum of Rs.5,120 crores,  which  had  been  produced  before  this  Court  on
5.12.2012, be immediately handed over. It was concluded,  that  the  balance
amount of Rs.17,400 crores, together with interest at the rate  of  15%  per
annum, was still payable (even after the deposit of above Rs.5,120  crores).
 A direction  was  accordingly  issued  to  pay  the  first  installment  of
Rs.10,000 crores within the first week of January,  2013.   The  application
filed by the petitioner for extension of time to  make  the  above  deposit,
was rejected by a three-Judge Division Bench of  this  Court  on  25.2.2013.
The direction to pay the first  installment  of  Rs.10,000  crores,  by  the
first week of January, 2013, therefore, assumed finality.  We  have  neither
the authority nor the jurisdiction to entertain any prayer for reducing  the
sum directed to be paid, as the first installment.  The  submission  of  the
learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner, that we are unrelenting, or  that
we are pre-disposed, or that we have a closed mind,  is  therefore,  just  a
bogey projected by learned Senior Counsel representing the  petitioner.   As
a matter of fact, by our conscious effort, we have unilaterally relaxed  the
rigor of the first installment of Rs.10,000 crores, as much as we could,  by
our order dated 26.3.2014.  Unfortunately,  the  above  order  is  also  not
acceptable to the petitioner.  But acceptability apart, our above  voluntary
action of slackening the effect of the first  installment,  directed  to  be
paid by the two companies,  within  the  first  week  of  January  2013,  is
clearly sufficient to repudiate and reject, all submissions  in  the  nature
of our having a predisposed mind.

109.  While rendering the instant judgment, we  have  recorded  the  efforts
made  by  this  Court  to  cajole  the  contemnors  (including  the  present
petitioner) into compliance of  this  Court’s  orders  dated  31.8.2012  and
5.12.2012, under an independent heading (IV.  Efforts made by this Court  to
cajole the contemnors, including the petitioner – Mr.  Subrata  Roy  Sahara,
for compliance of the orders of this Court, dated 31.8.2012 and  5.12.2012).
 The long rope given to the two companies including the petitioner, and  the
other directors, demonstrates the efforts made by us to help the  petitioner
(and others) out of the mess, in which they find  themselves.   As  of  now,
the amount payable in furtherance of the directions  issued  by  this  Court
(on 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012), has swelled  up  to  Rs.36,608  crores.   Each
proposal made by the petitioner till  date,  reveals  an  acknowledgment  to
pay.  The petitioner has offered to deposit Rs.2,500 / 3,000 crores, in  the
proposals made thus far, and the remaining amount of  the  first  instalment
(i.e., Rs.7,500  /  7,000  crores),  later  on.   Therefore,  the  proposals
submitted thus far, only acknowledge payment of Rs.10,000 crores.   None  of
the proposals, covers the whole amount payable.  The proposals, as a  matter
of a precondition,  demand  the  revocation  of  restraint  orders  on  bank
accounts,  and  movable  as  well  as,  immovable  properties.   It  may  be
understandable, that the restraint order is lifted in respect  of  the  bank
accounts, and properties, which are to  be  utilized  in  discharge  of  the
liability  arising  out  of  this  Court’s  orders  (dated   31.8.2012   and
5.12.2012).  Repeatedly,  during  Court  hearings,  we  have  been  assuring
learned counsel  for  the  petitioner,  that  individual  accounts  will  be
permitted to be operated, if the deposits therein are to be  transferred  to
the SEBI.  Likewise, orders pertaining to particular  immovable  properties,
will be lifted,  if  the  sale  proceeds  thereof  are  to  be  utilized  in
honouring the commitment to refund investors’ deposits (with 15%  interest).
 None of the contemnors, have made any  proposal,  in  consonance  with  the
above liberty.  Acceptance of the proposals is just  not  possible,  in  the
teeth of the order dated 5.12.2012, passed by a three-Judge Division  Bench,
requiring the two companies to make a deposit of  Rs.10,000  crores  in  the
first week of January, 2013.  By now, about 17 further months  have  elapsed
without the petitioner  and  the  two  companies  having  made  any  deposit
whatsoever.  Within the framework of the requirement depicted in  the  order
dated 5.12.2012, we, by our own order  dated  26.3.2014  (extracted  above),
softened the modus of payment.  It is, therefore, not  possible  for  us  to
accept, that there has been “no play in the joints” for the  enforcement  of
the orders passed by this  Court.   We  find  the  submission  made  by  the
learned counsel for the petitioner to  the  effect,  that  our  order  dated
26.3.2013 cannot be complied with, because it  was  premised  on  impossible
conditions, is wholly unjustified.  The  assets  of  the  Sahara  Group  are
sufficient to discharge the entire liability, without much difficulty.

110.  Insofar as the assertion made by Dr.  Rajeev  Dhawan,  learned  Senior
Counsel, that the factual position expressed in  the  order  dated  4.3.2014
was not correct, is concerned, we may at the cost of repetition  once  again
notice, that it is also  important  for  us  to  record  that  the  positive
position expressed by the SEBI before this Court  (during  the  disposal  of
Civil Appeal Nos.9813 and 9833 of 2011) was, that neither SIRECL  nor  SHICL
ever provided details of its investors to the SEBI  (FTM).   They  contested
the proceedings initiated by the SEBI (FTM) only on technical  grounds.   We
were told that even before the SAT, no details were furnished.   As  against
the above, the position adopted by the SIRECL before us, during  the  course
of appellate proceedings was, that SIRECL had furnished a compact disc  with
all details to the SEBI (FTM), along with its operating key.  Whilst it  was
acknowledged by the SEBI before this Court, that a compact  disc  (allegedly
containing details about the investors) was furnished by SIRECL, yet it  was
emphatically pointed out, that its operating key  was  withheld.   This  was
another ploy, in the series  of  moves  adopted  by  the  two  companies  to
withhold the providing of any details to the SEBI.  Resultantly, no  details
whatsoever were ever disclosed by SIRECL either before  the  SEBI  (FTM)  or
the SAT.  The position adopted by SHICL was even worse.  It is necessary  to
place on record the fact, that the  SHICL  has  never  ever  disclosed,  the
names and other connected details of even a single  investor  to  the  SEBI,
despite this prolonged litigation.  We had repeatedly made a  poser,  during
the hearing of the present petition, about SHICL, as indicated  above.   The
position was confirmed by learned  Senior  Counsel  representing  the  SEBI.
Unfortunately, Mr. S. Ganesh, learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner,  on
the last day of hearing, ventured to contest the above position.  He  handed
over to us two volumes of papers running into 260 pages (under the  title  –
Note on information provided by SHICL to the  SEBI).   We  required  him  to
invite our attention,  to  documents  indicating  disclosure  of  the  above
information.  His ploy stood exposed, when no material depicting  disclosure
of names, and other connected  details  of  SHICL  to  the  SEBI,  could  be
brought to our notice. That apart, what is  essential  to  record  is,  that
till date SHICL has never ever supplied  investor  related  details  to  the
SEBI.  A fact about  which  there  is  now  no  ambiguity,  specially  after
learned Senior Counsel filed the two volumes of papers  referred  to  above.
The above factual position  remained  unaltered  before  the  SAT  and  even
before this Court.  Does it lie in the mouth of learned  Senior  Counsel  to
assert, that unjustified conclusions  had  been  recorded  against  the  two
companies, without any basis?

111.  Dr. Rajeev Dhawan, learned Senior Counsel also accused us of having  a
pre-disposition  in  respect  of  the  controversy.   This   predisposition,
according to him, appeared to  be  on  the  basis  of  a  strong  commitment
towards the “other side”.  This assertion was repeated several times  during
the hearing.  But, which is the other side?  In terms  of  our  order  dated
31.8.2012, the only gainer on the other side, is the  Government  of  India.
The eighth direction of our order dated 31.8.2012, reads as under:-
      “8.   SEBI (WTM) if, after the verification of the details  furnished,
      is  unable  to  find  out  the  whereabouts  of  all  or  any  of  the
      subscribers, then the amount collected from such subscribers  will  be
      appropriated to the Government of India.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

If the “other side”, is the Government  of  India,  there  is  certainly  no
substance in the aspersion cast by the  learned  counsel.   Just  the  above
aspect of the  matter  is  sufficient  to  burst  the  bubble,  of  all  the
carefully  crafted  insinuations,  systematically  offloaded,   by   learned
counsel, for effect and impact.

112.  At this juncture we may refer to a decision of this Court which has  a
bearing  on  the  subject  in  hand.   Reference  is  being  made   to   the
observations made by this Court, in Jaswant Singh v. Virender Singh &  Ors.,
1995 Supp. (1) SCC 384:-
      “32.  Before parting with this judgment, there is however, one  matter
      which has caused us considerable concern and we wish to advert to  it.
      After the recount had been ordered by the learned Single Judge in  the
      High Court and the Deputy Registrar had carried out the inspection  of
      the ballot papers of the specified  booths,  the  appellant  filed  an
      application in the High Court under Section 151 CPC  seeking  stay  of
      the further arguments to enable the  appellant  to  move  the  Supreme
      Court.  In the said application  the  appellant  referred  to  certain
      ‘observations’  made  by  the  learned  Judge  during  the  course  of
      arguments and also referred to the manner in  which  the  two  packets
      containing ballot papers which  had  been  objected  to  by  both  the
      parties and had been kept for scrutiny of the  learned  Single  Judge,
      were handled by the learned Judge.  The appellant went on to say  that
      "by doing this the Hon'ble Court was  pleased  to  make  these  ballot
      papers suspect and doubtful and these cannot  be  considered  for  any
      decision on them  regarding  their  validity  or  otherwise  as  these
      remained in unsealed condition  for  uncertainable  time  without  the
      petitioner or his Counsel being present there".  The learned Judge  by
      his order dated 13.5.1993 recorded the following proceedings:

           “Counsel for the petitioner has not appeared and the  petitioner
           himself has made a request that he wants  to  move  the  Hon'ble
           Supreme Court for transfer of the Election  Petition  from  this
           Court.  In  view  of  this  statement,  the  petition  is  being
           adjourned.  The petitioner wants to  place  as  application  for
           transfer on record.  He may file  it  in  the  Registry,  if  so
           advised.

           During the course of arguments yesterday, two  sealed  envelopes
           relating to polling booth Nos. 28 and 31 had been opened in  the
           presence of the parties and their Counsel at the time  when  the
           report of the Commissioner who carried  out  test  checking  was
           being considered.  These  open  envelopes  had  remained  in  my
           custody in my Almirah under lock and key.  Since the case is now
           being adjourned, these open envelopes be resealed and  the  same
           be handed over to the Additional Registrar (Judicial)  alongwith
           other sealed envelopes.”

      33.   Thereafter, the appellant as already noticed, filed  a  transfer
      petition in this Court which was dismissed on 30.8.1993.  The transfer
      petition like the application (supra) cast aspersions on  the  learned
      Judge in the discharge of his judicial functions and had the  tendency
      to scandalise the Court.  It was an attempt to brow beat  the  learned
      Judge of the High Court and cause interference in  the  conduct  of  a
      fair trial.  Not only are the aspersions  derogatory,  scandalous  and
      uncalled  for  but  they  also  tend  to  bring  the   authority   and
      administration  of  law  into  disrespect.   The   contents   of   the
      application seeking stay as also of the transfer petition,  bring  the
      Court into disrepute and are an affront to  the  majesty  of  law  and
      offend the dignity of the Court.  The appellant is an Advocate and  it
      is painful that by filing the application and the petition as a  party
      in person, couched in an objectionable language, he permitted  himself
      the liberty of indulging in an action, which ill behoves him and  does
      little credit to  the  noble  profession  to  which  he  belongs.   An
      advocate has no wider protection than a layman when he commits an  act
      which amounts to contempt of court.  It is  most  unbefitting  for  an
      advocate to make imputations against the Judge only  because  he  does
      not get the expected result, which according to him is  the  fair  and
      reasonable result available to him.  Judges cannot be  intimidated  to
      seek favorable orders.  Only because a lawyer appears as  a  party  in
      person, he does not get a license thereby to commit  contempt  of  the
      Court by intimidating the  Judges  or  scandalising  the  courts.   He
      cannot use language, either in  the  pleadings  or  during  arguments,
      which is either intemperate or unparliamentary.  These safeguards  are
      not for the protection of any Judge individually but are essential for
      maintaining the dignity and decorum of the courts  and  for  upholding
      the majesty of law.   Judges and courts are not  unduly  sensitive  or
      touchy to fair and reasonable  criticism  of  their  judgments.   Fair
      comments,  even  if,  out-spoken,  but  made  without  any  malice  or
      attempting to impair the administration of justice and  made  in  good
      faith, in proper language, do not attract any punishment for  contempt
      of court.  However, when from the criticism  a  deliberate,  motivated
      and calculated attempt is discernible  to  bring  down  the  image  of
      judiciary  in  the  estimation  of  the  public  or  to   impair   the
      administration of justice or  tend  to  bring  the  administration  of
      justice into disrepute the courts must  bestir  themselves  to  uphold
      their dignity and the majesty of law. The appellant, has,  undoubtedly
      committed contempt of the Court by the use of  the  objectionable  and
      intemperate  language.   No  system  of  justice  can  tolerate   such
      unbridled licence on the part of a person, be he a lawyer,  to  permit
      himself the liberty of scandalising a Court  by  casting  unwarranted,
      uncalled for and unjustified aspersions  on  the  integrity,  ability,
      impartiality or fairness of a Judge in the discharge of  his  judicial
      functions as it amounts to an interference with  the  dues  course  of
      administration of justice.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

The observations recorded in the above judgment  are  fully  applicable,  to
the mannerism and demeanour of the petitioner – Mr. Subrata Roy  Sahara  and
some of the learned Senior Counsel.  We would have declined to  recuse  from
the matter, even if the “other side”, had been a private  party.   For,  our
oath of office requires us to discharge our  obligations,  without  fear  or
favour.  We therefore also commend to all Courts, to similarly  repulse  all
baseless and unfounded insinuations, unless of course, they  should  not  be
hearing a particular  matter,  for  reasons  of  their  direct  or  indirect
involvement.  The benchmark, that justice must not only be done  but  should
also appear to be done, has to be preserved at all costs.


IX.   A few words, about the defence of redemption  of  OFCD’s,  offered  by
      the two companies:

113.  The SEBI  (FTM)  vide  order  dated  23.6.2011  passed  the  following
directions:-
      “1.   The two Companies, Sahara Commodity Services Corporation Limited
      (earlier known as Sahara India Real Estate  Corporation  Limited)  and
      Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited and  its  promoter,  Mr.
      Subrata Roy Sahara, and the directors of the said  companies,  namely,
      Ms. Vandana Bhargava,  Mr.  Ravi  Shankar  Dubey  and  Mr.  Ashok  Roy
      Choudhary, jointly and severally, shall  forthwith  refund  the  money
      collected  by  the  aforesaid  companies  through  the   Red   Herring
      Prospectus  dated  March  13,  2008  and  October  6,   2009,   issued
      respectively, to the subscribers of such Optionally Fully  Convertible
      Debentures with interest of 15% per annum from the date of receipt  of
      money till the date of such repayment.

      2.    Such repayment shall be effected only  in  cash  through  Demand
      Draft or Pay Order.

      3.    Sahara Commodity Services Corporation Limited (earlier known  as
      Sahara India Real  Estate  Corporation  Limited)  and  Sahara  Housing
      Investment Corporation Limited  shall  issue  public  notice,  in  all
      editions of two National Dailies (one English and one Hindi) with wide
      circulation, detailing the modalities for refund, including details on
      contact persons including names, addresses and contact details, within
      fifteen days of this Order coming into effect.

      4.    Sahara Commodity Services Corporation Limited (earlier known  as
      Sahara India Real  Estate  Corporation  Limited)  and  Sahara  Housing
      Investment Corporation  Limited  are  restrained  from  accessing  the
      securities market for raising  funds,  till  the  time  the  aforesaid
      payments are made to the satisfaction of the Securities  and  Exchange
      Board of India.

