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BEFORE the Supreme Court set the condition that the Sahara Group make a security deposit of Rs 10,000 crore to secure bail for its chief Subrata Roy, the conglomerate had begun collecting funds from its employees across the country.
Roy was arrested in Lucknow on February 28 and sent to judicial custody on March 4 by the Supreme Court in connection with the contempt case arising out of two of his companies failing to refund a staggering Rs 20,000 crore to investors.
On Friday, senior Sahara officials mailed employees asking them to contribute a minimum of Rs 1 lakh each to be pooled in a newly-floated ‘Sahara e-Multipurpose Society Ltd’ (SeMSL).
One mail sent Friday by a divisional director of SeMSL asks employees to contribute in excess of Rs 1 lakh.
“In the current circumstance, it is an emotional appeal to you to contribute Rs 1 lakh, Rs 2 lakh, Rs 3 lakh or more (own contributions and from well wishers) in this benefit scheme (SeMSL) and thereby show your emotional attachment with the organisation,” the mail said.
A company executive indicated that SeMSL was floated “recently”, but did not give a date. Senior officials of the group, it is learnt, have been holding meetings over the last one month to generate funds from employees.
Earlier this month, D K Srivastava, one of the shareholders of Sahara India Financial Corporation Limited, is learnt to have held a meeting with several senior officials and decided to ask employees to pool in funds “as per their capability”.
Making a case for the contribution, the mail says the Supreme Court has banned the organisation from the sale and purchase of properties and also frozen several of its bank accounts. It says that even if this ban is lifted, the organisation will not be able to get the right price for its immovable properties in the prevailing environment.
“Under this circumstance, many employees from field and office have suggested and requested that all employees would come forward to contribute in a bid to discharge their responsibilities towards the organisation,” the letter said.
On Thursday, the company had issued a statement saying the bail condition set by the Supreme Court was “unusual” and the group does not have Rs 10,000 crore to pay for Roy’s bail.