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Subrata Roy's police custody is more like 'house arrest'

February 28, 2014 21:42 IST

Subrata Roy's police custody is more like 'house arrest'

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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow

Lucknow police might be claiming to have arrested Sahara group chief Subrata Roy early Friday morning, but fact remains that he had managed to stick to the confines of his opulent 150-acre private residential estate in the state capital’s posh Gomati Nagar until the evening.

The team of policemen which reached Sahara Shahar (Roy’s private estate) around 9 am, remained holed up there until 5 pm when Roy was whisked away to the court of chief judicial magistrate.

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Image: The Sahara group chairman Subrata Roy (C) is escorted by police to a court in the northern Indian city of Lucknow.
Photographs: Reuters

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CJM Anand Kumar eventually conceded the police plea for Roy’s ‘custody’. That entitles the police to decide the place where Roy could be kept until he was produced before the Supreme Court on March 4.

And considering the Sahara chief’s clout with the presently ruling Samajwadi Party dispensation, it would be no surprise if the police continues the said “custody” in Sahara’s own luxurious estate like he did on Friday.

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Image: Subrata Roy.
Photographs: Courtesy, Sahara Group

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Interestingly, soon after the cops stepped inside the heavily guarded residential estate in the morning, superintendent of police Habibul Hasan declared, “we have arrested Subrata Roy”, even as the Sahara chief’s son Seemanto claimed  around the same time in Delhi, “my father has surrendered before the police in Lucknow.”

With the estate doors completely shut to the media, no one knew what was going on inside the high walls of Roy’s sprawling estate.

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Image: Subrata Roy
Photographs: Reuters

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While it was officially stated that Roy was in ‘police custody’, it was jokingly said by those who were witness to the day-long drama that actually it was “police in Sahara custody.”

According to a senior advocate practicing at the High Court in Lucknow, “there was no reason for the police to delay producing Subrata Roy before the chief judicial magistrate.”

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Image: Subrata Roy
Photographs: Pawan Kumar/Reuters

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He said, “everybody knows that jail does not accept entry of any accused after 5 pm , so what was the logic behind holding him back.”

Even until 7.30 pm it was not clear as to where Roy was going to be kept in ‘police custody’. He was stated to be still inside the CJM’s chamber.


Image: Subrata Roy.
Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Roy , CJM

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