      5.    Further, Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara, Ms. Vandana Bhargava, Mr.  Ravi
      Shankar  Dubey  and  Mr.  Ashok  Roy  Choudhary  are  restrained  from
      associating themselves, with any listed public company and any  public
      company which intends to raise money from the public, till  such  time
      the aforesaid payments are made to the satisfaction of the  Securities
      and Exchange Board of India.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

Thereafter, the SAT by its order dated 18.10.2011, upheld the  order  passed
by the SEBI (FTM) dated 23.6.2011.  The SAT having  so  held,  directed  the
appellant companies (as was the position of parties therein) to  refund  the
money to the investors within six months (from the date of its  order  dated
18.10.2011).  Thereupon, the matter was brought to  this  Court  by  way  of
appeals preferred by the two companies concerned, i.e.,  Civil  Appeal  nos.
9813 and 9833 of 2011.  On  28.11.2011,  this  Court  passed  the  following
interim order:-
      “By the impugned order, the appellants  have  been  asked  by  SAT  to
      refund  a  sum  of  Rs.17,400  crores  approximately  on   or   before
      28.11.2011.  We extend the period upto 9.1.2012.”

The above interim  order  was  continued  indefinitely,  by  this  Court  on
9.1.2012.  The direction  to  refund,  therefore,  stood  eclipsed.   It  is
necessary to understand the cumulative effect of the interim  orders  passed
on 28.11.2011 and 9.1.2012.  The above orders need  to  be  interpreted,  by
keeping in  mind  the  two  affidavits  dated  4.1.2012  filed  by  the  two
companies (in  Civil  Appeal  nos.  9831  and  9833  of  2011).   The  above
affidavits were filed in compliance of this  Court’s  order,  requiring  the
two companies to put on record, the   manner  in  which  the  companies  had
applied the funds collected from the investors.   This  Court  was  informed
that  the  funds  were  safe  as  they  were  either  invested  directly  or
indirectly, in real estate projects, or were  held  as  current  assets/cash
and bank balances (as development rights on land and projects, and  advances
under joint ventures etc.).  Believing the factual position depicted in  the
two affidavits, this Court was satisfied, that the  investors’  deposits  in
the OFCD’s of the two companies  were  safe,  therefore,  the  direction  to
refund (ordered by the SEBI (FTM) and the SAT), came to be stayed.  But  the
orders of the SEBI (FTM) and SAT were not  interfered  with,  in  any  other
manner.  It is, therefore clear, that this Court  while  passing  the  above
interim order, did not vary the manner of making the refunds  (in  case  the
two companies concerned, decided to make any refund(s)  to  the  investors).
In this behalf it needs to be noticed, that in  its  order  dated  23.6.2011
the SEBI (FTM) had clearly directed, that such repayment could only be  made
“in cash through demand draft or pay order”.  The  SAT  had  reiterated  the
above position. No liberty was granted to the two  companies  concerned,  to
convert the investment made by the  holders  of  the  OFCD’s,  into  similar
investments with the other companies.  In other  words  cash  conversion  in
any other format, was not permitted.  To comply with the letter  and  spirit
of law, therefore, even if the refund had to be made by  the  two  concerned
companies, it could have been done  only  “through”  demand  drafts  or  pay
orders.  The alleged cash payment made by the two companies while  redeeming
the OFCD’s (even if we assume, that  refund  had  actually  been  made)  was
therefore per se, illegal and unacceptable in  terms  of  the  orders  dated
23.6.2011 (passed by the SEBI (FTM)) and 18.10.2011  (passed  by  the  SAT).
We must, therefore emphatically point out,  that  the  very  submission  now
made by the companies, that the investors were refunded  their  deposits  by
way of cash, is per se another tactic, in the series of manoeuvres,  adopted
by the two companies to defeat the process of law.

114.  This issue  needs  to  be  examined  from  another  perspective.   The
different kinds of bonds (OFCDs) issued by SIRECL and SHICL, as also,  their
maturity/conversion periods are depicted hereunder:
    SIRECL

|S.No.|Name of Bonds   |Term     |Minimum period |Period for        |
|     |                |(months) |for redemption |conversion into   |
|     |                |         |(months)       |shares            |
|     |                |         |               |(months)          |
|(i)  |Abode Bond      |120      |60             |119               |
|(ii) |Real Estate Bond|60       |Nil            |59                |
|(iii)|Nirman Bond     |48       |18             |47                |

    SHICL

|S.No.|Name of Bonds  |Term     |Minimum period |Period for        |
|     |               |(months) |for redemption |conversion into   |
|     |               |         |(months)       |shares            |
|     |               |         |               |(months)          |
|(i)  |Multiple Bond  |180      |120            |179               |
|(ii) |Income Bond    |120      |Nil            |119               |
|(iii)|Housing Bond   |180      |120            |179               |

It would be relevant to mention,  that  in  furtherance  of  the  terms  and
conditions attached to the different kinds of bonds,  it  was  acknowledged,
that except for Nirman Bonds issued  by  SIRECL,  no  other  bond  could  be
redeemed before the year 2013.  The earliest redemption of the bonds,  could
have been made in 2013.  The above factual position  was  expressed  by  the
two companies in separate  affidavits  dated  4.1.2012  (filed  before  this
Court).  The affidavits in unmistakable terms also  clearly  narrated,  that
only one out of the  six  different  types  of  bonds  issued,  by  the  two
companies was partially redeemable, in  the  financial  year  2012-13.   The
companies also confirmed in their above affidavits, that  the  total  amount
which would become redeemable, towards the end of the financial  year  2012-
13, was only Rs.351 crores.  There was therefore, no question  of  redeeming
thousands of crores of rupees of deposits made towards the above OFCD’s,  in
2012 itself.  It needs to be  understood,  that  a  debenture  (OFCD)  is  a
contract between a company and the debenture holder.  It sets out the  terms
and conditions on the basis of which, the debenture certificate, which is  a
debt instrument, has been issued.   It is  neither  open  to  the  concerned
company, nor the debenture holder, to grant/seek premature  redemption.   No
company can  unilaterally  redeem  the  debentures,  before  the  prescribed
period.  The theory of  redemption  propounded  by  the  two  companies,  is
therefore in clear violation of law.  In any case, there was no  reason  for
the two companies to refund any money to the  investors,  specially  because
the two companies were protected by an order of this Court, from making  any
refund to the investors, during the pendency of  the  appellate  proceedings
(Civil Appeal Nos. 9813 and 9833 of 2011), which continued up to  31.8.2012.
 A submission was, however, made during the  course  of  hearing,  that  the
investors were mounting a collective pressure for premature  payments.   The
two companies (nor the petitioner, in this case) did not place any  material
on the record of its pleadings, at any stage to demonstrate, that  mobs  had
gathered at the companies collection centres,  demanding  redemptions.   Had
the above position  been  correct,  the  same  would  have  definitely  been
noticed and reported by the media.  There was  not  even  an  iota  of  such
media reporting.  It is therefore  prima  facie,  not  possible  for  us  to
accept the refund theory, projected on behalf of the two companies (or  even
by the petitioner).  Besides the factual position expressed in  the  instant
paragraph, there are other reasons also, to come  to  the  same  conclusion.
The same are separately being recorded hereinafter.

115.  Factually there is no acceptable proof of  such  refund/redemption  of
OFCD’s by the two companies to the investors.  Therefore, we find no  reason
to accept per se, that any such redemption was actually made.   Our  reasons
for the same, are being narrated hereafter.  When  SIRECL  was  required  to
disclose, the sources from which, it had made payments by way of  redemption
to the OFCD’s holders, the following sources were disclosed:-
|    |                                           |Rupees      |
|    |                                           |(In Crores) |
|1.  |Sahara Credit Co-operative Society Ltd.    |13,366.18   |
|2.  |Sahara India Commercial Corporation Limited|4384.00     |
|3.  |Sahara Q Shop                              |2258.32     |
|4.  |Ketak City Homes Ltd.                      |19.43       |
|5.  |Kirit City Homes Ltd.                      |44.05       |


Likewise, when similar information about redemptions was sought from  SHICL,
the following sources were disclosed:-



When asked about the manner in which the aforesaid companies, had  forwarded
the above mentioned payments to the two companies, the  response  was,  that
the above amounts were never released to the two companies.   The  case  set
up was, that the amounts were transferred  to  Sahara  India  (Firm).   When
asked to explain the manner in which the companies had forwarded  the  funds
to  Sahara  India  (Firm),  the  submission  was,  that  the  companies  had
collected the funds by way of cash, and had forwarded  the  same  to  Sahara
India (Firm), by cash.  And Sahara  India  (Firm)  had  then  directly  made
refunds  to  the  investors.   When  proof  of  the  same  was  sought,  the
submission advanced on behalf of the  two  companies  was,  that  the  above
transfers were not made through  banking  channels,  and  therefore  banking
transactions were not available to establish the same.  When asked  how  the
amounts were disbursed to the investors concerned, it  was  submitted,  that
about 95% of the above payments to the investors, were also made by  way  of
cash.  To demonstrate the receipts and payments  of  the  funds  by  way  of
cash, learned counsel representing the contemnors (including the  petitioner
herein), invited our attention to the books  of  accounts,  which  had  been
duly  audited.   This  according  to  learned  counsel,  was  proof  of  the
transactions  under  reference.   The  above  explanation  may  seem  to  be
acceptable to the contemnors, but our view is quite  the  converse.   It  is
not possible for us to accept, that the  funds  amounting  to  thousands  of
crores could have been transacted by way of cash.  The  credibility  of  the
books of accounts relied upon by the  two  companies  has  been  dealt  with
separately hereinafter.

116.  We had also made efforts to obtain details in  respect  of  redemption
from the two companies, after  Mr.  Arvind  Datar,  learned  Senior  Counsel
appearing for the SEBI, informed this Court, that the  contemnors  including
the petitioner herein, had been asserting that they had  refunded  Rs.17,443
crores   (approximately)   in   case   of   SIRECL   and   Rs.5,442   crores
(approximately) in case of  SHICL,  but  had  not  given  any  details,  nor
produced any relevant record, to show the source from  which  they  had  got
the above moneys for repayment.  This information, according to  Mr.  Datar,
had been sought by the SEBI from the alleged  contemnors  through  a  letter
dated 28.5.2013.  Based on the above prayer, we passed the  following  order
on 11.12.2013:-


      “Heard counsel on either side.

      Following our orders dated 28.10.2013, 1.11.2013 and  21.11.2013,  Mr.
      C.A. Sundaram, learned senior counsel, has taken us through  Annexure-
      A, filed alongwith IA no. 82 of 2013, which gives details  of  various
      properties which the alleged contemnors have agreed to offer to  SEBI.
      Reference was specifically made to properties mentioned at  Item  nos.
      68, 69 and 70, which, according to Mr. Sundaram, would fetch  a  value
      of more than Rs.11,000 crores.

      Mr. Arvind Datar, learned  Senior  Counsel  appearing  for  the  SEBI,
      prayed for some time to verify the  same  as  well  as  the  valuation
      reports filed along with the IA in support of that  prayer.   However,
      he submitted that if it is the stand of the  alleged  contemnors  that
      they had refunded the amounts (Rs.17443 crores approximately  in  case
      of SIRECL and Rs.5442 crores approximately in  case  of  SHICL),  then
      they  should  produce  the  relevant  records,  duly  certified  by  a
      competent authority which is acceptable in a Court of law,  indicating
      the sources from which they got the money for repayment, as  requested
      vide SEBI’s letter dated May 28, 2013.

      Put up on January 09, 2014 at 2.00 p.m.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

117.  The fact that the companies had not furnished the above  details,  was
brought to our notice by Mr. Arvind Datar on  9.1.2014.   But  the  audacity
and the fearlessness of the two  companies  is  apparent,  from  the  reason
expressed to this Court, for not furnishing the above information.  We  were
informed, that we had not passed any express direction to the companies,  to
furnish the  information,  therefore  the  companies  were  not  obliged  to
provide the information to the SEBI.  Ordinarily,  an  honest  person  would
immediately  provide  the  information  sought,  to  obviate   any   adverse
impression.  Moreover, the SEBI  had  not  only  the  authority,  but  every
reason to seek the said information.  The above stance adopted  by  the  two
companies, therefore, prompted us on  9.1.2014  to  pass  an  express  order
directing the two companies, as also, the alleged contemnors (including  the
present petitioner), to furnish the required particulars.  The  order  dated
9.1.2014 is being extracted below:-
      “Heard counsel on either side.

      Mr. C.A. Sundaram, learned Senior Counsel appearing  for  one  of  the
      alleged contemnors, submitted that earlier this Court on December  11,
      2013 has only reiterated the submission  made  by  Mr.  Arvind  Datar,
      learned Senior Counsel appearing for SEBI, that they did not  disclose
      the source from which they got money  for  repayment,  despite  SEBI's
      letter dated May 28, 2013.

      Mr. Sundaram is right in his submission.  However,  we  feel  that  it
      would be appropriate to give a direction of the nature stated above.

      Accordingly, we direct the alleged contemnors to disclose the complete
      details and source from which they repaid the amount to the  investors
      as also the manner of making payments. They shall  also  disclose  the
      information which SEBI has sought from them from time  to  time.  Such
      information shall be provided to SEBI and also be filed in this  Court
      by January 23, 2014.

      Put up on January 28, 2014 at 2.00 p.m.

      In the meantime, SEBI shall verify the information provided to  it  by
      the alleged contemnors.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

If redemption of funds had actually been made by  the  two  companies,  they
would have immediately furnished the information  sought.   Now  that  there
was an express order to furnish the information, room for  any  excuse,  was
ruled  out.   Surprisingly,  the  position  remained  the  same.   The   two
companies never provided any authentic information.  The SEBI, SAT  and  the
Supreme Court, were required  to  accept  the  factum  of  redemption,  just
because the companies were asserting the factum of redemption.

118.  To persuade the companies  once  again,  to  provide  the  information
sought by the SEBI, we passed yet another explicit order on 28.1.2014.   The
same is being extracted hereunder:
      ““Heard Mr. Ram Jethmalani, learned Senior Counsel and Mr.  Arvind  P.
      Datar, learned Senior Counsel.

      Mr. Datar submitted that the Saharas have not disclosed the details as
      to when the refund was made.  Reference was made to pages 6  to  9  of
      the reply affidavit filed today.

      Mr. Datar further submitted that the SEBI requires an explanation from
      Saharas with regard to the payments made on  behalf  of  Sahara  India
      Real Estate  Corporation  Ltd.  (SIRECL)  (partnership  firm)  by  the
      following firms, as mentioned below:-



      |    |                                      |Rupees     |
|    |                                      |(In Crores)|
|1.  |Sahara Credit Co-operative Society    |13,366.18  |
|    |Ltd.                                  |           |
|2.  |Sahara India Commercial Corporation   |4384.00    |
|    |Limited                               |           |
|3.  |Sahara Q Shop                         |2258.32    |
|4.  |Ketak City Homes Ltd.                 |19.43      |
|5.  |Kirit City Homes Ltd.                 |44.05      |


      Similarly, SEBI requires Saharas to show the following  payments  made
      on behalf  of  Sahara  Housing  Investment  Corporation  Ltd.  (SHICL)
      (partnership firm), by the following firms, as mentioned below:-


      |    |                             |Rupees(In Crores)   |
|1.  |SICCL                        |2479.00             |
|2.  |Sahara Q Shop                |2411.90             |


      Further, the Saharas will also provide  the  bank  statements  of  the
      above firms showing when the amount was paid to the partnership  firms
      and subsequently when and how partnership firm made the  disbursement,
      as sought for by the SEBI.

      Mr.  Ram  Jethmalani,  learned  Senior  Counsel  appearing   for   the
      respondents submitted that he will examine the same and come out  with
      a response within a week.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

The above order is  self-explanatory.   The  two  companies,  as  also,  the
contemnors including the present petitioner, were  obviously  not  providing
the required bank statements, even though in Appeal no. 49 of 2013 filed  by
SIRECL before the SAT, and in Appeal no. 48 filed by SHICL before  the  SAT,
the  two  companies  had  committed  to  furnish  their  bank  accounts,  to
establish redemption of payments.  The  relevant  paragraph  containing  the
undertaking given by SIRECL, is being extracted hereunder:-
      “(ee)       The Appellant has invested the funds of OFCD  as  per  the
      details mentioned in the  Affidavit  dated  04.01.2012  of  Shri  B.M.
      Tripathi filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in  Civil  Appeal  No.
      9833 of 2011 which is already on the record  of  the  Hon’ble  Supreme
      Court.  Further, it is submitted that in order to make redemptions  to
      the OFCD holders, the Appellant had to  dispose  of  the  investments.
      Amounts realized on such disposal were utilized to pay the  investors,
      on redemption  through  Sahara  India-Partnership  Firm  to  make  the
      redemptions.  The redemptions made to investors are clearly  reflected
      and found in the Books of Accounts of  Sahara  India.   The  Appellant
      crave leave to refer to and rely upon bank accounts of Sahara India as
      and when produced.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

An exactly similar commitment, in exactly the same words was made by  SHICL,
in Appeal no. 48 of 2013, filed by it  before  the  SAT.   Even  though  the
stance adopted by the two companies was, that  verification  of  redemptions
of OFCD’s could be established from bank accounts of Sahara  India  Limited,
the  said  bank  accounts  depicting  the  said  transactions   were   never
disclosed.

