The special court trying the Satyam scam cases here Wednesday clubbed three chargesheets filed by the CBI in the multi-crore accounting scam.
Pronouncing the order reserved last week, the court ruled that it would treat all the three chargesheets against disgraced former chairman of Satyam Computers Ramalinga Raju and nine others as one case.
The order has come as a jolt to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which had argued that the chargesheets pertaining to the main crime and Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) and income tax violations cannot be clubbed together and should be tried separately.
Magistrate B.V.L.N. Chakravarti ruled that clubbing the three chargesheets would reduce the burden on the public exchequer. He observed that if the cases are tried separately it may be difficult for witnesses to appear before the court repeatedly.
Raju’s counsel had argued that all the cases mentioned in three chargesheets by the CBI are inter-related and cannot be separated.
The court is scheduled to pronounce orders June 25 on CBI’s plea to examine Raju through video-conferencing.
The first two chargesheets filed by the CBI pertain to the Rs.14,000 crore scam and the third is about the irregularities Raju and the other nine accused committed in respect of income tax payments which caused a loss of Rs.126 crore to the company.
The CBI wanted the court to club the first two chargesheets into one case and the income tax case as a separate case so that the trial in the main case can commence at the earliest.
With the court ruling to club all the chargesheets, CBI may have to wait for the restatement of accounts in the now Mahindra Satyam company for the trial.
Ramalinga Raju had confessed accounting fraud in the IT major in January last year. The other accused include his brother Rama Raju and former chief financial officer V. Srinivas.
The CBI, which took up investigations in February last year, has already told the court that the scam is of over Rs.14,000 crore and not Rs.7,800 crore as confessed by Ramalinga Raju.