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Andhra Pradesh High Court Monday reserved its order on the bail petition of B Ramalinga Raju, the prime accused in the multi-crore Satyam fraud case.

Justice Raja Elango reserved the order after hearing the arguments from Raju’s counsel and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Opposing the bail plea, Additional Solicitor General H P Rawal argued that if granted bail the accused could destroy evidence, especially with regard to the money diverted and sent abroad.

He told the court that long period of incarceration, delay in trial and Raju’s ailment could not be the grounds for granting the bail.

Terming the bail plea as delaying tactics, the prosecution informed the court that the trial could be completed in six months.

Stating that the accused was involved in economic terrorism and claiming that the crime caused a loss of Rs.24,000 crore to investors, Rawal contended that Raju could not claim parity with other accused granted bail by the high court and the Supreme Court.

“In this case there is higher degree of seriousness (of charges),” said Rawal and also informed the court that the prosecution would challenge even the bail granted to other accused.

Submitting a list of visitors who called on Raju undergoing treatment for Hepatitis C at government-run Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) here for nine months, the prosecution disputed the claim that he was seriously ill and hence was unable to appear before the trial court.

Stating that as a citizen he was unable to understand the case, the judge wondered why there was no hue and cry from investors if the inflating profits of the company had caused them huge losses.

Raju’s senior counsel M Natrajan said the trial might take six years and not six months as claimed by the prosecution. He said sending letters of rogatory to six countries (where the Satyam money was allegedly diverted) seeking judicial assistance alone would take two years.

He told the court that Hepatitis C was affecting Raju’s breathing, liver and heart. “He may suffer internal bleeding and a heart attack,” he said.

“But the offence committed by you has spread virus to people,” remarked the judge.

The former chairman of Satyam Computer Services Limited remains the only accused in judicial custody as courts have granted bail to the other accused in the case.

The court on July 20 had granted bail to five accused including Ramalinga Raju’s brother and former managing director of Satyam, B. Rama Raju and former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas.

The courts had earlier granted bail to three accused while Ramalinga Raju’s another brother B Surayanarayana Raju had obtained anticipatory bail last year.

Ramalinga Raju had shocked the corporate India in January last year by admitting Rs 7,800 crore accounting fraud in the IT major.

The CBI, however, told the court in November last year that the scam is of over Rs 14,000 crore.

All the accused are facing charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery and falsification of accounts.

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