The Sahara group Chairman Subrata Roy (centre) is escorted by police to a court in Lucknow yesterday.
Lucknow: Sahara India chief Subrata Roy surrendered before police here yesterday, a day after they failed to trace him to execute a Supreme Court warrant for his arrest. He was arrested and presented before the chief judicial magistrate who sent him to police custody till March 4.
The Supreme Court earlier yesterday declined to revoke the arrest warrant.
Roy was scheduled to address a press conference at a hotel in New Delhi, but Sahara officials told police that he was willing to give himself up. He then surrendered and was arrested.
Sources said that soon after his surrender, Delhi Police sought his transit remand.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Anand Kumar later said Roy will be kept in police custody till the apex court hearing on March 4.
The Sahara chief walked into the court around 5.30pm, and his counsel V K Shahi said Roy was a law-abiding citizen and was not running away from the court.
The chief judicial magistrate, however, left it to the discretion of police to decide whether to keep Roy in his bungalow or somewhere else.
The surrender came soon after Roy released a statement to the media, saying he was not absconding.
“I am not that human being who will abscond. In fact, being a law-abiding citizen, I shall hate myself to do any such thing ever in my life,” he said.
Roy had on Thursday informed the court that his non-appearance was neither intentional nor deliberate.
The apex court on February 26 had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Roy for failing to appear before it in person as directed by the court. In its order Friday, it declined to revoke the warrant.
Roy had said he was absent since he wanted to be with his ailing mother, who is 92.
“Last evening, I had gone out of Sahara Shaher, Lucknow, to consult with a panel of doctors with certain medical reports of my mother and then I had gone to a lawyers’ house also,” he said in the statement yesterday.
“I was informed by my family members that police had come and they said something to the media and then the whole media in the country started saying I am absconding,” he said, adding: “Am I absconding? I have started hating myself.”
He said a lot of people advised him to get himself admitted to some hospital and could remain there, as was the “general practice to avoid courts” on for medical reasons. “However, I hate to do such drama.”
The Supreme Court had directed the presence of Roy and the three directors of his group firms following their failure to submit to the market regulator title deeds of some of the unencumbered properties. The directors had since surrendered.
The court order was to secure the balance of Rs19,000 crore out of Rs24,000 crore that these firms had collected through optionally fully-convertible debentures. These Sahara companies had deposited Rs5,120 crore with the regulator in December 2012.
The matter has been listed for further hearing on March 4, even as Roy requested the court to allow him to be with his mother till March 3.
The Sahara chief drove to the chief judicial magistrate court in a fleet of luxury cars.
Accompanied by lawyers, family members and Sahara officials, Roy was taken straight inside the court where the entry of journalists was barred by police.
A source said that the chief judicial magistrate lost his temper at Roy’s counsel after he came to the court at 3pm but the Sahara chief did not show up.
The court was closed yesterday and the chief judicial magistrate came owing to the urgency of the matter.
When the court later asked Roy if he had something to say, a relaxed Roy laughed and replied: “Waise to main ghar par hi rehna chahoonga (I would like to remain at home).” He said he respected the Supreme Court and was ready for anything.
Meanwhile, security at Sahara Shaher has been increased.