New Delhi :  In a sudden twist in the Sahara case, Supreme Court judge Justice J S Khehar has recused himself from hearing the matter following which a new bench has been constituted.

Justice Khehar sent a letter to the Chief Justice recusing himself from hearing the matter after pronouncing the judgment by which it rejected Sahara chief Subrata Roy’s plea challenging the court’s March 4, 2014, order sending him to judicial custody.

The other judge in the case, Justice Radhakrishnan, who retired on May 14, has gone on record saying that the Bench was under immense pressure in the Sahara case. The composition of the new bench will be made public soon.

While rejecting Roy’s plea that his detention in Tihar jail was illegal,  Justice Khehar had said in his judgment that Sahara had adopted “calculated psychological offensives and mind games” to seek recusal of judges in the case.

Incidentally, Roy had sought hearing in his custody case by a larger Bench, saying that there was a “reasonable apprehension” of bias against the Sahara companies by the two-judge Bench currently hearing the case.

Addressing Roy’s contention that the court had no power to send him to judicial custody for non-compliance of its order, the apex court had said: “In exercise of contempt jurisdiction, courts have the power to enforce compliance of judicial orders, and also, the power to punish for contempt.”

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