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Subrata Roy to be in police custody till March 4

Last updated on: February 28, 2014 19:32 IST

Subrata Roy to be in police custody till March 4

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Over seven hours after he was arrested, Sahara Chief Subrata Roy was produced in a court in Lucknow which directed the UP police to keep him in custody till March 4 when he will be produced before 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.
The 65-year-old Roy pleaded that he be allowed to stay at his home but said he would go by the court's decision.

In a day-long drama, Roy, who was evading arrest for two days, was taken into custody after he "surrendered" at his sprawling Sahara Sahar this morning.

Amid high security, Roy was taken to the court from Sahara Sahar by Uttar Pradesh police after 5 PM. His convoy exited from the rear gate giving a slip to the large number of mediapersons who had been camping at the front gate since morning.

Police force and Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel were deployed at the main gate of the Sahara Sahar. Roy was taken in a convoy of luxury vehicles with tinted windows. 

Amid high security, Subrata Roy was taken to a Lucknow court from Sahara Sahar by Uttar Pradesh police this evening, several hours after he "surrendered" and was arrested at his home.

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Video: Subrata Roy's son clarifies that his father wilfully surrendered to the police 


Image: Sahara group chief Subrata Roy
Photographs: Reuters

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His convoy exited at about 5.15 p.m. from the rear gate to give a slip to the large number of mediapersons who had been camping there since morning.

There was heavy deployment of police force and Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel at the main gate of the Sahara Sahar.

Roy is said to have been taken in a convoy of three to four vehicles with tinted windows to the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Lucknow.

Subrata Roy was arrested in Lucknow on Friday, after evading for two days a non-bailable warrant issued by the Supreme Court for his failure to appear before it in a case of non-refund of Rs 20,000 crore (Rs 200 billion) to investors.

Capping a day of dramatic developments, 65-year old Roy surrendered before police this morning after calling them to Sahara Shaher.

"Roy has been arrested and will be produced in court later today," SP Trans-Gomti Habibul Hasan said. 

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court declined to hear Sahara chief Subrata Roy's plea for recall of the non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued by it against him in a contempt case. Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani told a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice K S Radhakrishnan that Roy is in police custody in Lucknow and pleaded for recall of NBW issued on February 26.

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Image: Subrata Roy.
Photographs: Reuters

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He submitted that the special bench, which is hearing the case, should take up the application today itself. But, his plea was turned down as the judge said it is not possible for the special bench to assemble today. Justice Radhakrishnan, who sat with Justice Vikramajit Sen, however, said that it is not possible for the special bench to assemble today.

The day started with Subrata Roy issuing a signed two-page statement, claiming he was not absconding and was ready to "unconditionally follow" Supreme Court's direction.

Minutes after his arrest in Lucknow, son Seemanto addressed a hurriedly called press conference in Delhi and said his father was cooperating with the authorities and he had wilfully submitted before the police.

There were initially conflicting reports with speculation that Roy could himself be present at the press meet in Delhi. A team of Delhi police at the hotel venue added to the suspense. Another report said that he may still be in Lucknow.

Seemanto also said that arrest would not impact the business of the group, which claims to have a networth of over Rs 68,000 crore with lakhs of employees. 

Roy tried to explain his non-appearance before the apex court on the ground that he had gone out of Sahara Shaher to consult a panel of doctors and also to meet a lawyer.

The police had gone to his home yesterday to arrest him but failed to find him there.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Sahara Group

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Roy also appealed to the Supreme Court to allow him to be with his 92-year-old "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 had asked the police to arrest him and present before the court on March 4.

Moving the apex court yesterday, Roy had admitted that he had "erred" by his non-appearance under a bonafide belief that the court will permit him exemption from personal appearance for one day.

"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 in today's statement.

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.

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Image: Subrata Roy
Photographs: Courtesy, Sahara Group

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The court had on February 20 come down heavily on the Sahara group for not refunding Rs 20,000 crore of investors money despite its order and had summoned Roy, Ravi Shankar Dubey, Ashok Roy Choudhary and Vandana Bhargava, directors of

its firms Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIREC) and Sahara India Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHIC) to be personally present before it.

Reacting to the developments, share prices of two listed group firms -- Sahara One Media and Sahara Housingfina Corp -- also fell in the stock market.

Subrata Roy's son Seemanto, who along with his brother Sushanto holds key positions in the group, however maintained that the arrest of his father would not impact the business empire.

"Since he is the father of over 12 lakh people, I have so many brothers and sisters... It won't impact anything," he said.

Seemanto also said that his father was "not at all" evading arrest and had gone out to consult doctors and lawyers when police team had gone to his home yesterday to execute non-bailable warrant.

"This has been interpreted by media and everyone that he has evaded arrest. That is not the fact," he said when asked whether Sahara chief was trying to evade arrest. 

He said that Subrata Roy was hoping for a short relief from the Supreme Court, but he decided to wilfully submit before the police this morning after the "agony" he suffered from reports about him being absconding.

Seemanto said that Sahara chief had come to Delhi on February 24 to appear before the Supreme Court on February 26.

"He is very attached to his mother and had to go back to Lucknow due to her illness. He had only sought exemption only for a day from personal appearance before the Supreme Court. But he was not granted a short relief," Seemanto said.

"The condition of mother continues to remain fragile and he was hoping for a relief from Supreme Court," he said while trying to explain the delay in his submission before police.


Image: Subrata Roy
Photographs: Courtesy, Sahara Group

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