Police team at Subrata Roy’s residence in Lucknow on Thursday. Picture by Naeem Ansari
Feb. 27: Uttar Pradesh police today returned empty-handed from the residence of Subrata Roy in Lucknow even as the Sahara boss tendered an “unconditional apology” to the Supreme Court for his non-appearance in a contempt case and sought the recall of the non-bailable warrant issued against him.
Roy assured the apex court that he would appear before it on March 4.
“We searched every possible place inside his house complex but could not find him,” an Uttar Pradesh police officer who had gone to arrest Roy from his sprawling Sahara Shahar residence said.
The UP police team had arrived at Roy’s house at 4.15pm and left at 5.45pm.
Superintendent of police (Trans-Gomti area) Habibul Hasan, who led the team, said, “The search will continue for taking Roy in custody and produce before Supreme Court on March 4.”
Roy’s Sahara Shahar residence is spread across seventy acres beside the Gomti river in Lucknow. The complex has air strips, lake, auditorium and a palatial house of the Roys.
Sources close to the Sahara chief said his application before the Supreme Court stated that he had the “highest respect and regard” for the courts in the country and firmly believed “in upholding the majesty of the law”.
Sources indicated that Roy might make a mention of his application through senior counsel Ram Jethmalani or A. Sundaram, both of whom are appearing for the Sahara chief.
In case the mention is made tomorrow the court can recall the arrest warrant by an interim order. The second option is the court can list the application for further hearing on Monday or any other day for consideration. The last option is that the court may outright reject his prayer and ask the cops to effect his arrest, which, however, is an unlikely scenario.
The court had passed the order while dealing with the company’s refusal to refund Rs 20,000 crore investors money despite its specific directions.
At Sahara Shahar, a massive white building, the front gate has a reception centre where the visitors names get registered and purpose of visit recorded before they are let in. But cars from outside are not allowed inside. They need to be parked outside .
Today, 10 police officials arrived at Roy’s house in two police vans and a jeep. While four officials went inside, six stood guard outside.
Informed about the Supreme Court’s non-bailable warrant, they were quickly let in by the reception team.
It was not clear if Roy was inside then.