Subrata Roy, the chief of the Sahara conglomerate, will remain in police custody till Tuesday next, when a case related to refunding investors will be heard again, the Supreme Court said today.
It was not immediately clear whether the 65-year-old businessman would be sent to jail. He has so far been held in government guest houses since his arrest four days ago.
The court has asked Sahara to spell out a "concrete policy" on how it will refund almost three million small investors in two financial products that were ruled illegal. The company's offer to sell different properties to raise funds - an offer Mr Roy made again today seeking reprieve of "three-four months" - has been rejected by the Supreme Court.
Market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India or Sebi has said that these properties are massively over-valued and that their sale will not fetch the 20,000 crores that needs to be raised to refund investors.
"With folded hands, I am begging you to save us. Give us time," Mr Roy urged the court today, vowing that its "every direction" would be followed.
"Ours is a beautiful human story. If you know it you will love us," the Sahara chief told the court, which retorted, "We will love it if you obey our orders and make the payment."
Sahara claims that it has repaid most investors and that its remaining liability is less than the 5,000 crores it has deposited with SEBI. But it has been unable to furnish adequate evidence that it has made the payments.
As he arrived at the Supreme Court today, Mr Roy was sprayed with ink by a man who was beaten up by lawyers and handed over to the police. "He robs the poor," said the ink-thrower.
Last week, the Sahara chief had skipped a court appearance, prompting an arrest warrant. He turned himself in to the police in Lucknow on Friday.
He apologized today for his absence, claiming that his reasons were genuine. His lawyers say he was attending to his ailing 92-year-old mother.