New Delhi: The Supreme Court today accepted Sahara chairman Subrata Roy's unconditional apology for not appearing in court last week in a case linked to his alleged failure to return money to over three crore small investors.
Mr Roy, who was arrested for defying court summons, said his reasons were genuine; his 92-year-old mother was unwell.
The Sahara chief faced an ink attack today as he arrived at the Supreme Court, escorted by a heavy contingent of police. Manoj Sharma, who claims to be a lawyer from Gwalior, managed to get close to Mr Roy in the chaos and splattered him with black ink, shouting "He robs the poor!" (Watch)
Sharma is believed to be the same man who attacked Suresh Kalmadi with a slipper at a Delhi court in 2011. He has been detained.
The Sahara chief was driven down from Lucknow to Delhi last night in a Mercedes escorted by police cars. (Who is Subrata Roy? 10-point cheat-sheet)
He was arrested on Friday after failing to appear at a Supreme Court hearing related to a multi-billion-dollar Sahara investment scheme that was later ruled to be illegal. (Sahara chief Subrata Roy arrested, son says as law abiding citizen he surrendered)
Sahara has vast real estate holdings and interests in media companies and hotels, including the Plaza Hotel in New York and London's Grosvenor House. The company says it has a net worth of $11 billion or Rs 68,200 crores.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) says Sahara failed to comply with a 2012 court order to repay Rs 25,000 crore to investors. Sahara says it repaid most investors and that its remaining liability was less than the 5,120 crore rupees it deposited with SEBI. (Can't handle this level of agony and humiliation: Subrata Roy in statement before arrest)
The Supreme Court had ordered Sahara to disclose the details and source of funds from which it said it repaid investors, but a lawyer for the regulator told the court in late January that Sahara had not given the details. (What may have led to Sahara chief Subrata Roy's arrest)
Sahara's core business includes selling financial products, largely to small investors in towns and rural areas. It was two such products, later ruled illegal, that drew SEBI's attention.