Satyam’s Rajus sent back to jail till Jan 31

Thursday, January 22, 2009

HYDERABAD - Satyam Computer Services founder B. Ramalinga Raju, his brother B. Rama Raju and former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas were Friday sent back to jail for one more week by a court here, which also heard that the elder Raju had bought land not only in India but in other countries also.

An unshaven Ramalinga Raju and Srinivas were present in the court of Sixth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D. Ramakrishna to hear extension of their judicial custody till Jan 31.

Ramalinga Raju and Srinivas said ‘no’ when Ramakrishna asked them whether police harassed/troubled them during custody, which ended Friday.

The Raju brothers and Srinivas were handed over to the police Jan 18 till Jan 22 in the first instance. The police custody of Ramalinga Raju and Srinivas was extended till Friday 4 p.m. as Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (CID) wanted to grill them further while Rama Raju was sent back to jail.

The Raju brothers were arrested Jan 9, two days after Ramalinga Raju’s startling admission of a Rs.70-billion (Rs.7,000-crore) financial fraud, the country’s biggest corporate scam. Srinivas was picked up two days later.

Earlier Ramakrishna deferred hearing on the bail pleas of Raju and Srinivas to Jan 27 and that of Rama Raju, who was the fraud-hit company’s managing director, to Jan 28.

On Friday the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) filed an application, seeking permission to record the statement of Ramalinga Raju.

Following objection by Raju’s lawyer on technical grounds (that the plea has been filed invoking rules irrelevant to the present case), SFIO counsel P. Ravindra Reddy told the court that a fresh appeal will be filed.

Lawyers for the CID told the magistrate that information about Ramalinga Raju buying land in foreign countries was given by Gopalakrishna Raju, former general manager of SRSR Advisory Services, floated by the Raju family.

Gopalakrishna Raju has also been arrested. Ramalinga Raju set up SRSR to manage his family stake in Satyam Computer Services.

The court was also informed that BNP Paribas, one of the bankers of Satyam, had told the CID that it did not have any fixed deposits of Satyam.

‘There has been no transaction with the bank since March 31, 2004,’ the prosecutors quoted BNP as having informed the CID.

They opposed granting bail to the Raju brothers and Srinivas as, they feared, they might tamper with evidence.

‘The crime is not an ordinary one. It can attract life imprisonment,’ the prosecutors said.

Lawyers for Ramalinga Raju and Srinivas argued that there was no way that the two can tamper with evidence as all documents were the CID.

Filed under: India, Satyam

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