|Indian tycoon Subrata Roy called a “thief’’
A protester who splattered the boss of India's Sahara group Subrata Roy with black ink also called him a “thief’’ today as the tycoon arrived at the Supreme Court for a hearing over delays in repaying billions of dollars to small investors.
The shirtless protester attacked Roy, whose face was blackened with the ink, as he reached the top court in New Delhi following his arrest on Friday.
As guards whisked away Roy, the protester yelled “thief.'' A group of lawyers and Sahara supporters then beat him up, as police dragged him away, an AFP photographer said.
Roy “wilfully submitted himself'' to police on Friday, two days after the court ordered his arrest over delays in repaying billions of dollars collected from rural savers through illegal bond sales.
The court issued the order after Roy's lawyers said he could not appear in person at a hearing last week because his elderly mother was ill, frustrating the judges and further delaying the 18-month-old case.
Sahara, a famous name in India through its former sponsorship of the Indian national cricket team, raised about 200 billion rupees (US$3.2 billion) from millions of savers in a process judged by authorities in 2012 to be against the law.
Sahara maintains that the company was only helping small investors outside the banking system and that it has never defaulted on them.
The Sahara empire extends from a stake in a Formula 1 racing team to a sprawling Indian luxury township, the iconic New York Plaza Hotel and Grosvenor Hotel in London.
Roy's lawyers last week asked the court to withdraw the arrest warrant but the request was turned down and the case was listed for hearing today.