NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: In more trouble for Sahara chief Subrata Roy, the Supreme Court on Wednesday 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 2pm," 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 declined to grant exemption on Tuesday, it did not find reason to accede to the renewal of the request made on Wednesday.
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, i.e. on February 26, 2014 at 2pm," the court said.
"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, i.e. 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," the court added.
The bench further said, "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 2pm."
"The aforementioned directors, who are present today, shall also remain present in Court on the next date. Put up on March 04, 2014 at 2pm," it further ordered.
Sahara Group listed firms' stocks end in red
Shares of two listed entities of Sahara Group ended in negative zone on Wednesday after Supreme Court issued non bailable arrest warrant against group chief Subrata Roy for his failure to appear before it.
The share prices of these two listed entities, Sahara One Media & Entertainment and Sahara Housingfina Corporation, fell amid minuscule trading volumes and the total number of shares traded in one of the stock was just 10.
Shares of Sahara Housingfina plunged by 3.61 per cent to settle at Rs 38.70 apiece on the BSE. In the intra-day trade, the company had breached the lower circuit level at Rs 38.15.
Besides, shares of Sahara One Media & Entertainment slumped by as much as 1.59 per cent to close at Rs 61.95 apiece on the BSE.
On volume front, as many as 692 shares of Sahara Housingfina were traded on the exchange, while 10 Sahara One Media & Entertainment shares got changed hands on the bourse.
At the end of Wednesday's trade, the market capitalisation of Sahara Housingfina stood at Rs 27 crore, while that of Sahara One Media & Entertainment media was at Rs 133 crore.
The arrest warrant was issued against Roy in connection with the case in which his two companies — Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd and Sahara India Housing Investment Corp Ltd — have been directed to refund Rs 20,000 crore to investors.