Did Sebi have a personal axe to grind in pulling down Subrata Roy?

Posted on by Rohan Desai
 
  

Subrata Roy, incarcerated for almost two years without much evidence, did what most cornered people do — write a book and leave it at that — because beseeching about his innocence and complaining about injustice has had no serious effect on the law of the land. The Sahara chief was arrested because it was declared he was in contempt of court. The maximum punishment for the same is 6 months. So why does the man continue to languish in jail without substantial proof? Sebi, in its vengeful pursuit of a self-made man, might have gone overboard; its concerted attack on Mr. Roy reeks of something motivated.

Life mantras

Till date, for inexplicable reasons, Sebi has failed to return even a single dime to the Sahara investors who allegedly claimed were cheated. Is Sebi beyond reproach? But that’s for the law to pursue… Life Mantras, Roy’s maiden venture, couldn’t have come at a more suitable time. Written from behind bars, the book is a synopsis of lessons in life; lessons that make and break. The book is basically a reflection of the hours spent in solitude, times that afforded Roy the luxury to take stock of life — what went wrong.

Life Mantras has had mixed reactions. Some call it a strategy to deflect from the main issue, while others consider it to be honest admissions. In a poll conducted nationwide, 56% people believe Subrata Roy is a victim of Sebi’s high-handedness. The regulatory body’s relentless pursuit smacks of issues beyond justice. The Supreme Court can no longer rely on one-sided point of view.

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Kapil Dev (left) and group CEO of Sahara Media Upendra Rai (right) releasing ‘Life Mantra’.

Close to 69% people agreed that Life Mantras has affected their opinion on the protracted case. Is it really fair to view Roy from Sebi’s prism? The sensible thing is to hold our judgment till it officially comes. Reputations can be shredded in a day and Mr. Roy has had two years in the spot. What if the verdict is contrary to popular opinion? Will Sebi do reputation management for Sahara?

The book details Roy’s tryst with the most trying time of his life. Isolation, continual moments of uncertainty, depression, and the inability to fulfill courts order of submitting Rs 10,000 crore from behind the bars has hardly brought Roy to his knees. Rather, it has emboldened him to swim against the tide and believe that in the end, it will all work out.

But will it? Sebi needs to prove Sahara’s guilt before people of India run out of patience. We have heard the regulatory body speak aggressively forever, but have not had a single case of an investor’s complain. Sebi wants us to believe that India’s largest conglomerate has duped us. We would like to wait and watch.

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