In more trouble for Sahara chief Subrata Roy, the Supreme Court today ordered his arrest following his failure 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. "We issue non-bailable warrants of arrest qua Subrata Roy Sahara, alleged contemnor. He shall be arrested and produced before this Court on March 04, 2014 at 2.00 pm," a bench comprising justices KS Radhakriahnan and JS Khehar said.
It rejected Roy's plea to exempt him from personal appearance on the ground of ill-health of his 92-year-old mother who is said to be on death bed. "The arms of this court are very long. Yesterday only we had refused your plea for exemption from personal appearance. We will issue the non bailable warrant. This is the Supreme Court of the land," the bench observed when senior advocate Rama Jethmalani sought to explain the reasons for his non-appearance. He produced a medical certificate from Sahara Hospital, Lucknow, which gave the medical condition of Roy's mother and recommended that he be allowed on "humane as well as medical grounds" to be with his mother at this stage.
The bench said since it had yesterday declined to grant exemption, it did not find reason to accede to the renewal of the request made today.
Also the medical certificate issued by Sahara Hospital did not indicate the factual position to dispense with his personal presence, the court said. "This Court passed an order on February 20, 2014 directing the personal presence of the alleged contemnors and the Directors of the respondent companies today, ie on February 26, 2014 at 2.00 pm. On our directions, Ashok Roy Choudhary, Ravi Shankar Dubey and Vandana Bhargava are present in Court today. Even though Ram Jethmalani, senior counsel appearing for the alleged contemnors, made a mention yesterday, ie on February 25, 2014, before this Bench for dispensing with the personal presence of Subrata Roy Sahara, alleged contemnor, that request was specifically turned down by this Court.
"Today, when the matter is taken up, same request was made by Jethmalani by moving an application, which was supported by a medical certificate. The said medical certificate was issued by Sahara Hospital and, in our view, the factual position indicated therein does not solicit the exemption sought.
"Since, we have already declined to grant exemption from personal presence of alleged contemnor (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 qua Subrata Roy Sahara, alleged contemnor. He shall be arrested and produced before this Court on March 4, 2014 at 2.00 pm," the bench said. "The afore-mentioned Directors, who are present today, shall also remain present in Court on the next date."
Put up on March 04, 2014 at 2.00 pm," it further ordered.