The court was dismissive of Mr Roy’s request for “three-four months” to sell property to raise the funds, saying he had been promising this for the last year and a half. The court also rejected Sahara’s offer of a bank guarantee for Rs. 22,000 crore, while it sells property to refund the investors, who had bought into two financial products that were later ruled to be illegal. (‘Obey orders and we’ll love your story’: Supreme Court to Subrata Roy)
Mr Roy made emotional appeals in a packed courtroom, urgng the judges, “With folded hands, I am begging you to save us. Give us time,” vowing that its “every direction” would be followed. (Who is Subrata Roy? 10-point cheat-sheet)
“Ours is a beautiful human story. If you know it you will love us,” the Sahara chief told the court, which retorted, “We will love it if you obey our orders and make the payment.” I
It ordered judicial custody for Mr Roy and two other Sahara directors till the next hearing on Tuesday, March 11.
As he arrived at the Supreme Court today, Mr Roy was sprayed with ink by a man who was beaten up by lawyers and handed over to the police. “He robs the poor,” said the ink-thrower.
Last week, the Sahara chief had skipped a court appearance, prompting an arrest warrant. (Sahara chief Subrata Roy arrested, son says as law abiding citizen he surrendered)
He turned himself in to the police in Lucknow on Friday and was kept in a forest lodge while in police custody. Yesterday, he was driven to Delhi in a Mercedes.
He apologized today for his absence in court, claiming that his reasons were genuine. His lawyers say he was attending to his ailing 92-year-old mother.
The Sahara bond schemes were outlawed in 2012 and the Supreme Court asked Sahara to refund Rs.24,000 crore plus interest to investors. Sahara says it has deposited 5120 crore of that money with market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India or Sebi, and claims to have refunded many of the investors.
Sebi says it has been unable to verify the refunds through truckloads of paper sent to it by Sahara, which today offered to deploy “hundreds of dedicated workers” to help verify the refunds.