Satyam's Raju gets bail after 32 months

Satyam's Raju gets bail after 32 months

Satyam's Raju gets bail after 32 months

Directing Ramalinga Raju, his brother B Rama Raju and Satyam former CFO Vadlamani Srinivas to co-operate with the ongoing trial in the Satyam scam in the CBI-designated court in Hyderabad, the apex court granted bail to them on a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh each.

In all, Ramalinga Raju has been in jail as an undertrial for two years and eight months, including his 11-month-stay (from September 2009 to August, 2010) in Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences for his Hepatitis C treatment. He had obtained bail on health grounds from the Andhra Pradesh High Court, which was cancelled within a month by the Su­preme Court, following a CBI petition. He has been in the Chanchalguda jail since then.

The apex court had also directed the investigative agency to complete the probe by July 2011. Although the prosecution has completed its examination of witnesses, the defence is yet to begin its cross examination.

Opposing the bail petition of Raju last month, the CBI informed the Supreme Court that the delay in trial was due to the strike by judicial staff and advocates in support of the Telangana agitation.

It had even suggested shifting the trial venue from the civil courts complex to a government complex in the city to expedite trial, before the Telangana agitation was suspended in late October.

The Satyam founder and former chairman resigned in January 2009 from the company after confessing to the country’s biggest financial fraud to the tune of Rs 7,500 crore, and disclosing other massive financial irregularities, including fudging of the balance sheet to display profits and earn good market rating for the company scrip. Raju has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (breach of trust), 420 (cheating), and 468 and 471 (forgery). Raju has not attended court proceedings since trial started in September 2009 and his testimony was taken through a questionnaire served on him in hospital. He had retracted his confession, labelling all charges levelled by the CBI as false.

Ramalinga Raju and his brother Rama Raju were arrested by the Andhra Pradesh police on January 9, 2010. Nine other accused, including top company officials and auditors, were also arrested in the case.

Raju, 54,  faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment along with a fine, which may extend to Rs 25 crore in the financial fraud after confessing to diverting Satyam funds to two family-run firms – Maytas Properties and Maytas Infrastructure.

 Satyam Computers, India’s fourth largest software exporter, got a new owner - Tech Mahindra, the IT arm of auto major Mahindra and Mahindra, in April 2009. The entity has been renamed Mahindra Satyam and in its re-statement of accounts for three years from the period it took over the company, it has reported a mismanagement of nearly Rs 3,000 crore under various heads, including a faked head count of nearly 10,000 software engineers.