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Sahara asks staffers to pay Rs 1 lakh each to bail out Subrata Roy

In a unique attempt to meet the Supreme Court’s preconditions for Sahara chief Subrata Roy’s release, the group’s employees were on Friday asked to contribute Rs 1 lakh or more for a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore required for their boss’s release from Tihar jail.

The company hasn’t directly sought this contribution but appealed through a new subsidiary, Saharayan e-Multipurpose Society Ltd, which has released a request letter to the employees and their “well wishers” to contribute towards a “high-dividend paying” scheme. The money collected through this scheme, it has been proposed, would be used to bail out Roy.

In a one-page appeal to all employees of the Sahara India Pariwar, the society’s divisional director has requested contributions of “Rs 1 lakh, Rs 2 lakh, Rs 3 lakh or even more as per their wish and capacity”. It is, however, not binding upon employees to contribute.

The letter, a copy of which is with TOI, has the society’s directors explaining to employees that the company is hard put to garner the cash amount at such short notice.

Since there’s an embargo on the sale of assets and bank accounts of the entire Sahara Group have been frozen by SEBI, the company is now in need of “new money” to pay to SEBI.

A senior company official told TOI that the letter was circulated among employees, but denied any role of the management in this. “The letter has not been issued from Saharasri-ji or from the management and is only an emotional initiative from people in reaction to the prevailing situation. As Saharasri has built this organisation as a family, lots of such letters are coming from all over the country. Hope this unique sentiment for the chief guardian of our Pariwar would be understood.”

Roy, 65, is in Tihar Jail since March 4. The Supreme Court had earlier this month proposed a conditional interim bail for Roy asking him to deposit Rs 10,000 crore, including Rs 5,000 crore in cash and Rs 5,000 crore as bank guarantee.

Sources in the company said a list was passed around on Friday asking Sahara staff to indicate the amount they could pledge towards the cause. However, several employees said they were not too sure about the contribution they could make comfortably in light of tax payments in the month of March. But they were apprehensive how the company would treat those who do not contribute.

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