119.  All  that  needs  to  be  noticed  is,  that  in  furtherance  of  the
directions issued by this Court, Mr.  S.  Ganesh,  learned  Senior  Counsel,
during the course of hearing, produced general ledger entries of SIRECL  and
SHICL, to authenticate the receipt of  funds,  out  of  which  refunds  were
made.  The general ledger entries brought to  our  notice  merely  indicated
large amounts of inflow/outflow of cash.  We had wished to extract the  same
herein.  The entire general ledger entries, placed for the consideration  of
the Court to demonstrate receipt of funds, out  of  which  redemptions  were
made, would have exposed the companies’ outrageous defence.  But  since  the
above entries would make this judgment unnecessarily  bulky,  we  considered
it just and appropriate, to extract  entries  of  only  one  day,  i.e.,  of
31.5.2012.  A day picked up randomly,  without  any  comprehension,  of  its
eventual effect.  The date was chosen only with one  objective,  namely,  it
fell within the period during which the two companies  claim  to  have  made
cash refunds to the investors.  The same are accordingly reproduced below:-


                  SAHARA INDIA REAL ESTATE CORPORATION LTD.
                           6TH FLOOR, CASH & BANK
                               GENERAL LEDGER
|VOC. DATE|VOC.  |CHQ.  |NARRATION OF THE VOUCHER|SUB   |DEBIT         |CREDIT        |
|         |NO.   |NO.   |                        |CODE  |              |              |
|31/05/201|500009|072282|Cheque deposited by     |      |              |1,40,00,000.00|
|2        |9BV   |      |Sahara India            |      |              |              |
|31/05/201|500014|      |Amt. of E-Tax paid Th.  |      |              |11,03,260.00  |
|2        |9JV   |      |Sahara India            |      |              |              |
|31/05/201|500015|      |Amt. of E-Tax paid Th.  |      |              |11,11,321.00  |
|2        |0JV   |      |Sahara India            |      |              |              |
|31/05/201|500015|      |Being JV No. 5000120 Dt.|      |              |40,162.00     |
|2        |5JV   |      |260512 wrongly CR to    |      |              |              |
|         |      |      |insurance to vehicle    |      |              |              |
|         |      |      |instead of SI now       |      |              |              |
|         |      |      |rectified and TRF       |      |              |              |
|         |      |      |towards insurance amt.  |      |              |              |
|         |      |      |deducted from SI        |      |              |              |
|31/05/201|500016|      |BEING BV NO 50000360 DT |      |53,75,932.00  |              |
|2        |1JV   |      |10052012 WRONGLY CR TO  |      |              |              |
|         |      |      |SI INSTEAD OF SUNDRY ADV|      |              |              |
|         |      |      |430109                  |      |              |              |
|         |      |PAGE TOTAL                     |      |53,75,932.00  |55,61,27,771.0|
|         |      |                               |      |              |0             |
|         |      |CARRIED FORWARD                |      |22,86,45,04,12|30,43,18,43,97|
|         |      |                               |      |8.78          |5.28          |



                         XXX   XXX   XXX  XXX   XXX


                  SAHARA INDIA REAL ESTATE CORPORATION LTD.
                           6TH FLOOR, CASH & BANK
                               GENERAL LEDGER
|VOC. DATE|VOC. |CHQ.  |NARRATION OF THE VOUCHER|SUB    |DEBIT          |CREDIT        |
|         |NO.  |NO.   |                        |CODE   |               |              |
|         |     |      |BROUGHT FORWARD                 |22,86,45,04,128|30,43,18,43,97|
|         |     |      |                                |.78            |5.28          |
|31/05/201|50001|      |BEING AMT OF SECURITY   |KSF0002|2,000.00       |              |
|2        |85JV |      |FUND PAID MS SC YA DAV  |(EMPLOY|               |              |
|         |     |      |THROUGH CV NO 5000530 DT|EE     |               |              |
|         |     |      |310512                  |MISSING|               |              |
|         |     |      |                        |)      |               |              |
|31/05/201|50001|      |BEING AMOUNT OF         |       |               |6,477.00      |
|2        |87JV |      |COMMISSION PAID DURING  |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |THE M/O MAY-2012        |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50001|      |BEING RENT OF WARE      |       |               |6,71,756.00   |
|2        |89JV |      |HOUSES PROVIDED FOR THE |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |M/O MAY-2012 AS PER     |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |AGREEMENT               |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50001|      |BEING AMOUNT DEPOSITED  |       |               |15,24,021.00  |
|2        |91JV |      |BY SAHARA INDIA         |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |EMPLOYEE’S & EMPLOYER’S |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |CONTRIBUTION PF,        |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |PENSION, ADM CHG ON PF, |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |EDLI FOR THE M/O        |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |APR-2012                |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50001|      |BEING AMOUNT OF EDLI    |       |               |22,820.00     |
|2        |96JV |      |CHARGES FOR THE M/O MAY,|       |               |              |
|         |     |      |2012 PAID BY SAHARA     |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |INDIA                   |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMT RECEIVABLE    |       |19,42,65,437.00|              |
|2        |01JV |      |FROM SICOL AS PER       |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |TERMINATION AGREEMENT   |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |DATED 11.05.2012 TRF TO |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |SAHARA INDIA AS PER     |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |LETTER DATED 24.05.2012 |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMT RECEIVABLE    |       |44,04,86,210.00|              |
|2        |03JV |      |FROM SICOL AS PER       |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |TERMINATION AGREEMENT   |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |DATED 11.05.2012 TRF TO |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |SAHARA INDIA AS PER     |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |LETTER DATED 25.05.2012 |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMOUNT RECEIVABLE |       |5,37,87,17,066.|              |
|2        |07JV |      |FROM SQSURPL AGAINST    |       |00             |              |
|         |     |      |AGREEMENT DT. 31.05.12  |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |TRFD. TO SAHARA INDIA AS|       |               |              |
|         |     |      |PER LETTER DT. 31.05.12 |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |& ADV. OF 4 SUBI ALSO   |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |TRF                     |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMOUNT RECEIVABLE |       |4,57,140.00    |              |
|2        |07JV |      |FROM SQSURPL AGAINST    |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |AGREEMENT DT. 31.05.12  |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |TRFD. TO SAHARA INDA AS |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |PER LETTER DT. 31.05.12 |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |& ADV OF 4 SUBI ALSO    |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |TRF.                    |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMT RECEIVABLE    |       |14,37,00,00,000|              |
|2        |11JV |      |FROM SAHARA INDIA AS PER|       |.00            |              |
|         |     |      |SIRECL LETTER DATED     |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |11.05.12                |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMOUNT RECEIVABLE |       |1,33,66,18,11,2|              |
|2        |13JV |      |FROM SCCSL TOWARDS SALE |       |70.00          |              |
|         |     |      |OF SHARES NOW RECEIVABLE|       |               |              |
|         |     |      |FROM SAHARA INDIA AS PER|       |               |              |
|         |     |      |LETER ENCLD.            |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMT OF SWF        |       |10,464.00      |              |
|2        |15JV |      |DEDUCTED DURING THE M/O |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |MAY-12                  |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMT OF FINE &     |       |50.00          |              |
|2        |16JV |      |PENALTIES DEDUCTED FROM |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |WORKER IN M/O MAY-2012  |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMT DEDUCTED      |       |40.00          |              |
|2        |17JV |      |TOWARDS APNA PARIWAR    |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |DURING THE M/O MAY-12   |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMT OF SSWF       |       |58.00          |              |
|2        |18JV |      |DEDUCTED DURING THE M/O |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |MAY-12                  |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMOUNT RECOVERED  |       |60.00          |              |
|2        |19JV |      |FROM F.W. DURING THE M/O|       |               |              |
|         |     |      |MAY-12                  |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING SERVICE CHG       |       |48.00          |              |
|2        |20JV |      |RECEIVED IN THE M/O     |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |MAY-2012                |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMOUNT RECEIVED   |       |57,69,750.00   |              |
|2        |21JV |      |FROM CUSTOMER DURING THE|       |               |              |
|         |     |      |M/O MAY-12              |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|     |      |PAGE TOTAL                      |1,54,05,15,19,5|22,25,074.00  |
|2        |     |      |                                |93.00          |              |
|31/05/201|     |      |CARRIED FORWARD                 |1,76,91,60,23,7|30,43,40,69,04|
|2        |     |      |                                |21.78          |9.28          |


                         XXX   XXX   XXX  XXX   XXX


                  SAHARA INDIA REAL ESTATE CORPORATION LTD.
                           6TH FLOOR, CASH & BANK
                               GENERAL LEDGER
|VOC. DATE|VOC. |CHQ.  |NARRATION OF THE VOUCHER|SUB    |DEBIT          |CREDIT        |
|         |NO.  |NO.   |                        |CODE   |               |              |
|         |     |      |BROUGHT FORWARD                 |1,76,91,60,23,7|30,43,40,69,04|
|         |     |      |                                |21.78          |9.28          |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMOUT RECEIVED    |       |1,08,966.00    |              |
|2        |22JV |      |FROM CUSTOMER DURING THE|       |               |              |
|         |     |      |M/O MAY-12              |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMOUNT RECEIVED   |       |28,22,765.00   |              |
|2        |23JV |      |FROM CUSTOMER DURING THE|       |               |              |
|         |     |      |M/O MAY-12              |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMOUNT RECEIVED   |       |49,547.00      |              |
|2        |24JV |      |FROM CUSTOMER DURING THE|       |               |              |
|         |     |      |M/O MAY-12              |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMOUNT RECEIVED   |       |11.00          |              |
|2        |25JV |      |FROM F.W. DURING THE M/O|       |               |              |
|         |     |      |MAY-12                  |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMOUNT PAID TO    |       |               |37,39,86,45,75|
|2        |26JV |      |BOND HOLDERS DURING THE |       |               |0.00          |
|         |     |      |M/O MAY-12              |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING INTT. PAID TO BOND|       |               |12,22,41,30,38|
|2        |27JV |      |HOLDERS DURING THE M/O  |       |               |9.00          |
|         |     |      |MAY-12                  |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMT PAID TO BOND  |       |               |59,72,79,970.0|
|2        |28JV |      |HOLDER TOWARDS LOAN     |       |               |0             |
|         |     |      |AGAINST OFCD DURING THE |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |M/O MAY-12              |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMT RECOVERED FROM|       |1,13,05,48,059.|              |
|2        |29JV |      |BOND HOLDERS DURING THE |       |00             |              |
|         |     |      |M/O MAY-12 TOWARDS LOAN |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |GIVEN AGAINST OFCD      |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING INTT RECOVERED    |       |15,35,36,852.00|              |
|2        |30JV |      |FROM BOND HOLDERS DURING|       |               |              |
|         |     |      |THE M/O MAY-12 TOWARDS  |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |LOAN GIVEN AGAINST OFCD |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING TDS DEDUCTED      |       |1,50,03,876.00 |              |
|2        |31JV |      |DURING THE M/O MAY-12   |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |AGAINST INTT PAID TO    |       |               |              |
|         |     |      |BOND HOLDER             |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMOUNT OF         |       |               |30,24,984.00  |
|2        |32JV |      |COMMISSION PAID TO OTHER|       |               |              |
|         |     |      |THAN SIRECL STAFF       |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING COMMISSION PAID   |       |               |1,61,17,023.00|
|2        |34JV |      |DURING THE M/O MAY-12   |       |               |              |
|31/05/201|50002|      |BEING AMOUNT OF DEATH   |       |               |7,020.00      |
|2        |35JV |      |HELP PAID TO BOND HOLDER|       |               |              |

               (the sole cheque entry has been underlined, all the remaining
                                                  entries are cash entries).

A perusal of the above  general  ledger  entries  reveals  just  one  cheque
entry, and enormous inflow/outflow of funds by way of  cash.   On  a  single
day (31.5.2012), the cash inflow is shown  as  Rs.15,535,89,65,601.00  (i.e.
more than rupees fifteen thousand five  hundred  and  thirty  five  crores).
Mind boggling inflows, just by  cash.   Most  certainly  not  acceptable  as
true, unless there is authentic  supporting  material.   Can  these  general
ledger entries ever be  the  basis  for  accepting,  that  the  entire  cash
transactions were correct?  We do not think  so.   Mr.  S.  Ganesh,  learned
Senior Counsel for the petitioner, was surprisingly in  agreement  with  us.
But  his  pointed  submission  was,   that   the   above   entries   assumed
authenticity, because they had been duly audited  by  a  firm  of  Chartered
Accountants.  Our attention was invited to the two  certificates  issued  by
the firm of Chartered Accountants, both dated 31.1.2014, which  were  placed
on the record of the case by the petitioner,  for  our  consideration.   The
certificate pertaining to SIRECL is being reproduced hereunder:-

      “CA   DE & Bose
           in association with ASH Associates UK


                                       8/2, Kiran Sankar Roy Road, 2nd Floor
                                          Room no. 1 & 18, Kolkata – 700 001
                                         Ph.: 22485039. Fax: 91-33-2243-4864
                                           E-mail: durgadas@cal3.vsnl.net.in
                                           1, Garstin Place, Unit 1E, ORBIT,
                                        Kolkata – 700 001.  Phone: 2248 7424

                           TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

      We, M/s. DE & Bose, Chartered Accountants, Statutory Auditor  of  M/s.
      Sahara India Real Estate Corporation  Limited,  registered  office  at
      Sahara India  Bhawan,  1,  Kapoorthala  Complex,  Aliganj,  Lucknow  –
      226024, have performed the following procedures in  carrying  out  the
      Special Assignment:

      1.    We have examined books and  records  provided  to  us  and  also
           obtained the relevant information and explanation which  to  the
           best of our knowledge and belief were  necessary  to  give  this
           certificate.


      2.    We have relied upon the system and  procedure  of  the  company,
           books,  records,  documents,  bank  statements,  clarifications,
           representations, information and statements made available to us
           and also done verification and scrutiny of the same.

      Based on the above procedures and verification, we certify  that  M/s.
      Sahara Indian Real Estate  Corporation  Limited  had  subscription  of
      Optionally Fully Convertible  Debentures  of  approximately  Rs.748.75
      crores (covering 2,92,344 control numbers)  through  cheque.   Further
      till  March,  2013,  Rs.1,151.02  crores  (covering  6,70,677  control
      numbers) were paid  to  the  Optionally  Fully  Convertible  Debenture
      holders on account of redemption/pre-redemption through cheque.

                                                               For De & Bose
                                                       Chartered Accountants
                                                      Firm Regn. No. 302175E

      Date: 31.01.2014                                         Sd/-
      Place: Kolkata                                   (Subrata De)
                                                            Partner
                                                    Membership no. 054962”


                                                          (emphasis is ours)

The  second  certificate  pertaining  to  SHICL  is  also  being  reproduced
hereunder:-


      “CA   DE & Bose
           in association with ASH Associates UK


                                       8/2, Kiran Sankar Roy Road, 2nd Floor
                                          Room no. 1 & 18, Kolkata – 700 001
                                         Ph.: 22485039. Fax: 91-33-2243-4864
                                           E-mail: durgadas@cal3.vsnl.net.in
                                           1, Garstin Place, Unit 1E, ORBIT,
                                        Kolkata – 700 001.  Phone: 2248 7424

                           TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

      We, M/s. DE & Bose, Chartered Accountants, Statutory Auditor  of  M/s.
      Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited,  registered  office  at
      Sahara India Point, CTS-40 & 44, S.V. Road, Goregaon (West), Mumbai  –
      400 104,  Maharashtra  have  performed  the  following  procedures  in
      carrying out the Special Assignment:

      1.    We have examined books and  records  provided  to  us  and  also
           obtained the relevant information and explanation which  to  the
           best of our knowledge and belief were  necessary  to  give  this
           certificate.


      2.    We have relied upon the system and  procedure  of  the  company,
           books,  records,  documents,  bank  statements,  clarifications,
           representations, information and statements made available to us
           and also done verification and scrutiny of the same.

