The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Sahara chief Subrata Roy for his failure in appearing before it in connection with the case in which his two companies have been directed to refund `20,000 crore to investors.
“We had already declined on Tuesday Roy’s plea seeking exemption from personal appearance. He has not appeared even on Wednesday and we are issuing non-bailable warrant with the direction to the Delhi Police that he be arrested and produced before us on March 4,” a Bench comprising Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice J S Khehar said.
At the beginning of the hearing, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Roy, informed the court that he has been unable to appear because of his 95-year-old mother’s ill health. The court responded: “The arms of this court are very long. This is the Supreme Court of the land.”
“On Tuesday, we told you that we are not inclined to exempt him from personal appearance. If other directors can appear, why can’t you,” the Bench said.
In an application, Roy said, “If there is any doubt about what I have said about the condition of my mother, the court may send someone to my place in Lucknow and the truth will be revealed. Nothing is more than mother.”
Jethmalani sought to explain Roy’s non-appearance by saying that he was sitting beside his ailing mother and holding her hand. He produced a medical certificate from Sahara Hospital, Lucknow, which recommended that he be allowed on ‘humane as well as on medical grounds’ to be with his mother at this stage. However, the court declined the request and said: “For the past two years we granted exemption from personal appearance.”
According to legal experts, the police would have to formally arrest Roy or ask him to appear before the court. He can come on his own and ask for cancellation of the warrant or he can move an application through his lawyers that he would be appearing before the court.
The court, on February 20, came down heavily on the Sahara Group for not refunding `20,000 crore to investors despite its order and summoned Roy, Ravi Shankar Dubey, Ashok Roy Choudhary and Vandana Bhargava, directors of its firms.