Satyam Raju's fate hangs in balance

CBI special court to deliver its verdict on December 23

Satyam Raju's fate hangs in balance

The fate of Satyam Computer Services Limited (SCSL) founder B Ramalinga Raju, his brother Rama Raju and eight others hangs in balance as the Economic Offences court here has convicted him for violation of various provisions of the Companies Act.

The anxiety is expected to continue till the CBI special court here delivers its verdict on December 23 in another case where the charges framed by the CBI attract punishment ranging from three years to life imprisonment. The CBI has charged Raju and others with offences ranging from falsification of records, cheating, criminal conspiracy, forgery and causing disappearance of evidence.

Apart from the Raju brothers, those charged by the CBI include Vadlamani Srinivas, former auditors S Gopalakrishna and T Srinivas and former employees of the SCSL, Suryanarayana Raju, G Ramakrishna, D Venkatapathy Raju and Ch Srisailam. However, the CBI has not charged former independent directors of the SCSL.

Monday’s verdict is in relation with seven cases filed by SFIO against Raju and his former colleagues. Of these, they were convicted in six cases and acquitted in one. The charges leveled against the accused included fudging of balance sheet, accounts and payment of dividends. One of the accused, G Jayaraman, was not convicted as his offence had been compounded before the Company Law Board earlier.

Apart from the CBI and SFIO, cases Raju is also being tried in cases filed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and Enforcement Directorate (ED). The Sebi case is being heard in the economic offences court while the special court is conducting the trial of the ED case.

“All the 10 accused have served about 18 months in prison already as undertrials in the CBI case, we have to wait till the CBI court delivers its verdict in the main case on December 23 to see whether Raju can escape jail term or not,” a senior professor at the Nalsar Law University said.

“As the Economic Offences Court has said that the jail terms will run concurrently, the quantum of punishment is only 6 months of jail and a fine of Rs 10 lakh each,” he added. The former chief financial officer of Satyam, Vadlamani Srinivas, and former chief executive officer Ram Mynampati were also sentenced to six months imprisonment, beside a fine of Rs 10 lakh each.

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