Sahara top boss evades arrest, seeks SC mercy

Tags: News

Police doesn’t find him near ailing mother, still on lookout

Sahara India chief Subrata Roy on Thursday evaded arrest and moved an application in the Supreme Court, offering an unconditional apology for his non-appearance and pleading that he be exempted from arrest till March 4.

He gave an undertaking to present himself in the court on that date. The apex court on Wednesday ordered his arrest after he failed to appear before it in a contempt case arising out of non-refund of Rs 20,000 crore to investors by two of his companies.

A large contingent of the Lucknow police reached Sahara Shaher, a sprawling 270-acre complex which is home to Roy, on Thursday evening but returned empty-handed. “Roy is not here and, therefore, we could not arrest him. We will keep trying and make sure that we are able to produce him in Supreme Court on March 4, as per the directive,” said trans-Gomti superintendent of police Habibul Hasan. He declined to say if Roy could be termed as an absconder.

The police official said his team had met his ailing mother and her team of doctors, but Roy was not near her. The Sahara boss had on Wednesday told the top court that his mother was undergoing treatment for a case of coronary artery disease with major left ventricular dysfunction and he could not leave her side at that stage.

The day before, a bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar had rejected his plea exemption from personal appearance on the ground of ill-health of his 92-year-old mother.

Roy faces arrest on contempt charges for failing to refund over Rs 20,000 crore to investors after market regulator Sebi asked his company to refund the money, which it said was raised illegally.

Sahara claims Sebi has no jurisdiction over it, as it was not a listed company. The Supreme Court dismissed Sahara’s plea and asked it to pay the amount with interest.

On February 20, the court had come down heavily on the Sahara group for not refunding the money despite its order and summoned Roy and the directors of Sahara India Real Estate (SIREC) and Sahara India Housing Investment (SHIC) to be personally present before it.

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