      Based on the above procedures and verification, we certify  that  M/s.
      Sahara Housing Investment  Corporation  Limited  had  subscription  of
      Optionally Fully Convertible  Debentures  of  approximately  Rs.324.62
      crores (covering 91,970 control numbers) through cheque.  Further till
      March, 2013, Rs.14.66 crores (covering 10,501  control  numbers)  were
      paid to the Optionally Fully Convertible Debenture holders on  account
      of redemption/pre-redemption through cheque.
                                                               For De & Bose
                                                       Chartered Accountants
                                                      Firm Regn. No. 302175E

      Date: 31.01.2014                                         Sd/-
      Place: Kolkata                                   (Subrata De)
                                                            Partner
                                                    Membership no. 054962”

                                                          (emphasis is ours)

A perusal of  the  above  certificates  reveals,  that  the  above  firm  of
Chartered Accountants, confirmed the redemption of OFCD’s  which  were  made
by way of cheque only.  Both  the  above  certificates  are  silent  on  the
redemptions made by  way  of  cash.   The  firm  of  Chartered  Accountants,
therefore, did not choose to confirm the redemption of OFCD’s  made  by  way
of cash.  This action must be deemed to be conscious, otherwise it  was  not
necessary even to confirm the redemptions made by way  of  cheque.   It  was
the clear contention of Mr. S. Ganesh, learned  Senior  Counsel  before  us,
that approximately 95% of the OFCD’s were refunded by cash, and only  5%  of
the OFCD’s were refunded by  way  of  cheques.   Even  if  the  certificates
issued by the firm of Chartered  Accountants  were  to  be  accepted  to  be
correct (even though there seems to be no justifiable basis for  the  same),
the authenticity of  the  general  ledger  entries  was  expressly  only  in
respect of payments made by the two companies, by way of cheque.   There  is
no authenticity whatsoever, in respect of payments made by way of cash.   It
is, therefore, not possible  for  us,  on  the  basis  of  the  record  made
available to us  to  accept,  that  any  relevant  material  had  been  made
available to us till date.  We  wish  to  express,  that  no  other  record,
besides the above general ledger entries, was  brought  to  our  notice,  to
demonstrate the factum of alleged  redemptions.   Therefore,  even  a  prima
facie finding cannot be recorded, that the two companies had made  available
to this Court, any  relevant  material,  wherefrom  an  inference  could  be
drawn, that any redemption had ever been made to  the  investors,  i.e.,  to
the OFCD holders.

120.  We  have  examined  the  above  issue  of  redemptions  only  for  the
petitioner’s satisfaction.  As a matter of law,  it  does  not  lie  in  the
mouth of the contemnors, to agitate the issue  of  redemption.   Insofar  as
the instant aspect of the matter is concerned, it is necessary to  highlight
the fact, that the order dated 31.8.2012  directed  the  two  companies,  to
deposit with the SEBI, the entire redeemable amount along with  interest  at
the rate of 15%.  The above deposit had to be made within a period of  three
months, i.e., by 30.11.2012.  The case set  up  by  the  two  companies  has
been, that SIRECL had already refunded Rs.17,443 crores  to  the  investors,
and  SHICL  had  likewise  refunded  Rs.5,442  crores.   The  two  companies
therefore assert, that they cannot be required to make the same  payment  to
the investors, for the second time.  It would be pertinent to mention,  that
the two companies had approached this Court by filing Civil Appeal no.  8643
of 2012  (and  Writ  Petition  (Civil)  no.  527  of  2012).   In  the  said
proceedings, the two companies had  sought  exemption  from  depositing  the
amounts, which  they  had  allegedly  redeemed.   The  three-Judge  Division
Bench, which heard the matter(s),  did  not  accept  the  redemption  theory
projected by the two companies.  Accordingly, the prayer  made  by  the  two
companies in Civil Appeal no.8643 of 2012 (and  Writ  Petition  (Civil)  no.
527 of 2012) for deduction of the above amount, was  not  accepted  by  this
Court, when it passed the final order  dated  5.12.2012.   Accordingly,  the
companies were directed to deposit the entire balance  amount  of  Rs.17,400
crores.  It  is,  therefore  imperative  to  conclude,  that  the  issue  of
deduction of allegedly redeemed  funds,  stood  concluded  against  the  two
companies, when this Court passed its order dated 5.12.2012.  This  plea  is
no longer available to the two companies, in law.  To continue  to  harp  on
the alleged redemptions, is clearly a misrepresentation, specially when  the
order dated 5.12.2012 has attained finality.

121.  Therefore, viewed from  any  angle,  there  is  no  substance  in  the
contention advanced on behalf of the two companies, that the moneys  payable
to the investors had been refunded to them.  Accordingly, there is no  merit
in the prayer, that while making payments in compliance  with  this  Court’s
orders dated 31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012, the two  companies  were  entitled  to
make deductions of Rs.17,443 crores (insofar as  SIRECL  is  concerned)  and
Rs.5,442 crores (insofar as SHICL is concerned). Be that as it may, we  have
still retained a safety valve, inasmuch as, the SEBI has  been  directed  to
examine the authenticity of the documents produced  by  the  two  companies,
and in case the SEBI finds, that redemptions have actually  been  made,  the
two companies will be refunded the amounts, equal to the  redemptions  found
to have been genuinely made.

122.  We are persuaded to record, that either the submissions made  to  this
Court on the subject of refunds made by the two  companies  were  false;  or
the present projection of the two companies of their inability  to  pay  the
investors is false.  One learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner,  Mr.  S.
Ganesh, during the course of his narration, in  order  to  substantiate  the
redemption of OFCD’s to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees,  referred
to the collection of thousands of crores of  rupees  in  successive  months,
during the year 2012, from the account books of the  two  companies.   On  a
single day (31.5.2012), the cash inflow is shown  as  Rs.15,535,89,65,601.00
(i.e. more than  Rupees  fifteen  thousand  five  hundred  and  thirty  five
crores).  This was done by collecting funds from all companies  (and  firms,
under the conglomerate) of the Sahara Group.   If  it  was  possible  to  do
that, at  that  juncture,  in  order  to  redeem  the  payments  claimed  by
investors,  we  fail  to  understand  why  the  same  cannot  be  done  now.
Specially when, as already noticed hereinabove, the book value/market  value
of the properties of the Sahara  Group  conglomerate,  is  to  the  tune  of
Rs.1,52,500 crores (as per its own website).  It is after all,  close  to  2
years (about 20 months) since the order dated 31.8.2012 was pronounced,  and
close to 1½ years (about 17 months) since  the  order  dated  5.12.2012  was
passed.



X.    The maintainability of the present petition
123.  At the very commencement of hearing, Mr. Arvind Datar, learned  Senior
Counsel  representing  the  SEBI,  raised  a  preliminary   objection.    He
contested the very maintainability of the instant petition.  He invited  our
attention to the heading of the petition, which is extracted hereunder:

           “PETITION UNDER THE POWERS  OF  THIS  COURT  TO  ACT  EX  DEBITO
           JUSTITIAE  A  POWER  EXPRESSLY  RECOGNIZED  BY  THE  AUTHORITIES
           MENTIONED IN THE PARA ‘A’ OF THIS PETITION.”

It was his vehement contention, that the instant petition does not  disclose
the provisions under which it had  been  filed.   In  this  behalf,  it  was
sought to be asserted, that the  right  to  maintain  a  petition  can  only
emerge from a statutory provision, or  a  constitutional  mandate.   It  was
also submitted that neither a maxim of law,  nor  a  decision  of  a  Court,
could create jurisdiction in a Court.

124.  The objection of jurisdiction, raised by the  learned  Senior  Counsel
representing the SEBI, met with the strangest  possible  response  from  the
learned Senior Counsel representing the petitioner.  It was a response of  a
nature  which  we  had  not  experienced  in  our  professional  careers  as
Advocates, or even in approximately  one  and  a  half  decades  of  service
rendered as Judges.  It is necessary to  point  out,  that  when  the  above
objection was raised, we had informed learned  Senior  Counsel  representing
the SEBI, that we would not stand  on  technicality,  inasmuch  as,  if  the
instant petition was maintainable under one or the other provision  of  law,
we would read that provision in the title  of  the  present  petition,  even
though the same had not been expressly mentioned therein.

125.  When  confronted  with  the  objection  of  maintainability,  Mr.  Ram
Jethmalani, learned Senior Counsel, adopted the positive stance, that  there
was no deficiency in the title of the petition.  In his  view,  the  instant
petition was maintainable under the maxim of ex debito  justitiae,  a  power
which has been expressly recognized by this Court  in  A.R.  Antulay’s  case
(supra).  The decision in A.R. Anulay’s  case  (supra)  was  rendered  by  a
Constitution Bench of seven Hon’ble Judges of this Court.  According to  Mr.
Ram Jethmalani, in the above judgment, the  proposition  canvassed  by  him,
had been upheld by a majority of  5:2.    He  pointedly  asserted,  that  we
should record his submission to the effect, that he had ever contended  that
the instant petition  was  maintainable  either  under  Article  32  of  the
Constitution of India,  or  jointly  under  Articles  129  and  142  of  the
Constitution of India.  In fact he  submitted,  that  he  had  authored  the
present criminal writ petition.  And in  the  process,  he  had  extensively
researched on the issue of jurisdiction, before filing this  petition.   His
unambiguous assertion on the subject of jurisdiction was, that the  petition
had not been filed under a legislative  enactment  of  the  Constitution  of
India.  It has been filed under the maxim ex debito justitiae.

126.  In contradistinction to the submissions advanced at the hands  of  Mr.
Ram  Jethmalani,  Mr.  C.A.  Sundaram,  learned  Senior  Counsel,  who  also
represented the petitioner, invited our attention to  the  prayers  made  in
the instant petition.  To  understand  the  tenor  of  his  submission,  the
prayers made in the petition are being extracted hereunder:
                            “PRAYER
      It is therefore most graciously prayed that this Hon’ble Court may  be
      pleased to:-

           a) Declare the order dated 04.03.2014 as void, nullity and  non-
              est in the eyes of law;

           b) Declare  that  the  incarceration  and  the  custody  of  the
              Petitioner are illegal which should be terminated forthwith;

           c) issue such other writ in the nature of Habeas or other writs,
              order or direction for release of  the  Petitioner  from  the
              illegal custody;

           d) pass such further orders as this Hon’ble Court may  deem  fit
              and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.”

Referring to  prayer  (a)  extracted  above,  it  was  submitted,  that  the
declaration sought in the instant prayer would be in the nature  of  a  writ
of certiorari.  Referring to  clause  (b)  of  the  prayer  clause,  it  was
contended, that the declaration sought therein would be in the nature  of  a
writ  of  certiorarified  mandamus.   Insofar  as  prayer  clause   (c)   is
concerned, it was asserted, that the prayer sought was in the  nature  of  a
writ of habeas corpus.  In  the  above  view  of  the  matter,  it  was  the
submission of Mr. C.A. Sundaram, that the  jurisdiction  of  this  Court  to
issue writs, could be invoked only under Article 32 of the  Constitution  of
India.  As such, it  was  his  submission,  that  the  instant  petition  be
treated as having been filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of  India.
 In other words,  the  contention  of  Mr.  C.A.  Sundaram,  learned  Senior
Counsel was, that the title of the petition be read by including Article  32
of the  Constitution  of  India  therein.   In  fact,  it  was  the  pointed
submission of the learned counsel, that he should not  be  taken  as  having
canvassed, that the instant petition was  maintainable  on  account  of  the
jurisdiction evolved through the judgment rendered by  this  Court  in  A.R.
Antulay’s case (supra).  He also contended, that he should not be  taken  to
have canvassed, that the present petition is maintainable under Article  129
read with Article 142 of the Constitution of India.

127.  Dr. Rajeev  Dhawan,  was  yet  another  learned  Senior  Counsel,  who
represented the petitioner.  His candid contention was, that  he  could  not
accept  the  submissions  on  the  subject  of  jurisdiction,  as  had  been
canvassed by his colleagues, Mr. Ram Jethmalani and Mr.  C.A. Sundaram.   It
was his assertion, that the prayers made in the instant  petition  could  be
sought  by  the  petitioner,  only  under  Articles  129  and  142  of   the
Constitution of India.  As  such,  he  submitted  that  the  title  of  this
petition be  read  by  including  therein,  Articles  129  and  142  of  the
Constitution of India.

128.  It is apparent from the submissions  advanced  at  the  hands  of  the
learned counsel for the petitioner, that even learned  counsel  representing
the petitioner, were not sure  about  the  maintainability  of  the  instant
petition.  Each of  them  while  adopted  an  independent  stance,  and  was
unwilling to accept the position adopted by his other  two  colleagues.   In
the above view of the matter, we would have been happy to  follow  a  simple
course.  To reject the petition’s  maintainability,  on  the  basis  of  the
majority view, expressed by the learned counsel representing the  petitioner
himself.  Such rejection would be, by a majority of  2:1.   Learned  counsel
were probably independently  conscious  of  the  legal  position,  that  the
petition was not maintainable.  Unfortunately, this course is not open to  a
Court of law.  We will have to examine the maintainability of the  petition,
by taking into consideration all the perspectives presented before us.   The
burden will naturally be three-folds than the usual.   However,  keeping  in
mind the  eminence  of  the  learned  Senior  Counsel  who  represented  the
petitioner, it is not possible for us, at first  blush,  to  draw  any  such
inference.  We shall endeavour  to  independently  determine  the  issue  of
maintainability,  canvassed  at  the  hands  of  all  the  learned   counsel
representing the petitioner.  In case we arrive at the conclusion, that  the
submission of any one of the learned counsel is acceptable, we  would  treat
the instant petition as maintainable.

