With ink on face, Subrata Roy apologises to Supreme Court, sent to Tihar jail

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 5 2014, 15:17pm hrs
Subrata Roy SaharaSubrata Roy, chairman of Sahara India Pariwar, with his face smeared with ink thrown by a lawyer, walks into the Supreme Court. (AP)
When Sahara group chief Subrata Roy came to the Supreme Court today in his trademark white shirt and black half-waistcoat, it was drama to the hilt with a man throwing black ink on his face, catching the gathered policemen by surprise and shocking the mediamen, lawyers and his own employees.

Subrata Roy has been sent to Tihar jail by Supreme Court after the proceedings came to an end for the day.

In Pictures: Man attacks Subrata Roy in Supreme Court

Amid unprecedented chaos and commotion, 65-year-old Subrata Roy came to appear before the court in a white Bolero police vehicle and told the waiting media, "I promise that I will meet you all after coming out".

Soon, a man calling himself "Manoj Sharma, lawyer from Gwalior", managed to get through the melee and throw black ink on Subrata Roy's face. he then proceeded to remove his own shirt and started shouting that "he (Subrata Roy) is a thief and has stolen money from poor".

Immediately, Subrata Roy was escorted inside the court premises while Manoj Sharma was thrashed by lawyers and others present before being taken away by the police to Tilak Marg station.

Subrata Roy, who was taken in police custody from his home in Lucknow on Friday, was brought here as per orders of the apex court, which had issued a non-bailable warrant against him and had asked him to be presented at 2 pm today.

The chief of Sahara group, which claims to have a total net worth of over Rs 68,000 crore and a total asset base of over Rs 1.5 lakh crore, has faced the ire of Supreme Court after he failed to appear before it on February 26 as per orders.

It took about 15-20 minutes for Supreme Court entry passes to be made for clean-shaven Roy, who was seen wearing a black tie with Sahara logo and sporting double-shade glasses.

It was a first-of-its-kind incident for Subrata Roy, who has been in controversy for quite some time due to this long-running dispute between Sahara group and Sebi, which has found "various illegalities" in raising funds to the tune of over Rs 24,000 crore by two Sahara firms.

In an order dated August 31, 2012, the Supreme Court had ordered refund of this money to about three crore investors through Sebi. Later in December 2012, the group was asked to make the refund in three installments.

Sahara group deposited the first intallment of Rs 5,120 crore with Sebi, but said the remaining amount was already returned to investors directly -- a claim contested by market regulator Sebi.

Earlier in April 2013, Subrata Roy was also summoned to appear personally before Sebi. After that appearance the flamboyant chief of the diversified group famously said he had spent close to one hour at the regulator's office and was not offered even a cup of tea.

There were earlier reports that Subrata Roy was being brought to Delhi in a Mercedes, but he came out of a Bolero police vehicle outside Supreme Court, where journalists, lawyers and his own group employees had gathered in large numbers.

On social networking site Twitter also, his name was among the top-trending topics and people were seen chatting about the ink incident and other matters related to Sebi-Sahara case.

Manoj Sharma, who threw ink, once hurled a shoe at Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi while he had also got a fake death certificate made in the name of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2005-06 to prove high level of corruption.

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