Sahara Group founder and chairperson Subrata Roy died at a hospital in Mumbai on Tuesday after a prolonged illness, the conglomerate said in a statement. He was 75 years old.
“His loss will be deeply felt by the entire Sahara India Pariwar,” the conglomerate said. “Saharasri ji [Roy] was a guiding force, a mentor and a source of inspiration for all who had the privilege to work alongside him.”
Roy died due to a cardiorespiratory arrest after an extended battle with complications arising from metastatic malignancy, hypertension and diabetes, the statement added.
He had been admitted to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute on Sunday following a decline in health.
Roy founded the business group in the late 1970s. His companies went on to operate in several sectors including financial services, media and entertainment, aviation, real estate, sports and hospitality.
He is survived by his wife Swapna Roy and two children, Sushanto Roy and Seemanto Roy.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said that Roy’s death is an emotional loss for Uttar Pradesh and the country because “along with being a very successful businessman, he was also a very sensitive person with a big heart who helped countless people and became their support”.
In 2014, the Supreme Court ordered Roy to be detained for his failure to comply with its order directing his companies Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd to return Rs 24,000 crore to investors. The money had been raised from investors by selling them bonds that were ruled illegal.
The court granted him bail in March 2014 on the condition that he should deposit Rs 10,000 crore with the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the securities market regulator. However, Roy remained in Delhi’s Tihar Jail till May 2016 as he was not able to raise the amount.
Roy was first released on parole for four weeks in May 2016. He later got interim bail.
In 2020, the securities market regulator moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to the two Sahara Group companies to pay Rs 62,602.90 crore in compliance with the court’s orders, failing which it demanded that Roy be taken into custody.
Roy and the Sahara Group were featured in a 2020 web series titled “Bad Boy Billionaires”. A Bihar court had initially restrained streaming platform Netflix from using Roy’s name in the series. The court subsequently lifted the injunction.