The Sahara Group chief was produced before a Lucknow court, several hours after he “surrendered” and was arrested at his home
Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy was on Friday sent to police custody till March 4, 2014 hours after he was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police.
Mr. Roy surrendered before the police on Friday morning, two days after the Supreme Court issued a non-bailable warrant against him for failing to refund Rs. 20,000 crore to investors.
Amid high security, he was produced before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Anand Kumar Yadav who directed the police to produce him before the Supreme Court by 2 p.m. March 4.
The police had moved an application seeking his custody instead of transit remand.
Mr. Roy could be sent to jail or put under house arrest till he is produced in the Supreme Court but police did not confirm where he would be kept. He was under police custody till the report was filed. The Sahara Group chief pleaded before the court that he stay with his ailing mother at his residence but said that he would abide by the court's orders.
Mr. Roy evaded arrest for two days after the Supreme Court issued the NBW. In a statement issued earlier in the day, Mr. Roy said that he was “not absconding” and was indeed in Lucknow. “With folded hands and all humility I ask the honourable judges to leave me under house arrest with my ailing mother,” he said while accusing the media of “character assassination”.
On Thursday evening, a police team raided his sprawling Sahara Shehar residence in a bid to arrest him only to return empty handed.
Amid high drama the police searched his house for almost two hours to find his 92-year-old mother surrounded by doctors but no trace of him.
Police also searched a hospital where Mr. Roy was said to be located at the time.
Explaining his absence from his residence in a two-page statement, on Friday he said he had “gone out for some time to consult a panel of doctors” and was ready to “unconditionally follow” whatever directions issued by the Supreme Court.
Minutes after his arrest, Mr. Roy's son Seemanto addressed a press conference in Delhi where he said that his father had “willfully submitted before the police” and was “cooperating” with the authorities. “The condition of mother continues to remain fragile and he was hoping for a relief from Supreme Court.”
On Friday morning, appearing for Mr. Roy in the Supreme Court, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani told a bench headed by Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan that the Sahara Group chief was in police custody.
Mr. Jethmalani also pleaded before the court for the recalling of NBW issued by it on February 26.
He submitted that the special bench, which is hearing the case, should take up the application on Friday itself. But, his plea was turned down as the judge said it is not possible for the special bench to assemble on the day.