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Subrata leaves for Delhi by car

- SAHARA CHIEF TO BE PRODUCED BEFORE APEX COURT TODAY
The Kukrail forest guesthouse where Subrata Roy spent three nights after his arrest. (PTI)

Lucknow, March 3: Subrata Roy left for New Delhi this afternoon in a convoy of five vehicles, having spent three nights under arrest in a forest guesthouse.

The Sahara India Pariwar chief is expected to be produced before the Supreme Court by 2pm tomorrow.

The top court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him on February 26 for his repeated failure to appear before it in a contempt case. He was subsequently arrested and produced before the Lucknow chief judicial magistrate’s court that remanded him in police custody.

The convoy of three private cars escorted by two police vans left Kukrail forest guesthouse at 1.50pm, with Roy in one of the private cars. He met several politicians, friends and relatives before leaving the city.

Sources said the police couldn’t make up their minds whether to take Roy to Delhi by air or road. Apparently, they had initially decided to take him by air for security reasons. His friends and family members had also been worried whether the 65-year-old would be able to take the strain of a 500km drive.

But the police, which had come under glare over the “VIP treatment” Roy was given at the guesthouse and the constant flow of visitors allowed to meet him, finally dropped the idea and decided to take him by car.

Subrata Roy

Habibul Hasan, the superintendent of police, Trans Gomti, said: “We decided to send him by land without compromising on his security. A police team will escort him. He will be produced in the Supreme Court in the afternoon of March 4.”

Hasan, however, refused to divulge the route.

But a police source said: “The direct route is via Kanpur, Etawah, Ferozabad and Agra. The police may take one break in the journey that may be covered in eight hours. Roy may take rest in Noida tonight before appearing in the court tomorrow.”

He said Roy’s son Smanto was travelling with the convoy in a separate car.

Among the people who called on Roy before he left Kukrail were Congress leader Ammar Rizvi and BJP leader Janvijay Singh. Samajwadi Party MLA Mahendra Yadav could not meet him because of lack of time.

The police said there was no need for a separate transit remand to produce Roy in the top court, so no application was filed in court today.

Public prosecutor M.N. Yadav confirmed that the police had the authority to produce Roy on the strength of the remand order passed by the chief judicial magistrate, Anand Kumar Yadav, on February 28.