129.  First and foremost,  on  the  subject  of  maintainability,  we  shall
determine the veracity of the submissions advanced at the hands of  Mr.  Ram
Jethmalani,  Senior  Advocate.   To  substantiate  his  contention   learned
counsel placed reliance, only on the judgment  rendered  by  this  Court  in
A.R. Antulay’s case (supra).  Before  examining  the  decision  rendered  by
this Court in the above judgment, we shall summarise  the  factual  context,
in which the aforesaid judgment was rendered.  The appellant  in  the  above
case, A.R. Antulay was the Chief Minister of the State of  Maharashtra  from
1980 to 1982.  R.S. Nayak belonged to a rival political party.   R.S.  Nayak
filed a complaint before the  Additional  Metropolitan  Magistrate,  Bombay,
under Sections 161 and 165 of the Indian Penal Code and  Section  5  of  the
Prevention of Corruption Act, as also, under Sections 384 and 420 read  with
Sections 109 and 120-B of the Indian Penal  Code.   The  complaint  was  not
only against the appellant A.R. Antulay, but also against  other  known  and
unknown persons.  Since sanction for prosecution had not been  granted,  the
concerned Magistrate refused to take cognizance.  To  assail  the  order  of
the Magistrate, a criminal revision application came to be  filed.   In  the
meantime, the Governor of the State of Maharashtra accorded sanction.   R.S.
Nayak thereupon, filed a fresh complaint in the Court of the Special  Judge,
Bombay, alleging the  commission  of  the  same  offences,  which  were  the
subject  matter  of  the  complaint  earlier  filed  by  him,   before   the
Magistrate.  The Special Judge, Bombay, issued summons to  the  appellant  –
A.R. Antulay.  On entering appearance A.R. Antulay adopted the stance,  that
the Special Judge, Bombay, had no jurisdiction to entertain  the  complaint.
For the aforesaid  objection,  he  placed  reliance  on  Section  7  of  the
Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1952.   He also asserted, that cognizance  could
not be taken by the above Court, on the basis of a private  complaint.   The
Special Judge, Bombay, overruled the objections raised by A.R. Antulay,  and
listed the matter for recording evidence  of  the  complainant’s  witnesses.
The aforesaid order of the Special  Judge,  Bombay,  was  assailed  by  A.R.
Antulay, by filing a criminal revision  petition,  before  the  Bombay  High
Court.  The said petition was dismissed.  The order of the  High  Court  was
then assailed before this Court.  This Court granted special leave  to  A.R.
Antulay, on the issue as to whether, a private complaint  was  maintainable.
In the meantime, an objection was raised by A.R. Antulay before the  Special
Judge, Bombay, to the effect,  that  he  could  not  be  prosecuted  without
sanction of the competent authority.  His instant  plea  was  based  on  the
fact, that he still continued to be a Member of  the  Legislative  Assembly,
and  as  such,  sanction  was  an  essential   pre-condition,   before   his
prosecution.  The above plea, was accepted by  the  Special  Judge,  Bombay.
R.S. Nayak, then filed a criminal revision petition before the  High  Court,
questioning the above order.  The High Court upheld the order passed by  the
Special Judge, Bombay.  R.S. Nayak then approached this Court.   This  Court
granted special leave, against the decision of the High Court, holding  that
sanction was  necessary  before  A.R.  Antulay  could  be  prosecuted.   The
aforesaid Criminal Appeals were heard by a five-Judge Constitution Bench  of
this Court.  Even though, the same Bench heard the matters, the two  appeals
were disposed of by two separate judgments.  The appeal  preferred  by  R.S.
Nayak was accepted.  This Court held, that as a Member  of  the  Legislative
Assembly, A.R. Antulay was not a public servant, and therefore, no  sanction
was required for his prosecution.  In the above view of the  matter,  it  is
apparent, that this Court set aside the order of  discharge  passed  by  the
Special Judge, Bombay.  This Court accordingly directed the trial Court,  to
proceed with the trial of the matter.  While  disposing  of  the  two  cases
referred to hereinabove, this Court  having  taken  into  consideration  the
fact, that A.R. Antulay had already suffered adversely,  as  his  reputation
was tarnished by the imputations levelled against him, for a period  of  two
and a half  years  (i.e.,  the  period  during  which  the  controversy  had
remained pending), felt that he  deserved  an  expeditious  trial.   In  the
aforesaid view of the matter, while disposing of the  two  matters  referred
to above, this Court directed, that the cases  filed  against  A.R.  Antulay
before the Special Judge, Bombay, be withdrawn and  be  transferred  to  the
High Court of Bombay for trial.  The Chief Justice  of  the  High  Court  of
Bombay was also requested, to assign the trial of the matter, to  a  sitting
Judge of the High Court, so as to conclude the matter by holding  day-to-day
proceedings.  Accordingly, trial commenced before  a  Single  Judge  of  the
High  Court  of  Bombay  in  1984.   A.R.  Antulay   again   contested   the
maintainability of the trial proceedings, before the High Court  of  Bombay.
The learned Single Judge hearing the matter, rejected the plea canvassed  at
the hands of A.R. Antulay by concluding, that the High Court  was  bound  by
the order passed by this Court.  In the above  circumstances,  A.R.  Antulay
filed  a  writ  petition  before  this  Court,  under  Article  32  of   the
Constitution of India.  A two-Judge Division Bench of this Court,  dismissed
the petition.  Whilst one  of  the  Judges  expressed  the  view,  that  the
learned Single Judge of the Bombay High Court was not  only  justified,  but
was also duty bound to follow the decision of this Court, which was  binding
on him; the  second  Judge  on  the  Bench  expressed  the  view,  that  the
challenge raised by  the  petitioner  (by  assailing  the  validity  of  the
judgment rendered by this Court, as incorrect or a  nullity)  could  not  be
entertained.  The second Hon’ble Judge, therefore, granted liberty  to  A.R.
Antulay, to approach this Court with an appropriate review petition, if  the
petitioner – A.R. Antulay was so advised.   Having  examined  the  witnesses
produced by R.S. Nayak before the learned Single Judge of  the  High  Court,
21 charges came to be framed (out of 43 draft  charges,  which  were  placed
before the Court, for its  consideration)  against  A.R.  Antulay.   At  the
instance of the rival parties, the matter again  came  to  this  Court,  for
determining the validity of the order  framing  only  21  charges.   In  the
judgment rendered by this Court in A.R. Antulay’s case (supra),  this  Court
held, on facts, that a prima facie case had also been made out against  A.R.
Antulay, in respect of some of the allegations, in  furtherance  whereof  no
charges had been framed.  This Court accordingly, set  aside  the  order  of
the High Court refusing to frame charges, in respect of some of the  alleged
offences, on  which  A.R.  Antulay  had  been  discharged.   Thereupon,  the
learned Single Judge of the  High  Court  framed  79  charges  against  A.R.
Antulay.  The High Court simultaneously rejected  the  application  made  by
A.R. Antulay, for proceeding  against  the  alleged  co-conspirators.   A.R.
Antulay, then challenged the aforesaid order of the High Court  before  this
Court.  He, inter alia, questioned the High Court’s jurisdiction to try  the
case.  He alleged that his trial by the Single Judge of the High Court,  was
in violation of Articles 14 and  21  of  the  Constitution  of  India.   The
contention advanced on behalf of A.R. Antulay was, that he  could  be  tried
only in accordance with the procedure established by  law.   This  plea  was
raised under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.  A.R.  Antulay  relied
on Section 7(1) of the Criminal Law Amendment  Act,  1952,  which  expressly
provided  (notwithstanding  anything  contained  in  the  Code  of  Criminal
Procedure or any other law), that the offences under Section 6(1)  would  be
triable by a Special Judge only.  It was, therefore, sought to be  asserted,
that his trial by  the  Single  Judge  of  the  High  Court,  was  in  clear
violation of  his  constitutional  rights,  and  the  aforesaid  legislative
mandate.  A.R. Antulay alleged prejudice by  asserting,  that  four  of  his
valuable rights  had  been  taken  away  when  this  Court  had  passed  the
direction, whereby his trial was withdrawn from the  Court  of  the  Special
Judge, Bombay, and transferred to the High Court.  In this  behalf,  it  was
his contention, that he was deprived of the right  to  trial  by  a  Special
Judge, in accordance with the procedure established by law, i.e.,  procedure
which had been enacted by Parliament.  He also asserted, that his  right  of
revision to the High Court under Section 9 of  the  Criminal  Law  Amendment
Act, 1952, had been taken away.  It was also his submission,  that  had  the
Special Judge, Bombay conducted his trial, he would  have  had  a  right  of
first appeal, to the High Court.  The above right which was  vested  in  him
under Section 9 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1952, was also  allegedly
taken away.  He also asserted, that under the  provisions  of  the  Criminal
Law Amendment Act, 1952, besides preferring an appeal to the High Court,  he
would have a right of a second appeal before this Court  under  Article  136
of the Constitution of India.  It was his  contention,  that  the  right  to
prefer a second  appeal,  was  also  sought  to  be  taken  away  from  him.
Besides, alleging the deprivation of the above valuable rights, it was  also
the contention of A.R. Antulay before this Court, that this  Court  had  suo
motu directed withdrawal of the case against A.R. Antulay from  the  Special
Judge, Bombay, and transferred the same to the High Court without  affording
any opportunity of  hearing  to  him.   It  was,  therefore,  sought  to  be
asserted, that the above order passed by the  High  Court,  was  clearly  in
violation of the principles of natural justice, and  accordingly,  the  same
violated his  fundamental  rights,  causing  grave  prejudice  to  him,  and
therefore, deserved to be set aside.

130.  From the judgment rendered  by  this  Court  in  A.R.  Antulay’s  case
(supra), Mr. Ram Jethmalani relied upon the following observations:-
      “79.  ...These directions were void because the power  was  not  there
      for this Court to transfer a proceeding under the Act of 1952 from one
      Special Judge to the High Court. This is  not  a  case  of  collateral
      attack on judicial proceeding; it is a case where the court having  no
      court superior to it rectifies its own order. We  recognise  that  the
      distinction between an error which entails absence of jurisdiction and
      an error made within the jurisdiction is very  fine.  So  fine  indeed
      that it is rapidly being eroded as observed  by  Lord  Wilberforce  in
      Anisminic Ltd. v. Foreign Compensation Commissioner, (1969) 1 All E.R.
      208.  Having regard to the enormity of the consequences of  the  error
      to the appellant and by reason of the fact that  the  directions  were
      given suo motu, we do not find there is anything in  the  observations
      of Ittavira Mathai v. Varkey Varkey (1964) 1 SCR 495 which detract the
      power of the court to review its judgment ex debito justitiae in  case
      injustice has been caused. No court, however high, has jurisdiction to
      give an order unwarranted by  the  Constitution  and,  therefore,  the
      principles of Bhatia Co- operative  Housing  Society  Ltd.  v.  D.  C.
      Patel, (1953) SCR 185, would not apply.


      80.   ln giving the directions this Court infringed the constitutional
      safeguards granted to a citizen or to an accused and injustice results
      therefrom. It is just and proper for the court to rectify  and  recall
      that injustice, in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case.


      81.   This case has caused us  considerable  anxiety.  The  appellant-
      accused has held an important position  in  this  country,  being  the
      Chief Minister of a premier State of the country. He has been  charged
      with serious criminal offences. His trial in accordance with  law  and
      the procedure established by law would have to be in  accordance  with
      the 1952  Act.  That  could  not  possibly  be  done  because  of  the
      directions of this Court dated February 16, 1984, as indicated  above.
      It has not yet been found whether the appellant is guilty or innocent.
        It  is  unfortunate,  unfortunate  for  the  people  of  the  State,
      unfortunate for the country as a whole,  unfortunate  for  the  future
      working of democracy in this country which, though is not a  plant  of
      an easy growth yet is with deep root in the Indian polity  that  delay
      has occurred due to procedural wrangles. The appellant may  be  guilty
      of grave offences alleged against him or he may be  completely  or  if
      not completely to a large extent, innocent.  Values in public life and
      perspective of these values in public  life,  have  undergone  serious
      changes and erosion during the last few decades.  What was unheard  of
      before  is  commonplace  today.  A  new  value  orientation  is  being
      undergone in our life and in our culture.  We are at the threshold  of
      the cross-roads of values.  It is, for the  sovereign  people  of  the
      country to settle these conflicts yet the courts have vital  roles  to
      play in such matters.  With the avowed object of  speedier  trial  the
      case of the appellant had been transferred to the High  Court  but  on
      grounds of expediency of trial he cannot be subjected to  a  procedure
      unwarranted by law, and contrary  to  the  constitutional  provisions.
      The appellant may or may not be an ideal politician.  It  is  a  fact,
      however, that the allegations have  been  brought  against  him  by  a
      person belonging to a political party opposed to his but that  is  not
      the decisive factor.  If the appellant - Shri Abdul Rehman Antulay has
      infringed law, he must be dealt with in accordance with the  law.   We
      proclaim and pronounce that no man is above the law, but at  the  same
      time reiterate and declare that no man can be denied his rights  under
      the Constitution and the laws.  He has a right to  be  dealt  with  in
      accordance with the law and not in derogation of it.  This  Court,  in
      its anxiety to facilitate the parties to  have  a  speedy  trial  gave
      directions on February 16,  1984  as  mentioned  hereinbefore  without
      conscious awareness of  the  exclusive  jurisdiction  of  the  Special
      Courts  under  the  1952  Act  and  that  being  the  only   procedure
      established by law, there can  be  no  deviation  from  the  terms  of
      Article 21 of the Constitution of India. That is  the  only  procedure
      under which it should have  been  guided.  By  reason  of  giving  the
      directions on February 16, 1984 this Court  had  also  unintentionally
      caused the appellant the denial of rights  under  Article  14  of  the
      Constitution by denying him the  equal  protection  of  law  by  being
      singled out for a special procedure not provided  for  by  law.   When
      these factors are brought to the notice of this Court, even  if  there
      are any technicalities this Court should not feel shackled and decline
      to rectify that injustice or  otherwise  the  injustice  noticed  will
      remain forever a blot on justice. It has been said long time ago  that
      "actus curiae neminem gravabit" - an act of the Court shall  prejudice
      no man. This maxim is founded upon justice and good sense and  affords
      a safe and certain guide for the administration of the law.
              xxx         xxx        xxx        xxx        xxx

      83….It appears that in giving directions on February  16,  1984,  this
      Court acted per incuriam inasmuch it did not bear in mind  consciously
      the consequences and the provisions of Sections 6 and 7  of  the  1952
      Act and the binding nature of the larger Bench decision in  Anwar  Ali
      Sarkar case, 1952 SCR 284 which was not adverted  to  by  this  Court.
      The basic fundamentals of the administration of justice are simple. No
      man should suffer because of the mistake of the court. No  man  should
      suffer a wrong by technical  procedure  of  irregularities.  Rules  or
      procedures are the handmaids of justice and not the  mistress  of  the
      justice. Ex debito justitiae, we must do justice to him. If a man  has
      been wronged so  long  as  it  lies  within  the  human  machinery  of
      administration of justice that wrong  must  be  remedied.  This  is  a
      peculiar fact of this case which requires emphasis.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

Based on the above parameters recorded in A.R. Antulay’s case  (supra),  Mr.
Ram Jethmalani, learned Senior Counsel vehemently contended, that the  maxim
of actus curiae neminem gravabit, meaning, the  act  of  a  Court  will  not
prejudice any  man,  is  founded  on  the  principle  of  justice  and  good
conscience.  The above principle affords a safe and certain  guide  for  the
administration of law.  It was pointed out, that Courts in England abide  by
the principle, that the size of the Bench did not make  any  difference  for
the adjudication of a controversy.  It was  submitted,  that  the  aforesaid
concept was not valid in this country.  We were informed, that the law  laid
down by this  Court  established  a  hierarchy  within  this  Court  itself,
whereby decisions  of  a  larger  Bench  binds  a  smaller  Bench.   It  was
submitted, that a larger Bench  can  override  the  decision  of  a  smaller
Bench.  It was,  therefore  pointed  out,  that  when  this  Court  in  A.R.
Antulay’s case (supra) examined the validity of the  order  passed  by  this
Court, whereby the trial pending before the Special Judge, Bombay under  the
Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1952, was transferred to  the  High  Court,  a
Constitution Bench of this Court declared the above transfer order as  being
void  and  a  nullity  in  law.   It  was  submitted,  that  if  the   above
determination could be  rendered,  the  controversy  in  hand  needs  to  be
similarly redressed, so  as  to  do  justice  to  the  petitioner.   It  was
submitted, that the principle of actus curiae neminem gravabit  would  apply
with much greater force in the present case on account  of  the  fact,  that
the petitioner has been deprived of his liberty and  has  been  remanded  to
jail without the authority of law.  It  was  submitted,  that  the  impugned
order  dated  4.3.2014  was  totally  unjust,  without   any   judgment   of
conviction, without proper  charges  being  framed  or  notice  issued,  and
without a hearing.  It  was  also  the  contention  of  the  learned  Senior
Counsel, that the principle of audi alteram partem was given a complete  go-
by, in the facts and circumstances of this case.   It  was  accordingly  the
submission of the learned Senior Counsel for the  petitioner,  that  even  a
judicial order passed in derogation of the constitutional limitations or  in
derogation of principles of natural justice, can always be remedied by  this
Court ex debito justitiae.  According to learned counsel, it was  imperative
for this Court  to  exercise  the  above  power  without  insisting  on  the
formalities of the petitioner being required to file a review petition or  a
curative petition.

131.  In addition to the reliance placed by the learned Senior  Counsel  for
the petitioner on the judgment rendered by  this  Court  in  A.R.  Anutlay’s
case (supra), he also placed reliance on the  judgments  of  this  Court  in
Supreme Court Bar Association’s case (supra), and on M.S. Ahlawat  v.  State
of Haryana & Anr., (2000) 1 SCC 278, wherein this  Court  had  recalled  its
own order, when a litigant had approached it complaining of  miscarriage  of
justice (through an earlier order, passed by this  Court).   Specially  when
the earlier  order  was  without  jurisdiction  and  without  following  due
procedure of law.  And specially, when the challenged order had resulted  in
the incarceration of the concerned petitioner.

132.  In response to the contentions advanced at the hands  of  the  learned
Senior Counsel for the petitioner, Mr. Arvind Datar, learned Senior  Counsel
representing the SEBI, invited our attention to the  following  observations
made in A.R. Antulay’s case (supra):-
      “107. There is still another aspect which should  be  taken  note  of.
      Finality of the orders is the rule. By  our  directing  recall  of  an
      order the well settled propositions of law would not be set at naught.
       Such a situation may not recur in the  ordinary  course  of  judicial
      functioning and if there be one certainly the Bench  before  which  it
      comes would appropriately deal with it.  No strait-jacket formula  can
      be laid down for judicial functioning particularly for the apex Court.
       The apprehension that the present decision may be used as a precedent
      to challenge judicial  orders  of  this  Court  is  perhaps  misplaced
      because those who are familiar with the judicial functioning are aware
      of the limits and they would not seek support  from  this  case  as  a
      precedent.  We are sure that  if  precedent  value  is  sought  to  be
      derived out of this decision, the court which is asked to use this  as
      an instrument would be alive to the peculiar facts  and  circumstances
      of the case in which this order is being made.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

Based on the above, it was submitted by the learned counsel, that  challenge
to an order passed by this Court  would  be  a  rarity,  and  not  a  common
feature.  He emphatically pointed out, that if the  submission  advanced  at
the hands of the learned counsel for the petitioner was to be  accepted,  no
order passed by this Court would ever attain finality.  And  therefore,  the
jurisdiction of this Court would be open  to  exploitation,  any  number  of
times, if the petitioner/respondent continued to feel,  that  injustice  had
been done to him.

