India's highest court has agreed to release the boss of troubled Sahara Group Subrata Roy from custody, provided his company deposits 100bn rupees in cash and bank guarantees with regulators.
The Supreme Court said Roy would be granted interim bail once Sahara deposits 50bn rupees ($832m, £503m, €603m) in cash with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and provide bank guarantees for another 50bn rupees.
Sahara's lawyers asked the court to give the group access to some of its bank accounts, which have been seized by authorities, and expect a decision at a hearing on 27 March, Keshav Mohan, one of the lawyers representing Sahara, told Reuters. He refused to comment further.
Roy, whose company began accepting daily deposits of as little as 30 cents in 1978 and went on to build an $11bn business empire, is fighting allegations that his group failed to abide by a court order to repay 240bn rupees ($3.9bn) to depositors.
Roy, 65, has been held in a Delhi jail since 4 March but has not been charged with a crime.
He surrendered to police on 28 February after the court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant two days earlier for failing to heed its summons.
Roy, who calls himself "Sahara Sri", operates within the $670bn shadow-banking industry, which refers to the provision of capital by loans or investments between companies outwith the formal banking system. It includes hedge funds, private-equity funds and insurance companies.
Sahara is the owner of properties such as London's Grosvenor House, New York's Plaza Hotel, and at least 120 companies, including television stations, a hospital, a dairy farm and retail shops selling everything from detergents to diamonds, alongside a stake in India's lone Formula One racing team.
Sahara also claims to own 14,600 hectares (36,000 acres) of land, an area slightly bigger than the city of Cambridge.
Roy is often described in media reports as a billionaire, although he claims to only have assets worth about 50 million rupees ($831,600).