Supreme Court cancels bail of Raju, five others (Second Lead)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NEW DELHI/HYDERABAD - In a major setback to Satyam Computer Service founder B. Ramalinga Raju, the Supreme Court Tuesday cancelled his bail and that of five other accused in the multi-crore rupee accounts fudging scam.

The apex court bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Deepak Verma asked them to surrender before the trial court by Nov 8.

The other accused whose bail has been cancelled are Ramalinga Raju’s brother B. Rama Raju, former Satyam chief finan cial officer V. Srinivas and three other former employees G. Ramakrishna, Venkatapathi Raju and Srisailam.

Since the apex court has given them time till Nov 8 to surrender, the six accused are not likely to be re-arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The Supreme Court cancelled the bail on a petition of the CBI challenging the Andhra Pradesh High Court order that granted bail to the six accused in the Rs.14,000-crore accounting fraud.

The apex court held that the high court order of granting bail cannot be sustained as the case involved the biggest scam in the history of India, which had affected a large number of shareholders, banks and financial institutions.

The court also directed the trial court in Hyderabad to conclude its proceedings by July 2011.

The Supreme Court order came a little over two months after the Andhra Pradesh High Court granted bail to Ramalinga Raju and a day after the special court decided to begin the trial Nov 2.

Raju, who spent 19 months in jail, was granted bail by the high court Aug 18 on the ground that other accused were also granted bail.

At that time Raju was undergoing treatment in Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad for Hepatitis C infection. He had been avoiding court appearance since November last year, delaying the commencement of the trial.

Raju, 56, has been in jail since January last year — when he admitted to the fraud.

Raju shocked the corporate India by admitting to a Rs.7,800-crore accounting fraud in the IT major. While resigning as chairman of the firm, he confessed Jan 7 that the company cooked its books resulting in “inflated (non-existent) cash and bank balances” over several years.

Two days later, he surrendered before the police and since then he has been lodged in Chanchalguda central jail in Hyderabad.

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

The Andhra Pradesh High Court July 20 granted bail to five accused, including 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 Raju’s another brother, B. Suryanarayana Raju, had obtained anticipatory bail last year.

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