133.  We are of the view, that reliance by the learned  Senior  Counsel  for
the petitioner on Supreme Court Bar Association’s case (supra) and  on  M.S.
Ahlawat’s  case  (supra)  is  wholly  misconceived   on   account   of   the
determination rendered by this Court in Rupa  Ashok  Hurra’s  case  (supra),
wherein in paragraph  13,  a  five-Judge  Constitution  Bench,  observed  as
under:-
      “13.  It is, however, true that in Supreme Court Bar  Association  vs.
      Union of India, (1998) 4 SCC 409, a Constitution  Bench  and  in  M.S.
      Ahlawat vs. State of Haryana, (2000) 1 SCC 278, a  three-Judge  Bench,
      and  in  other   cases   different   Benches   quashed   the   earlier
      judgments/orders of this Court in an application filed  under  Article
      32 of the Constitution.  But in those cases no one joined  issue  with
      regard to the maintainability of the writ petition under Article 32 of
      the Constitution.  Therefore, those cases cannot be read as  authority
      for the proposition that a writ of certiorari under Article  32  would
      lie to challenge an earlier final judgment of this Court.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

134.  Before we advert to the question of jurisdiction, it may  be  relevant
to understand the extent and width  of  jurisdiction  within  the  framework
whereof this Court can pass orders.  In this behalf reference  may  be  once
again, made to the  nine-Judge  Bench  judgment  of  this  Court  in  Naresh
Sridhar Mirajkar’s case (supra), wherein it was held as under:-

      “60. There is yet another  aspect  of  this  matter  to  which  it  is
      necessary to refer. The High Court is a superior Court of  Record  and
      under Article 215, shall have all powers of such  a  Court  of  Record
      including the power to punish contempt of itself.  One  distinguishing
      characteristic of such superior Courts is that they  are  entitled  to
      consider questions of their  jurisdiction  raised  before  them.  This
      question fell to be considered by this Court in Special Reference  No.
      1 of 1964, (1965) 1 S.C.R. 413 at p. 499. In that case, it  was  urged
      before this Court that in granting bail  to  Keshav  Singh,  the  High
      Court had exceeded its jurisdiction and  as  such,  the  order  was  a
      nullity. Rejecting this argument, this Court observed that in the case
      of a superior Court of Record, it is for the Court to consider whether
      any matter falls within its jurisdiction or not.  Unlike  a  court  of
      limited jurisdiction, the superior court is entitled to determine  for
      itself questions about its own jurisdiction. That is  why  this  Court
      did not accede to the  proposition  that  in  passing  the  order  for
      interim bail, the  High  Court  can  be  said  to  have  exceeded  its
      jurisdiction with the result that the order in question was  null  and
      void. In support of  this  view,  this  Court  cited  a  passage  from
      Halsbury's Laws of England where it is observed that:-

           “prima facie, no matter is deemed to be beyond the  jurisdiction
           of a superior court unless it is expressly shown to be so, while
           nothing is within the jurisdiction of an inferior  court  unless
           it is expressly shown on the face of the  proceedings  that  the
           particular matter is within the  cognizance  of  the  particular
           Court." (Halsbury's Laws of England, Vol. 9, p. 349).”.

      If the decision of a superior Court on a question of its  jurisdiction
      is erroneous, it can, of course, be corrected by appeal or revision as
      may be permissible under the law; but  until  the  adjudication  by  a
      superior  Court  on  such  a  point  is  set  aside  by  adopting  the
      appropriate course, it would not  be  open  to  be  corrected  by  the
      exercise of the writ jurisdiction of this Court.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

135.  Since it is not the case of the petitioner  before  this  Court,  that
some legislative or constitutional provision had curtailed the  jurisdiction
of this Court, from passing an  order,  of  the  nature  which  is  impugned
through this criminal writ petition, there can be no doubt  that  the  above
order  has  been  passed  by  this  Court  in  legitimate  exercise  of  its
jurisdiction.  This will have to be the natural  determination  arising  out
of the law declared in Naresh Sridhar Mirajkar’s case (supra), which is  the
very judgment, on which  learned  counsel  for  the  petitioner  has  placed
reliance.

136.  Independently of the above purely legal determination, we  have  under
a  separate  heading  examined  the  issue,  whether  this  Court  had   the
jurisdiction to order the arrest and  detention  of  the  petitioner  –  Mr.
Subrata  Roy  Sahara.   We  have  independently  concluded,  that  we   were
possessed  of  such  jurisdiction.   It  is  therefore  apparent,  that  the
impugned order dated 4.3.2014,  does  not  suffer  from  any  jurisdictional
error.

137.  We are in absolute agreement with  the  submissions  advanced  by  Mr.
Arvind Datar, learned Senior Counsel for the respondent.   In  view  of  the
factual position depicted in this judgment (under the heading: “Whether  the
impugned order dated 4.3.2014 was passed,  in  violation  of  the  rules  of
natural justice?”), based  on  the  pleas  advanced  by  the  petitioner  on
merits, it is apparent, that the rules of natural justice were  followed  to
the  hilt,  before  the  impugned   order   dated   4.3.2014   was   passed.
Accordingly,  the  principle  of  actus  curiae  neminem  gravabit  is   not
available to the petitioner.

138.  We have  recorded  hereinabove,  that  the  instant  petition  is  not
maintainable, because the challenge raised by the petitioner herein, on  the
grounds of a jurisdictional  error,  or  non  compliance  of  the  rules  of
natural justice have been found to be not made out in this case.   That  was
the only basis of interference in Naresh Sridhar  Mirajkar’s  case  (supra).
We are however persuaded, to record another reason  for  not  accepting  the
maintainability of the  present  writ  petition,  on  the  basis  of  Naresh
Sridhar Mirajkar’s case (supra).  In this behalf it is relevant  to  notice,
from the factual background of Naresh Sridhar Mirajkar’s case (supra)  which
has been traced hereinabove, that A.R. Antulay, had earlier approached  this
Court, by filing a writ petition under Article 32  of  the  Constitution  of
India (just in the same manner, as  the  petitioner  herein  has  approached
this Court).  A  two-Judge  Division  Bench  of  this  Court  dismissed  the
petition by observing inter alia,  that  a  writ  petition  challenging  the
validity of an order and judgment passed by the Supreme Court as nullity  or
otherwise incorrect, could not be entertained.  The said writ  petition  was
accordingly  dismissed  (Abdul  Rehman  Antulay  v.  Union  of  India,  Writ
Petition (Criminal) no. 708 of  1984,  decided  on  17.4.1984;  reported  as
Appendix, (1988) 2 SCC 764).  In the above view of the matter also, even  on
the basis of the very judgment relied upon by the learned counsel,  we  have
no other alternative but to conclude, that the instant writ petition is  not
maintainable,  to  assail  the  impugned  order  passed  by  this  Court  on
4.3.2014.

139.  We shall now endeavour to deal with the submissions  advanced  at  the
hands of Mr.  C.A.  Sundaram,  learned  Senior  Counsel  appearing  for  the
petitioner, whose express submission was, that  the  instant  criminal  writ
petition, filed by the petitioner was maintainable under Article 32  of  the
Constitution of India.  The sum and substance of the submission advanced  by
the learned counsel, has already been noticed above, and is accordingly  not
being repeated herein again, for reasons of brevity.   Before  dealing  with
the issue in hand, it would also be relevant  to  mention,  that  while  the
long drawn hearing in the instant matter was  coming  to  an  end,  Mr.  Ram
Jethmalani, learned Senior Counsel, had  a  slight  change  of  heart.   His
submission on second thoughts was,  that  the  contention  advanced  at  the
hands of Mr. C.A. Sundaram, learned Senior Counsel, to the effect  that  the
instant petition was maintainable under Article 32 of  the  Constitution  of
India, had merit.  In the succeeding paragraphs,  we  shall  deal  with  the
submissions advanced by Mr. C.A. Sundaram, to demonstrate that  the  present
writ petition was maintainable at the hands of  the  petitioner,  to  assail
the order passed by us, on 4.3.2014.

140.  The instant issue being a pure question of law, was canvassed  at  the
hands of the learned counsel for the rival parties, by placing  reliance  on
judgments rendered by this Court.  In our  considered  view,  therefore,  it
would be in the fitness of matters to cite the judgments relied upon by  the
learned counsel for the parties, for the adjudication of the instant issue.

141.  We have chosen to take into consideration  various  judgments  brought
to our notice chronologically.

      (i)   In this behalf reference may first and foremost be made  to  the
      judgment rendered by a  nine-Judge  Bench  of  this  Court  in  Naresh
      Shridhar Mirajkar, AIR 1967 SC 1, wherefrom our attention was  invited
      to the following  conclusions drawn therein:-
           “52.  In this connection, it is necessary to  refer  to  another
           aspect of the matter, and that has relation to  the  nature  and
           extent of this Court's jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari
           under Article 32(2).  Mr. Setalvad has conceded that if a  Court
           of competent jurisdiction makes an order in a proceeding  before
           it, and the order  is  inter-parties,  its  validity  cannot  be
           challenged by invoking the  jurisdiction  of  this  Court  under
           Article 32, though the  said  order  may  affect  the  aggrieved
           party's fundamental rights. His whole  argument  before  us  has
           been that the impugned order affects the fundamental rights of a
           stranger to the proceedings  before  the  Court;  and  that,  he
           contends, justifies the petitioners in moving this  Court  under
           Article 32. It is necessary to  examine  the  validity  of  this
           argument.

                 xxx         xxx        xxx        xxx        xxx


           59.   We have referred to these decisions to illustrate how  the
           jurisdiction to issue writs if  certiorari  has  been  exercised
           either by the High Courts under  Article 226 or  by  this  Court
           under Article 32.  Bearing these  principles  in  mind,  let  us
           enquire whether the order impugned in  the  present  proceedings
           can be said to be amenable to the  jurisdiction  of  this  Court
           under Article 32.  We have already seen that the impugned  order
           was passed by the learned Judge after hearing the parties and it
           was passed presumably because he was satisfied that the ends  of
           justice required that Mr. Goda should  be  given  protection  by
           prohibiting the publication of his evidence  in  the  newspapers
           during the course  of  the  trial.   This  matter  was  directly
           related to the trial  of  the  suit;  and  in  exercise  of  his
           inherent  power,  the  learned  Judge  made  the  order  in  the
           interests of justice.  The order in one sense is  inter-parties,
           because it was passed after hearing arguments on both the sides.
            In another sense,  it  is  not  inter-parties  inasmuch  as  it
           prohibits strangers like the  petitioners  from  publishing  Mr.
           Goda's evidence in the newspapers.  In fact, an  order  of  this
           kind would always be passed after  hearing  parties  before  the
           Court and would in every case affect the right of strangers like
           the  petitioners  who,  as  Journalists,   are   interested   in
           publishing court proceedings in newspapers. Can it be said  that
           there is such a difference between normal orders  passed  inter-
           parties in judicial proceedings, and the present order  that  it
           should be open to the strangers are who affected by the order to
           move this Court under Article 32?  The order,  no  doubt,  binds
           the strangers; but, nevertheless, it is a judicial order  and  a
           person aggrieved by it, though a stranger, can move  this  Court
           by appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution.  Principles  of
           Res judicata have been applied by this  Court  in  dealing  with
           petitions filed before this  Court  under  Article 32 in  Daryao
           v. The State of U.P. and Others,  AIR 1961 SC 1457. We apprehend
           that somewhat similar considerations would apply to the  present
           proceedings.  If a judicial order like the one with which we are
           concerned in the present proceedings  made  by  the  High  Court
           binds strangers, the strangers may challenge the order by taking
           appropriate proceedings in appeal under Article 136.  It  would,
           however, not be open to them to invoke the jurisdiction of  this
           Court under Article 32 and contend that  a  writ  of  certiorari
           should be issued in respect of it.  The impugned order is passed
           in exercise of the inherent jurisdiction of the  Court  and  its
           validity is not open to be challenged by writ proceedings.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

      Even though the challenge before  us  is  raised  on  account  of  the
      alleged violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India, yet  the
      issue that needs to be determined is, whether a writ petition would be
      maintainable, as against an order passed by this Court for an  alleged
      violation  of  a  fundamental  right.   While  examining   the   above
      proposition in respect of an alleged violation under Article 19 of the
      Constitution of India, this Court in  the  conclusions  drawn  in  the
      above extracted paragraphs, clearly held, that a writ  petition  would
      not be maintainable against an order passed by this very  Court,  even
      though it alleged violation of a fundamental right.

      (ii)  Reference was next made to the decision  rendered  by  a  three-
      Judge Division Bench of this Court in Col. Dr. B. Ramachandra  Rao  v.
      The State of Orissa & Ors., (1972) 3 SCC 256.  Even though during  the
      course of hearing, learned counsel for the rival parties  read  before
      us paragraphs 5 and 7 of the present judgment, we are of the view that
      for the issue in hand, the  purpose  would  be  served  by  extracting
      herein paragraph 6, which is being reproduced hereunder:-
           “6.   As admitted by both sides the petitioner was sentenced  to
           imprisonment on conviction  by  the  Third  Additional  Sessions
           Judge, Secunderabad in October,  1965.   Unfortunately,  neither
           side has been able to inform us as to whether that sentence  has
           expired  or  is  still  running.   The   jail   authorities   at
           Bhubaneshwar,  we  have  little  doubt,  must  have  information
           whether  or  not  the  petitioner,  when  brought   there,   was
           undergoing a sentence of  imprisonment  and  how  much  sentence
           remain to be undergone, and the petitioner also, in our opinion,
           must be presumed to be aware of the sentence imposed on him.  We
           need only add that in case  the  petitioner  is  undergoing  the
           sentence of imprisonment imposed on him by competent Court  then
           too writ of habeas corpus cannot be granted.  This  position  is
           well settled.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

      A perusal of the above judgment leaves no room  for  any  doubt,  that
      this Court clearly  declared,  that  in  case  a  Court  of  competent
      jurisdiction, had passed an order of imprisonment, the order could not
      be assailed by praying for a writ in the nature of habeas  corpus.   A
      writ of habeas corpus can only be sought from this Court, in  exercise
      of its jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India.  In
      the above view of the matter it is apparent from the conclusions drawn
      by this Court, that a writ petition was held to be  not  maintainable,
      against an order of  imprisonment  passed  by  a  Court  of  competent
      jurisdiction.

      (iii) A writ petition was filed in the Court, to assail  the  validity
      of a conviction order, whereby the person concerned had been sentenced
      to life imprisonment.  This Court, in Jharia S/o Maniya  v.  State  of
      Rajasthan & Anr., (1983) 4 SCC 7, held that the writ petition was  not
      maintainable.  Incidentally, it would be pertinent  to  mention,  that
      the above challenge was raised (as in the instant case), by  asserting
      that the impugned judgment  violated  the  fundamental  right  of  the
      concerned detenue, under Article 21 of the Constitution of  India  (as
      in the instant case).  Additionally, a challenge was also raised under
      Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution of India.  This Court dismissed
      the writ petition, with the following observations:-
           “2.   It appears that the petitioner along with two  others  was
           arraigned before the Sessions Judge of Alwar in  Sessions  Trial
           No.  110  of  1976  for  having  committed  an  alleged  offence
           punishable  under  Section 302 of   the   Indian   Penal   Code,
           alternatively, under  Section 302 read  with  Section 34 of  the
           Code. By his finding and  sentence  dated  April  21,  1977  the
           learned Sessions Judge convicted  the  petitioner  and  his  two
           associates for having  committed  the  murder  of  the  deceased
           Jharia  in  furtherance  of   their   common   intention   under
           Section 302 read with Section 34 and sentenced each of  them  to
           undergo imprisonment for life, while recording  their  acquittal
           under Section 302.  On appeal, a Division Bench of the Rajasthan
           High Court (Jaipur Bench) in Criminal Appeal No. 219 of 1977  by
           judgment dated July 3, 1980 maintained  the  conviction  of  the
           petitioner under Section 302 read with Section 34 but  acquitted
           his  two  associates  giving  them   the   benefit   of   doubt.
           Dissatisfied with the judgment of the High Court, the petitioner
           applied  to  this  Court  for  grant  of  special  leave   under
           Article 136 of the Constitution.  The special leave petition was
           dismissed by this Court on February, 23, 1981.   An  application
           for review was also dismissed on November 19, 1981.  Thereafter,
           the petitioner filed this petition  under  Article 32  assailing
           his conviction and sentence.  The petitioner seeks the  issuance
           of a writ of  mandamus  directing  the  State  of  Rajasthan  to
           forbear from giving effect to the judgment and  sentence  passed
           by the learned Sessions Judge as also the judgment of  the  High
           Court as well as the order passed by this Court  dismissing  the
           special leave petition.  He further seeks a declaration that his
           conviction under Section 302 read with  Section 34 by  the  High
           Court was illegal  and  therefore  his  detention  in  jail  was
           without the authority of law and in violation of Article 21 read
           with Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution.

