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Sahara chief to remain in police custody

Top court says Subrata Roy will remain in custody until further order in case over non-refund of investors' money.

Last updated: 04 Mar 2014 14:00
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A lawyer threw ink on Subrata Roy as he arrived at the court [Reuters]

The head of India's Sahara conglomerate will remain in custody until a further order from India's Supreme Court, three lawyers involved in the matter have said, after a hearing in a case over the refund of money to investors in an outlawed bond scheme.

Subrata Roy was arrested on Friday after failing to appear at a Supreme Court hearing related to the multi-billion-dollar Sahara investment scheme that was later ruled to be illegal.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Sahara to come up with a concrete plan to refund investors, said the lawyers, who
declined to be named ahead of the official court order.

The court did not immediately say when it will next hear the case, they said.

Meanwhile, public anger against Roy has been growing as millions of poor Indians lost their life savings after investing in the bonds. Ahead of Roy's appearance in court on Tuesday, a lawyer threw ink on him as he arrived at the Supreme Court.

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"Subrata Roy is a thief. He has cheated and robbed us," the lawyer, identified by Indian television channels as Manoj Sharma, shouted as he flung the ink at Roy's face.

Police detained Sharma and led him away.

Roy's Sahara conglomerate is well known throughout India because it co-owns a Formula One team and sponsored the Indian cricket team until recently.

Sahara has vast real estate holdings and interests in microfinance, media and entertainment companies and hotels, including the Plaza Hotel in New York and London's Grosvenor House. The company says its net worth is $11bn.

India's securities regulator has accused Roy's group of raising nearly $3.2bn (200bn rupees) through bonds that were later found to be illegal. Sahara India says its liability was much less and it already has repaid many investors directly.

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Source:
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