Sahara Chief Subrata Roy, who was arrested in Lucknow on Friday after he surrendered to police, has been sent to police custody till March 4. This comes two days after a non-bailable warrant was issued against him by the Supreme Court.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Anand Kumar Yadav directed the UP police to keep Roy in custody till 2 PM on March 4 and ensure that he is by then produced before the Supreme Court which had issued non-bailable warrant against him two days ago for his failure to appear before it in a case of non-refund of Rs 20,000 crore to investors.
Police had moved an application before the CJM seeking his custody instead of transit remand and Roy’s counsel V K Shahi also did not oppose it.
Roy pleaded that he be allowed to stay at his home but said he would go by the court’s decision.
Earlier on Friday, appearing for Roy in the Supreme Court, Ram Jethmalani told a bench headed by Justice K S Radhakrishnan that 65-year-old Roy is in police custody.
Jethmalani also pleaded to the court for recalling of NBW issued by it on February 26. He submitted that the special bench, comprising Justices Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar, which heard the case be assembled today to hear his application.
Justice Radhakrishnan, who sat with Justice Vikramajit Sen, however, said that it is not possible for the special bench to assemble today.
Subrata’s son Seemanto Roy said his father has willfully submitted himself before Lucknow police and he is cooperating with all authorities.
“We will produce Subrata Roy before local court and will proceed as per the direction of the court,” Navneet Sikera, DIG, Lucknow range stated. The police said that transit remand will be sought from the local court for taking Subrata to Delhi for producing him before the court.
Earlier in the morning, Subrata Roy said he is not absconding from arrest and is ready to “unconditionally follow” whatever direction the Supreme Court gives him today.
A day after the police visited his home in Lucknow to arrest him as per Supreme Court’s orders but failed to find him there, Roy said he is still in Lucknow and had gone out for sometime to consult “a panel of doctors”. Roy said he has “already informed police to do their duty”.
Through a statement signed by him, Roy also appealed to the Supreme Court to allow him to be with his “ailing mother under house arrest till March 3, 2014”, while adding that he was ready to reach Delhi even today, if court wants him to do so.
Issuing a non-bailable warrant against Roy, the Supreme Court on February 26 asked the police to arrest him and present before the court on March 4.
Raising an emotional pitch, Roy said he was a “law abiding citizen” and not the one who will abscond.
“Last evening I had gone out of Sahara Shahar, Lucknow, to consult with a panel of doctors with certain medical reports of my mother and then I had gone to a lawyer’s house also,” he said.
Armed with Supreme Court’s non-bailable warrant, a team of Lucknow police yesterday raided Roy’s house in ‘Sahara Shahar’ to arrest him but failed to find him there.
High drama marked the police action as a team of Gomti Nagar police station reached there to execute the warrant and conducted searches inside the residence.
Later, SHO Gomti Nagar Ajit Singh Chauhan said that Roy was not present inside the Sahara Shahar premises, while another police officer said Roy was not found at Sahara Hospital also.
Yesterday itself, Roy also tendered an “unconditional apology” to the Supreme Court for his non-appearance in a contempt case and sought recall of the non-bailable warrant issued against him.
Moving the apex court a day after it issued the non-bailable warrant to be executed by March 4, Roy had
admitted that he had “erred” by his non-appearance under a bonafide belief that the court will permit him personal exemption from appearance for one day.
In today’s statement, Roy claimed there was no direction against him by the Supreme Court in its orders dated August 31, 2012 and December 5, 2012, (with regard to depositing over Rs 24,000 crore with Sebi for refund to bondholders of two Sahara firms) and still he was “facing all this”.
Roy, whose group claims to have net worth of over Rs 68,000 crore and which has been fighting a long battle with regulator Sebi over refund of investor money, said he is also sending this letter to the judges, along with the media.
“A lot of people advised me to get admitted in some hospital and I can remain there as it is the general practice to avoid courts on medical grounds. However, I hate to do such drama,” he said.
“I have already informed police to do their duty as per direction of the Supreme Court.
“I am in Lucknow and with folded hands and with all humility I appeal to the Judges that if Court can allow me to live with my ailing mother under house arrest till March 3, 2014.
“But I leave it now on the Judges. If they call me today at Delhi, I shall reach there, or whatever direction Supreme Court shall give to me today, I shall unconditionally follow,” he added.
Roy also accused “some negative minded emotionally confined media people” for his “agony and humiliation” and said some of these journalists were “sometime back thrown out of Sahara”.
“They are bullying and indulging in character assassination of a son who is trying to perform his emotional duty towards his ailing mother.
“God forbid, if any untoward thing happens with my mother, in my absence, I shall never forget in my life those people” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)