           3.    The petitioner contends that in view of the  decisions  of
           this Court in Krishna Govind Patil v. State of Maharashtra,  AIR
           1963 SC 1413, Maina Singh v. State  of  Rajasthan, AIR  1976  SC
           1084 and Piara Sinnh v. State of Punjab, (1980) 2 SCC 401 ,  his
           conviction under Section 302 read with Section 34 was illegal as
           he had been charged with two other named persons who  have  been
           acquitted by the High Court and therefore he cannot be convicted
           of an offence punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34.
            Upon this basis, the contention is that the petitioner has been
           deprived of his life and liberty without the authority of law in
           violation  of  Article 21 read  with  Articles 14 and 19 of  the
           Constitution.  It is represented to us that the contention based
           upon the decisions of this Court had been  advanced  during  the
           course of the hearing of the special leave  petition,  but  both
           the special leave petition and the application for  review  have
           been dismissed and therefore the petitioner has no other  remedy
           except to approach this Court for appropriate writ, direction or
           order under Article 32 of the Constitution.

           4.    We fail to  appreciate  the  propriety  of  asking  for  a
           declaration   in   there   proceedings   under   Article 32 that
           conviction of the petitioner by the High Court  for  an  offence
           punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34 of  the  India
           Penal Code is illegal, particularly when this Court has declined
           to  grant  special  leave  under  Article 136.   Nor   can   the
           petitioner be heard to say that his detention in jail amounts to
           deprivation of the fundamental right to life and liberty without
           following the procedure  established  by  law  in  violation  of
           Article 21 read with Articles 14 and 19.  When a  special  leave
           petition is assigned to the learned Judges sitting in  a  Bench,
           they constitute the Supreme Court and there  is  a  finality  to
           their judgment which cannot be upset in these proceedings  under
           Article 32.  Obviously, the Supreme Court cannot issue  a  writ,
           direction  or  order  to  itself  in  respect  of  any  judicial
           proceedings and the learned Judges constituting  the  Bench  are
           not amenable to the writ jurisdiction of this Court.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

      A perusal of the above judgment, leaves no room for any doubt, that in
      the above judgment, rendered by a  three-Judge  Division  Bench,  this
      Court arrived at the conclusion, that a writ  petition  would  not  be
      maintainable to assail a judicial order.

      (iv)  Reference may now be made to the decision rendered by this Court
      in Ranjit Singh v. Union Territory of Chandigarh & Anr., (1991) 4  SCC
      304.  It would be relevant to mention, that the instant  judgment  was
      relied  upon  by  Mr.  Mukul  Gupta,  learned  Senior   Counsel,   who
      represented the Union of India.  The above judgment  also  dealt  with
      the issue whether a writ petition was maintainable under Article 32 of
      the Constitution of India, to assail the  directions  contained  in  a
      judgment rendered  by  this  Court.   From  the  above  judgment,  the
      observations recorded in paragraphs 5 and 11 are considered  essential
      for  the  purpose  in  hand,  and  are  accordingly  being   extracted
      hereunder:-
           “5.   We may straightaway mention that the question of grant  of
           relief under Article 32 of the Constitution does  not  arise  on
           the above facts.  The petitioner's incarceration is  the  result
           of a valid judicial order and therefore, there can be  no  valid
           claim to the infringement of any fundamental right  which  alone
           can be  the  foundation  for  a  writ  under  Article 32 of  the
           Constitution.  The only  question,  it  appears,  therefore,  is
           about the correct construction of the direction  given  by  this
           Court in its judgment  dated  September  30,  1983  in  Criminal
           Appeal No. 418 of 1982 in the  light  of  the  true  meaning  of
           Section 427(2) Cr.P.C.

                 xxx         xxx        xxx        xxx        xxx


           11.   We have already stated that this petition for the issuance
           of a writ under Article 32 of the Constitution is untenable.  We
           have, therefore, treated it as a petition for  clarification  of
           the judgment dated September 30, 1983 in Criminal Appeal No. 418
           of 1982.  Accordingly, the petition is  disposed  of  with  this
           clarification.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

      Yet  again,  in  the  above  judgment,  this  Court  arrived  at   the
      conclusion, that a writ petition was not maintainable under Article 32
      of the Constitution of India, to assail an order passed by this Court.

      (v)   Reference was also made to the recent decision rendered by  this
      Court in Manubhai Ratilal Patel v. State of Gujarat, (2013) 1 SCC 314.
       In the above judgment, this Court referred to the  earlier  judgments
      rendered by this Court, and  approved  the  issue,  which  is  subject
      matter of consideration at our  hands.   The  observations  which  are
      relevant, are being extracted hereunder:-
           “14.  In Kanu Sanyal  v.  District  Magistrate,  Darjeeling  and
           Ors., (1973) 2 SCC 674, it was laid down that the writ of habeas
           corpus deals with the machinery of justice, not the  substantive
           law. The object of the writ is to secure release of a person who
           is illegally restrained of his liberty.

           15.   Speaking about  the  importance  of  the  writ  of  habeas
           corpus, a two-Judge Bench, in Ummu Sabeena v.  State  of  Kerala
           and Ors. (2011) 10 SCC 781, has observed as follows:

                 “15.  ...the writ of  habeas  corpus  is  the  oldest  writ
                 evolved by  the  common  law  of  England  to  protect  the
                 individual liberty against its invasion in the hands of the
                 executive or  may  be  also  at  the  instance  of  private
                 persons.   This  principle  of  habeas  corpus   has   been
                 incorporated in our constitutional law and we  are  of  the
                 opinion that in a  democratic  republic  like  India  where
                 Judges function under a written Constitution and which  has
                 a chapter on  fundamental  rights,  to  protect  individual
                 liberty the Judges owe a duty to safeguard the liberty  not
                 only of the citizens but also of  all  persons  within  the
                 territory of India.  The most effective way  of  doing  the
                 same is by way of exercise of power by the Court by issuing
                 a writ of habeas corpus.”

                 In the said case, a reference was made to  Halsbury's  Laws
           of England, 4th Edn. Vol. 11, para 1454 to highlight that a writ
           of habeas corpus is a writ of highest constitutional  importance
           being a remedy available to the  lowliest  citizen  against  the
           most powerful authority.

           16.   Having stated about the significance of the writ of habeas
           corpus as a weapon for protection of individual liberty  through
           judicial process, it is condign to refer to certain  authorities
           to appreciate how this Court has dwelled upon and expressed  its
           views pertaining to the legality  of  the  order  of  detention,
           especially that ensuing from the order  of  the  court  when  an
           accused is produced in custody before a Magistrate after arrest.
            It is also worthy to  note  that  the  opinion  of  this  Court
           relating to the relevant stage of delineation for the purpose of
           adjudicating the legality  of  the  order  of  detention  is  of
           immense importance for the present case.

           17.   In Col. Dr. B. Ramachandra Rao v.  The  State  of  Orissa,
           (1972) 3 SCC 256, it was opined that a writ of habeas corpus  is
           not granted where a person is committed to  jail  custody  by  a
           competent court by an order which prima facie does not appear to
           be without jurisdiction or wholly illegal.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

Yet again, therefore, this  Court  affirmed  the  conclusion,  that  a  writ
petition cannot be filed to raise  a  challenge  against  a  validly  passed
judicial order.

In view of the clear expression of law recorded in all the above  judgments,
without any divergence of view whatsoever, we have no other alternative  but
to conclude, that it was not open for the petitioner  to  file  the  instant
writ petition, to assail the order passed by this Court, in exercise of  its
jurisdiction under Articles 129 and 142 of the Constitution of India.  As  a
matter of abundant caution, it is considered necessary to record, that  even
though reference was made to M.S. Ahlawat’s case (supra) and  Supreme  Court
Bar Association’s  case  (supra),  wherein  this  Court  had  entertained  a
challenge  to  earlier  orders  passed  by  it,  under  Article  32  of  the
Constitution of India, yet, the above two judgments, cannot  be  treated  to
have any bearing on the determination of the issue in hand, because  in  the
aforesaid  two  cases,  the  maintainability  of  the  petitions   was   not
contested.  Our instant conclusion, has also been  recorded  by  this  Court
in, Rupa Ashok Hurra’s case (supra), the  relevant  observations  wherefrom,
have already been extracted hereinabove.

142.  Last of all, we shall endavour to deal with  the  submission  advanced
by Dr. Rajeev Dhawan,  learned  Senior  Counsel,  to  the  effect  that  the
instant petition was maintainable in exercise of the jurisdiction vested  in
this Court, under Articles 129 and 142 of the Constitution  of  India.   The
above provisions are being extracted hereunder;-
      “129.       Supreme Court to be a court of record - The Supreme  Court
      shall be a court of record and shall have all the  powers  of  such  a
      court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.

      142.  Enforcement of decrees and  orders  of  the  Supreme  Court  and
      orders as to discovery, etc. - (1)  The Supreme Court in the  exercise
      of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or  make  such  order  as  is
      necessary for doing complete justice in any cause  or  matter  pending
      before it, and any  decree  so  passed  or  order  so  made  shall  be
      enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be
      prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision
      in that behalf is so made, in such manner  as  the  President  may  by
      order prescribe


      (2)   Subject to the provisions of any law  made  in  this  behalf  by
      Parliament, the Supreme Court shall, as  respects  the  whole  of  the
      territory of India, have all and every power to make any order for the
      purpose of securing the attendance of any  person,  the  discovery  or
      production of any documents, or the investigation or punishment of any
      contempt of itself.”

Relying on the above  provisions,  learned  Senior  Counsel  asserted,  that
“maintainability exists, because we can all make mistakes, and the  mistakes
that we make, need to be corrected”.  The submission of the learned  counsel
in this behalf was, that in the  above  view  of  the  matter,  jurisdiction
could truly be traced, to Articles 129 and 142 for correcting mistakes.   It
was the submission of the learned counsel, that this Court being a Court  of
record, had unlimited jurisdiction to correct all mistakes committed by  it.
 Referring to Article 142 of the Constitution of  India  it  was  submitted,
that it was the pious obligation  of  Court  to  do  complete  justice,  and
accordingly, whenever injustice was traceable, it was  imperative  for  this
Court to rectify the same.  On the subject under reference,  learned  Senior
Counsel relied on the decision  in  Rupa  Ashok  Hurra’s  case  (supra)  and
invited our pointed attention to following observations recorded therein:-
      “23.  These contentions pose the question, whether an order passed  by
      this Court can be corrected under its inherent powers after  dismissal
      of the review petition on the ground that it was passed either without
      jurisdiction or in violation of the principles of natural  justice  or
      due to unfair procedure giving scope for bias which resulted in  abuse
      of the process of the Court or miscarriage of justice to an  aggrieved
      person.


                    xxx              xxx              xxx


      49.   The upshot of the discussion in our view is that this Court,  to
      prevent abuse of its process  and  to  cure  a  gross  miscarriage  of
      justice, may re-consider its judgments in  exercise  of  its  inherent
      power.


      50.   The next step is to specify the requirements to entertain such a
      curative petition under the inherent  power  of  this  Court  so  that
      floodgates are not opened for filing a second  review  petition  as  a
      matter of course in the guise of a curative  petition  under  inherent
      power.  It is common ground  that  except  when  very  strong  reasons
      exist,  the  Court  should  not  entertain  an   application   seeking
      reconsideration of an order of this Court which has  become  final  on
      dismissal of a review petition.  It is neither advisable nor  possible
      to enumerate  all  the  grounds  on  which  such  a  petition  may  be
      entertained.”
                                                          (emphasis is ours)

143.  It is not possible for us to accept the  contention  advanced  at  the
hands of the learned Senior Counsel.  By placing reliance  on  the  decision
rendered by this Court in Rupa Ashok Hurra’s case (supra),  learned  counsel
must be deemed to have impliedly conceded the issue,  against  himself.   In
Rupa Ashok Hurra’s case (supra), this Court examined the remedies  available
to an individual.  In the above judgment, this Court examined the ambit  and
scope of Article 137 of the Constitution  of  India,  whereunder,  a  review
petition could be filed for the correction of an error apparent on the  face
of the record.  In the judgment relied upon, this Court also  expressed  the
view, that a curative petition could be filed for corrections of  such  like
errors, after a review petition had  been  dismissed.   It  is  relevant  to
mention, that in furtherance of the directions issued by this Court in  Rupa
Ashok Hurra’s case (supra), this Court has framed  rules,  for  entertaining
curative petitions.  Such curative petitions, when entertained,  are  placed
before a five-Judge Bench including the senior most  three  Judges  of  this
Court.  Placing reliance on Rupa Ashok Hurra’s case (supra) evidences,  that
the petitioner was aware of the jurisdiction of  this  Court  under  Article
137 of the Constitution of India for filing a review petition, as also,  the
permissibility of filing a curative petition, after the concerned party  had
not succeeded, in the review petition.  Unfortunately,  the  petitioner  has
not chosen either of the above  jurisdictions.   The  instant  petition  has
been styled as a criminal  writ  petition.   The  instant  petition  is  not
maintainable as no fresh petition is shown to  be  maintainable,  under  the
provisions (Articles 129 and 142 of the Constitution of India), relied  upon
by the learned Senior Counsel.  Moreover, our deliberations  on  the  merits
of  the  controversy  further   reveals,   that   there   is   neither   any
jurisdictional error, nor any error in law has been shown to  be  made  out,
from the impugned order dated 4.3.2014.

144.  For all the reasons recorded hereinabove we are of the view, that  the
instant petition is not maintainable and the same is, therefore,  liable  to
be dismissed on the ground of maintainability.


XI.   Conclusions
145.  In view of our findings  recorded  hereinabove,  our  conclusions  are
summarized hereunder:-
I.    We find  no  merit  in  the  contention  advanced  on  behalf  of  the
petitioner, that we should recuse ourselves from the hearing of  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.  (For details, refer to paragraph nos. 1 to 14).

II.   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.  (For details, refer to paragraph nos.  15  to
19).

III.  The facts of this case reveal, that the two  companies  of  which  the
petitioner is a promoter, flouted orders passed by the SEBI (FTM), SAT,  the
High Court  and  of  this  Court,  with  impunity.   Facts  and  information
solicited were never disclosed.  The position adopted by the  two  companies
was always projected on the basis  of  unverifiable  material.   This  Court
recorded in its order dated 31.8.2012, that the factual assertions  made  on
behalf of the two companies seemed to be totally unrealistic and could  well
be fictitious, concocted and made up, and also remarked,  that  the  affairs
of the two companies seemed to be doubtful, dubious and  questionable.   The
above position  has  remained  unaltered,  inasmuch  as,  no  authentic  and
verifiable material sought has ever been furnished  by  the  two  companies.
The  two  companies  remained  adamant  while   frittering   away   repeated
opportunities granted  by  this  Court  to  comply  with  the  orders  dated
31.8.2012 and 5.12.2012.  The companies  adopted  a  demeanour  of  defiance
constituting a rebellious behaviour, not amenable to the rule of law.   (For
details, refer to paragraph nos. 20 to 39).

IV.   Efforts made to cajole the  two  companies  and  the  petitioner  were
always stonewalled and  brushed  off.   All  intermediary  means  to  secure
compliance of this  Court’s  orders  dated  31.8.2012  and  5.12.2012,  were
evaded and skirted.  Even proposals to secure the payments (as against,  the
payment itself) to be made to  the  investors,  in  terms  of  this  Court’s
orders,   were   systematically   frustrated.    Similar   proposals    made
unilaterally by learned Senior Counsel representing the  two  companies  and
the petitioner himself, turned out to be ploys to sidetrack and  derail  the
process of law.  Such unilateral  proposals,  were  unilaterally  withdrawn.
Since all the efforts to cajole the two companies and  the  petitioner  were
methodically circumvented, we started adopting  sequentially  harsher  means
to  persuade  compliance  of  this  Court’s  orders  dated   31.8.2012   and
5.12.2012, leading finally to  the  passing  of  the  impugned  order  dated
4.3.2014.  (For details, refer to paragraph nos. 40 to 55).

