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SC orders arrest of Sahara chief Subrata Roy, says ‘arms of court very long’

On Tuesday, Roy's last ditch effort to get exemption from personal appearance in the apex court was rejected.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: February 27, 2014 2:55 am
After the court's order, police may detain Roy and produce him in the court on the next date of hearing. (AP) After the court’s order, police may detain Roy and produce him in the court on the next date of hearing. (AP)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the arrest of Sahara chief Subrata Roy for his production in court on March 4 over the group’s failure to refund investors’ money.

“We issue non-bailable warrant of arrest qua Mr Subrata Roy Sahara, alleged contemnor No. 5. He shall be arrested and produced before this court on March 4, 2014 at 2 pm,” said a Bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar.

Dismissing his counsel Ram Jethmalani’s request for excusing Roy from personally appearing before the court in view of his mother’s ill health, the Bench said, “Since, we have already declined to grant exemption from personal presence of alleged contemnor No. 5 (Roy) on February 25, we find no reason to accede to the renewal of the request made today.”

It noted that the medical certificate adduced to show his mother’s health condition was issued by the Sahara Hospital in Lucknow. “In our view, the factual position indicated therein does not solicit the exemption sought,” said the Bench.

“The arms of this court are very long. We will get him here if he does not want to come on his own. If other directors can come, why can’t he? Yesterday only we had refused your plea for exemption from personal appearance.  All this is going on for last two years. We are issuing non-bailable warrant now,” it said.

Jethmalani protested, saying the court did not require Roy’s presence at all. “It is not a case where this court needs to do anything harsh against him. What is his fault? He is sitting by his mother’s bedside, holding her hands because she is dying,” he said.

He invoked Justice Robert H Jackson of the US, citing his description of the Supreme Court — “We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final.”

But the Bench told him that Roy was being called so that he gets to know “this is serious”. The Bench also ordered three other directors of the group, Ashok Roy Choudhary, Ravi Shankar Dubey and Vandana Bhargava, to be present on the next date of hearing.

The Bench asked if the Sahara Group had any other offer to make regarding refund of money to its investors. Jethmalani said his briefing counsel was not available so he was not in a position to make any statement.

Another counsel for the group, C A Sundaram, told the court that the third party companies, whose title deeds of various properties remained with Sebi, were willing to pass a resolution to make them saleable. The bench posted the matter for March 4.

Incensed over non-compliance of its orders to refund investors, the court had on February 20 summoned Roy and directors of Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd and Sahara India Housing Investment Corp Ltd. It is hearing Sebi’s contempt petitions against Sahara for its failure to refund Rs 24,000 crore to its investors.

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  1. I
    Mar 4, 2014 at 7:49 pm
    Law is law, does not matter some one is poor or become rich/ richer in a crooked way.Some people think they can make fool to Judges but they are wrong. No one can buy good judge or judges.
    1. S
      Feb 27, 2014 at 6:43 am
      I wonder why the judiciary, after giving Sahara (like it gave Unitech) such a long leash to dupe investors of their savings over many years has, on the eve of general elections, suddenly decided to tighten that leash. Why hasn’t Minister for External Affairs come to Sahara CMD's defence with his famous mantra, ‘If you lock up top businessmen, will investment come?’ as he did in the case of MD of Unitech? And why didn’t now-‘autonomous’ CBI(after a back-door chat with P. C.) give Sahara a clean as it did in the case of the wheeling-dealing lobbyist for the Tata-Unitech-Reliance trio? Is it because the CMD of Sahara (unlike the CMD of Unitech)does not share his hometown with the consuency of Minister forCommerce-turned-Minister for Law and Justice-turned-Minister for External Affairs? Is it because Sahara is funding theelections of a Congress opponent? Is it because CMD of Sahara is not on the hotline with Chief of CBI as Unitech's MD is? Is it because Sahara, unlike Unitech-Tata-Reliance ‘trilochana’, has a different lobbyist to theirs, and ‘maamajis’ and godmothers in not EVERY position of governance and justice? Or is it because Sahara Parivaar itself poses a threat to the anic CongressParivaar?From whichever angle the long-suffering aam aadmi/consumerviews the hopeless situation, his biggest enemy has always been ‘parivaars’ with foreign investment (or call them ‘nexuses’ if you will, like Vohra Committee Report does). A survey of the last few decades reveals that the welfare of these ‘parivaars’ is inversely proportionate to that of the consumer/aam aadmi’s. Grievance redressal forums and consumer courts were set up, not to deliver justice to the common man/the consumer but, rather, to frustrate his efforts and make him cave in to compromise and extortion by ‘The Family’ to enable the latter to thrive. Parivaars (across political parties) serve the interests of their family members’ alone (extending beyond India’s ss), not those of the nation or its people – as we have seen over far too many years. Let us not lose sight of that when we go to cast our votes.