LUCKNOW, Feb 28 (IANS): Sahara India chief Subrata Roy surrendered before the police here Friday, a day after they failed to trace him to execute a Supreme Court warrant for his arrest. Soon thereafter, the apex court in New Delhi declined to revoke the warrant.
According to officials, Roy was scheduled to address a press conference at a hotel in New Delhi, but Sahara India Parivar officials told police officials that he was willing to give himself up. He then surrendered and was arrested.
Sources said soon after his surrender, Delhi Police sought his transit remand after which he would be presented before the Supreme Court with regard to the non-bailable warrant issued by the apex court.
Police officials said he has been arrested after his surrender and that he would be kept in police custody till March 4, the day on which he would be presented before the apex court.
So far, Roy is being kept in the Sahara estate premises where he lives and it is likely he would remain there under house arrest.
The surrender came soon after the Sahara chief released a statement to the media, saying he was not absconding and that he had already requested the law-enforcement agencies to do their duty as directed by the courts.
"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," said Roy, who had informed the court Thursday that his non-appearance was neither intentional nor deliberate.
The apex court Feb 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 six days earlier. In its order Friday, it declined to revoke the warrant.
Taking serious view of Roy's non-appearance, the apex court had said: "The arm of this court is very long. We will issue warrants. This is the Supreme Court of the land. When other directors are here, why can't he be here?"
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 Friday.
"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 also said a lot of people had 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 Rs.19,000 crore out of Rs.24,000 crore that these firms had collected through optionally fully-convertible debentures. These Sahara companies had deposited Rs.5,120 crore with the regulator in December 2012.
The matter has been listed for further hearing March 4, even as Roy requested the court to allow him to be with his mother till March 3. He also said he will follow the court orders unconditionally.
After his arrest, his son and executive director of the group, Seemanto Roy, said his father was a law-abiding citizen and had served the country.