Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Satyam’s Raju, 2 others gets bail

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NEW DELHI: In a setback to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), erstwhile Satyam Computers Services Ltd founder-chairman B. Ramalinga Raju, his brother B. Rama Raju and former chief financial officer V. Srinivas were granted bail by the Supreme Court in the multi-crore accounting fraud on Friday.

An apex court bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Dipak Misra said from the facts of the case and considering the totality of the circumstances, it was appropriate to grant them bail.

The case revolves around one of corporate India’s biggest frauds, with the accused facing charges of fudging company accounts and showing inflated profits.

The surfacing of the scam and consequent collapse of the company left lakhs of shareholders and others in the lurch.

The accused have been in Hyderabad’s Chanchalguda central jail since January 2009, except for a brief period when they were granted bail.

The CBI had opposed the bail to the accused saying if released, they would tamper with evidence and delay the trial.

It has also argued that they can’t claim parity with other accused granted bail. The apex court on October 12 granted bail to five other accused in the Rs.14,000 crore Satyam case.

The former Satyam employees granted bail are V.S. Prabhakar Gupta, G. Ramakrishna, D. Venkatpathi Raju and Ch Srisailam.

The fifth accused who got the bail, is the former auditor of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Subramani Gopalakrishnan.

The Raju brothers and Srinivas, along with the five other accused, had approached the apex court challenging the Aug 30 order of Andhra Pradesh High Court which had rejected their bail pleas.

The Supreme Court had on Oct 26 last year cancelled the bail granted to Raju and others by Andhra Pradesh High Court in August However, it granted liberty to the accused to move for fresh bail after July 31 this year if the trial was not complete.

The apex court also directed the trial court in Hyderabad to conclude its proceedings by July 2011.

As the court could not complete the trial, the accused had moved the high court for the bail.

The 56-year-old Ramalinga Raju has been in jail since January 2009 year when he admitted to the fraud, which has shocked the corporate India.

While resigning as chairman of the firm, he confessed on Jan 7, 2009 that company cooked its books resulting in an “inflated (non-existent) cash and bank balances” over several years.Two days later he surrendered before the police.

The CBI had booked 10 persons, including Ramalinga Raju. His other brother, B. Suryanarayana Raju, who is neither a director nor an employee of the IT firm, had secured anticipatory bail.

PWC auditor Talluri Srinivas was released on bail by the Supreme Court last year. (IANS)

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