Supreme Court orders arrest of Sahara chief

Supreme Court orders arrest of Sahara chief

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered arrest of Sahara chief Subrata Roy in connection with non-refund of Rs 20,000 crore to investors, after he failed to appear before the court. The court directed that he be produced before it on March 4.

A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar issued non-bailable warrant against Roy, refusing to allow his plea for exemption from appearance on the ground that his 92-year-old mother was ill.

The bench said despite a similar request being declined on Tuesday, Roy chose not to respond to summons issued by the apex court, while three other directors of his companies were present.

“The arms of this court are very long. We can reach him. Yesterday (on Tuesday) only we had refused your plea for exemption from personal appearance. We will issue the non-bailable warrant. If other directors are here, why is he not here? This is the Supreme Court of the land,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for the Sahara chief, made an emotional appeal, saying his mother was dying and Roy was required to take care of her.

“I don’t doubt the power of the court. But he was required to hold the head of his mother in his hands. She is dying. I don’t think the court is required to take any harsh step,” he said.

The court was, however, not inclined to show any leniency. It also noted that the medical certificate was issued by a Sahara hospital and the factual position mentioned was not sufficient to allow his request.

“Since we have already declined to grant exemption from personal presence of alleged contemnor no 5 (Roy) on February 25, 2014, we find no reason to accede to the renewal of the request made today. Accordingly, we issue non-bailable warrants of arrest of Subrata Roy Sahara. He shall be arrested and produced before this court on March 4, 2014, at 2 pm,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi said that other directors of Sahara, Ashok Roy Choudhary, Ravi Shankar Dubey and Vandana Bhargava, were present in the court.

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