V.    The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, which regulates  civil  proceedings
in India, expressly contemplates arrest and detention  for  the  enforcement
of a money  decree.   And  the  Code  of  Criminal  Procedure,  1973,  which
regulates criminal proceedings in India, envisages arrest and  detention  as
a mean for enforcing  financial  liability.   The  submission  made  by  the
learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner to the effect, that  execution  of
a money decree or enforcement of a financial liability by way of arrest  and
detention  was  a  procedure  unknown   to   law,   is   therefore,   wholly
misconceived.  (For details, refer to paragraph nos. 56 to 61).

VI.   The submission made by the learned counsel for  the  petitioner,  that
this Court was obliged to  comply  with  the  procedure  contemplated  under
Section 51, and rules 37  and  40  of  Order  XXI,  of  the  Code  of  Civil
Procedure, 1908, before ordering the arrest and detention of the  petitioner
(and the other contemnors) is devoid of any merit,  because  Section  51  of
the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and the other allied  provisions  referred
to above, are not applicable to actions emanating out of the SEBI  Act.   So
also, rule 6 of Order  XIII  of  the  Supreme  Court  Rules,  1966,  has  no
applicability, with reference to the SEBI Act.  Be  that  as  it  may,  this
Court before passing the impugned  order  dated  4.3.2014  had  immaculately
followed the procedure contemplated under the  provisions  of  the  Code  of
Civil Procedure, 1908, as were relied upon by the learned  counsel  for  the
petitioner, before ordering the petitioner’s  (and  the  other  contemnors’)
arrest and detention.   The  submission  of  the  learned  counsel  for  the
petitioner, so as to avoid his arrest and detention, based on  the  judgment
rendered by this Court in Jolly George Varghese & Anr. v.  Bank  of  Cochin,
(1980) 2 SCC 360, being inapplicable to the facts and circumstances of  this
case, was liable to be rejected, and has accordingly  been  rejected.   (For
details, refer to paragraph nos. 62 to 77).

VII.   In  response  to  a  prayer  made  by  the  SEBI  (in   Interlocutory
Application nos. 68 and 69 of 2013 in Civil Appeal no. 9813 of 2011),  inter
alia, seeking the arrest and detention of  the  petitioner  (and  two  other
contemnors, namely, Mr. Ravi Shankar Dubey and  Mr.  Ashok  Roy  Choudhary),
the petitioner  filed  a  personal  reply  by  way  of  an  affidavit.   The
petitioner in his written  reply  raised  all  possible  legal  and  factual
defences.  Different orders were passed from time to time in furtherance  of
the  prayers  made  in  the   aforementioned   interlocutory   applications,
including the order preventing the petitioner  (and  the  other  contemnors)
from leaving the country, as also, the order restraining the  two  companies
from  parting  with  any  movable  or  immovable  property.   A  number   of
opportunities of hearing were given to the learned counsel representing  the
two companies and the contemnors.  Finding the attitude  of  the  contemnors
defiant and non-cooperative,  their  personal  presence  was  ordered.   The
petitioner, who was directed to be  present  on  26.2.2014,  did  not  enter
personal appearance.   His  personal  presence  was  enforced  through  non-
bailable  warrants  on  4.3.2014.   During  the  course  of  their  personal
presence in Court, the petitioner and the other contemnors were afforded  an
opportunity of oral  hearing.   The  petitioner  repeatedly  addressed  this
Court on 4.3.2014.  Only thereafter, the impugned order dated  4.3.2014  was
passed.  In view of the above facts it is not possible  for  us  to  accept,
that the impugned order was passed without following the  rules  of  natural
justice or without affording  the  petitioner  an  opportunity  of  hearing.
(For details, refer to paragraph nos. 78 to 96).

VIII. The law laid down by this Court in Jaswant Singh v. Virender  Singh  &
Ors., 1995 Supp. (1) SCC 384, has been found to be fully applicable  to  the
facts of this case, particularly the mannerism and  demeanour  exhibited  by
the petitioner and some of the learned counsel.  Our recusal from  the  case
sought on the ground of bias, has been found to  be  devoid  of  any  merit.
Each and every insinuation  levelled  by  the  petitioner  and  his  learned
Senior Counsel, during the  course  of  hearing,  has  been  considered  and
rejected on merits.  (For details, refer to paragraph nos. 97 to 112).

IX.   The defence raised by the  petitioner,  that  the  two  companies  had
already substantially redeemed the  OFCD’s,  has  been  examined  under  two
different perspectives.  Firstly, the above defence is  unavailable  to  the
two companies in law, after the same was rejected on 5.12.2012 by  a  three-
Judge Division Bench (in Civil Appeal no. 8643 of  2012  and  Writ  Petition
(Civil) no. 527 of 2012).  Secondly, the  said  defence  has  been  examined
from various factual perspectives and has been found to be untenable.   Sole
reliance on general ledger entries without  any  other  authentication,  has
been held to be insufficient proof of the refunds claimed to have been  made
by the  two  companies  to  the  investors,  specially  because,  such  cash
redemptions have not been affirmed in the certificate issued by the firm  of
Chartered Accountants, which had audited the accounts of the two  companies.
 (For details, refer to paragraph nos. 113 to 122).

X.    The submission advanced by Mr. Ram Jethmalani, learned Senior  Counsel
asserting the maintainability of the instant petition under the maxim of  ex
debito justitiae, expressly recognized by this  Court  in  A.R.  Antulay  v.
R.S. Nayak, (1988) 2 SCC 602, is held to be devoid of any merit,  consequent
upon a detailed analysis  of  the  judgment  relied  upon.   The  contention
advanced by Mr. C.A. Sundaram, learned Senior Counsel  for  the  petitioner,
projecting the maintainability of the  instant  petition  under  Article  32
read with Article 21 of the Constitution of India,  has  been  found  to  be
unacceptable in law on the basis of a series of judgments rendered  by  this
Court.  The  submission  advanced  by  Dr.  Rajeev  Dhawan,  learned  Senior
Counsel representing the petitioner, supporting the maintainability  of  the
instant petition by placing collective reliance on Articles 129 and  142  of
the Constitution of India, has also been  found  to  be  ill-founded.   (For
details, refer to paragraph nos. 123 to 144).

For the reasons recorded hereinabove,  we  find  no  merit  in  the  present
petition, and the same is accordingly dismissed.



XII.  Post Script

146.  Even though our instant observations are  being  recorded  as  a  post
script, after we have concluded examining  the  merits  of  the  controversy
arising out of the criminal writ petition filed  by  the  petitioner  -  Mr.
Subrata Roy Sahara, the instant part of our judgment should be treated as  a
part and parcel of our decision, because it emerges  out  of  years  of  our
experience with the justice delivery system, and is prompted on  account  of
the abuse of the judicial process, exposed while dealing  with  some  Sahara
Group related cases.  The seriousness of the  conclusions  recorded  herein,
we hope, shall not be overlooked merely on account of the heading  given  to
this part.

147.  The number of similar litigants, as  the  parties  in  this  group  of
cases, is on the increase.  They derive their strength  from  abuse  of  the
legal process.  Counsel are available, if the litigant  is  willing  to  pay
their fee.  Their percentage is slightly higher at the lower levels  of  the
judicial hierarchy, and almost non-existent at  the  level  of  the  Supreme
Court.  One wonders, what is it, that a Judge should be  made  of,  to  deal
with such litigants, who have nothing to lose.  What is the level of  merit,
grit and composure required,  to  stand  up  to  the  pressures  of  today’s
litigants?  What is it, that is  needed  to  bear  the  affront,  scorn  and
ridicule hurled at officers presiding over Courts?  Surely  one  would  need
superhumans to handle the emerging pressures on the  judicial  system.   The
resultant duress is grueling.  One  would  hope  for  support  for  officers
presiding over  Courts,  from  the  legal  fraternity,  as  also,  from  the
superior judiciary upto the highest level.  Then and only then, will  it  be
possible  to  maintain  equilibrium,  essential  to  deal  with  complicated
disputations, which arise for determination all the  time,  irrespective  of
the level and the stature, of the Court concerned.  And also, to  deal  with
such litigants.

148.  We have no doubt, that the two companies and  the  present  petitioner
before this Court – Mr. Subrata Roy Sahara, are such litigants.  They  never
subjected themselves to the authority and jurisdiction of  the  SEBI.   They
have continued with the same  mannerism  at  all  levels,  right  upto  this
Court.  They  have  always  adopted  an  accusing  stance,  before  all  the
adjudicatory authorities.  Even against  us.   Exhaustive  details  in  this
behalf have been expressed by us, in the order dated 31.8.2012.   The  pleas
raised have been found to be patently false, on the face of the record.

149.  During the course of passing this judgment, we required  the  Registry
of this Court to place before us a  compilation  of  the  orders  passed  on
different dates of hearing, ever since the  filing  of  the  appeals,  which
culminated in passing of the order dated 31.8.2012.  We  were  astounded  to
learn, that the controversy arising out of Civil Appeal nos. 9813  and  9833
of 2011 was listed for hearing on the following 81 dates:-
      “28.11.2011,  9.1.2012,  20.1.2012,  10.2.2012,  2.3.2012,  20.3.2012,
      23.3.2012,  27.3.2012,  28.3.2012,  29.3.2012,  3.4.2012,   10.4.2012,
      11.4.2012,  12.4.2012,  17.4.2012,  18.4.2012,  19.4.2012,  20.4.2012,
      24.4.2012,  25.4.2012,  26.4.2012,   1.5.2012,   2.5.2012,   3.5.2012,
      4.5.2012,  30.5.2012,   31.5.2012,   1.6.2012,   5.6.2012,   6.6.2012,
      7.6.2012,  12.6.2012,  13.6.2012,  14.6.2012,  31.8.2012,   11.9.2012,
      28.9.2012,  19.10.2012,  19.11.2012,  8.1.2013,  6.2.2013,   8.2.2013,
      19.2.2013,  25.2.2013,  4.4.2013,   22.4.2013,   2.5.2013,   8.5.2013,
      17.7.2013,  24.7.2013,  30.7.2013,  6.8.2013,  13.8.2013,   26.8.2013,
      2.9.2013, 16.9.2013,  4.10.2013,  28.10.2013,  31.10.2013,  1.11.2013,
      20.11.2013, 21.11.2013, 11.12.2013,  17.12.2013,  2.1.2014,  9.1.2014,
      28.1.2014,  11.2.2014,  20.2.2014,  26.2.2014,   4.3.2014,   7.3.2014,
      12.3.2014,  13.3.2014,  26.3.2014,  27.3.2014,   3.4.2014,   9.4.2014,
      16.4.2014, 17.4.2014 and 21.4.2014”


A lot of these hearings consumed this Court’s full working day.  Hearing  of
the main case, consumed one full part, of the  entire  summer  vacation  (of
the Supreme Court) of the year 2012.  For the various orders passed  by  us,
including the order dated 31.8.2012 (running into  269  printed  pages)  and
the present order (running into 205 printed pages), substantial Judge  hours
were consumed.  In this country, judicial orders are prepared, beyond  Court
hours, or on non-working days.  It is apparent,  that  not  a  hundred,  but
hundreds of Judge hours, came to be  spent  in  the  instant  single  Sahara
Group litigation, just at the hands of the Supreme  Court.   This  abuse  of
the judicial process, needs to  be  remedied.   We  are,  therefore  of  the
considered view, that the legislature needs to give a  thought,  to  a  very
serious malady, which has made  strong  inroads  into  the  Indian  judicial
system.

150.  The Indian  judicial  system  is  grossly  afflicted,  with  frivolous
litigation.  Ways and means need to be  evolved,  to  deter  litigants  from
their compulsive obsession, towards  senseless  and  ill-considered  claims.
One needs to keep in mind, that in the process of litigation,  there  is  an
innocent sufferer on the other side, of every  irresponsible  and  senseless
claim.   He  suffers  long  drawn  anxious  periods   of   nervousness   and
restlessness, whilst the litigation is pending, without  any  fault  on  his
part.  He pays for the litigation, from out of his savings (or  out  of  his
borrowings), worrying that the other side may trick him into defeat, for  no
fault of his.  He spends invaluable  time  briefing  counsel  and  preparing
them for his claim.  Time which he should have spent at work,  or  with  his
family, is lost, for no fault of his.  Should a litigant not be  compensated
for, what he has lost, for no fault?  The suggestion to the legislature  is,
that a litigant who has succeeded, must be compensated by the one,  who  has
lost.  The suggestion to the legislature is to formulate a  mechanism,  that
anyone who initiates and continues a litigation senselessly,  pays  for  the
same.   It  is  suggested  that  the   legislature   should   consider   the
introduction of a “Code of Compulsory Costs”.

151.  We should not be taken to have suggested, that the cost of  litigation
should be enhanced.  It is not our  suggestion,  that  Court  fee  or  other
litigation related costs, should be raised.  Access to justice  and  related
costs, should be as free and as low, as possible.   What  is  sought  to  be
redressed is a habituation, to press  illegitimate  claims.   This  practice
and pattern is so rampant, that in most cases, disputes which ought to  have
been settled in no time at all, before the first  Court  of  incidence,  are
prolonged endlessly, for years and years, and from Court to Court, upto  the
highest Court.

152.  This abuse of the judicial process is not limited  to  any  particular
class of litigants.  The State and its agencies litigate endlessly upto  the
highest  Court,  just  because  of  the  lack  of  responsibility,  to  take
decisions.  So much so, that we have started to  entertain  the  impression,
that all administrative and executive decision making,  are  being  left  to
Courts, just for that reason.  In private litigation as well, the  concerned
litigant would continue to approach the higher Court, despite the fact  that
he had  lost  in  every  Court  hitherto  before.   The  effort  is  not  to
discourage  a  litigant,  in  whose  perception,  his  cause  is  fair   and
legitimate.   The  effort  is  only  to  introduce  consequences,   if   the
litigant’s perception was incorrect, and if his cause is found  to  be,  not
fair and legitimate, he must pay for the same.  In the  present  setting  of
the adjudicatory process, a litigant, no matter  how  irresponsible  he  is,
suffers no consequences.  Every litigant, therefore likes to take a  chance,
even when counsel’s advice is otherwise.



153.  Does the concerned litigant realize, that the litigant  on  the  other
side has had to defend himself, from Court to Court, and has  had  to  incur
expenses towards such defence?  And there are some  litigants  who  continue
to pursue senseless and ill-considered claims,  to  somehow  or  the  other,
defeat the process of law.  The present case, is a classic  illustration  of
what we wish to express.  Herein the regulating authority has had to  suffer
litigation from Court to Court, incurring public  expense  in  its  defence,
against  frivolous   litigation.    Every   order   was   consistently   and
systematically disobeyed.  Every order  passed  by  the  SEBI  was  assailed
before the next higher authority, and then before this Court.   Even  though
High Courts have no jurisdiction, in respect  of  issues  regulated  by  the
SEBI Act, some matters were  taken  to  the  High  Court  of  Judicature  at
Allahabad (before its Lucknow Bench).   Every  such  endeavour  resulted  in
failure, and was also sometimes, accompanied with  strictures.   Even  after
the matter had concluded, after the controversy had attained  finality,  the
judicial process  is  still  being  abused,  for  close  to  two  years.   A
conscious effort on the part of the legislature in this behalf, would  serve
several purposes.  It  would,  besides  everything  else,  reduce  frivolous
litigation.  When the litigating party understands, that it  would  have  to
compensate  the  party  which  succeeds,  unnecessary  litigation  will   be
substantially reduced.    At the end of  the  day,  Court  time  lost  is  a
direct loss to the nation.  It is about time, that  the  legislature  should
evolve ways and means to curtail this  unmindful  activity.   We  are  sure,
that an eventual determination, one way or the other, would be in  the  best
interest of this country, as also, its countrymen.


                                       …………………………….J.
                                        (K.S. Radhakrishnan)



                                        …………………………….J.
                                            (Jagdish Singh Khehar)

New Delhi;
May 6, 2014.
-----------------------
|    |                                      |Rupees      |
|    |                                      |(In Crores) |
|1.  |SICCL                                 |2479.00     |
|2.  |Sahara Q Shop                         |2411.90     |

|    |                                      |Rupees      |
|    |                                      |(In Crores) |
|1.  |SICCL                                 |2479.00     |
|2.  |Sahara Q Shop                         |2411.90     |


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