Much-awaited verdict in Satyam fraud case likely today

| Monday, March 9, 2015 - 09:05
First Published |

Hyderabad: A special court is, today, slated to pronounce in Hyderabad the much-awaited judgement in the multi-crore accounting fraud in erstwhile Satyam Computer Services Limited (SCSL).

During the last hearing on December 23, 2014, Special Judge BVLN Chakravarthi, while citing voluminous documents of the case, had said he would pronounce the verdict on March 9.

Around 3,000 documents were marked and 226 witnesses examined during the trial that began nearly six years back.

The case was probed by the CBI.

Touted as the country's biggest accounting fraud, the scam had come to light on January 7, 2009, after the erstwhile firm's founder and then Chairman B Ramalinga Raju allegedly confessed to manipulating his company's account books and inflating profits over many years to the tune of several crores of rupees.

He was arrested by Andhra Pradesh Police's Crime Investigation Department two days later, after he allegedly confessed to the fraud.

Besides Raju, the nine others accused in the case are - his brother and Satyam's former managing director B Rama Raju, former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas, former PwC auditors Subramani Gopalakrishnan and T Srinivas, Raju's another brother B Suryanarayana Raju, former employees G Ramakrishna, D Venkatpathi Raju and Ch Srisailam and Satyam's former internal chief auditor VS Prabhakar Gupta.

Raju and others were charged with offences like cheating, criminal conspiracy, forgery and breach of trust under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code, for inflating invoices and incomes, account falsification, faking fixed deposits, besides allegedly falsifying returns through violation of various Income Tax laws.

At present, all the accused are out on bail.

In February 2009, the CBI took over the investigation and filed three charge sheets (on April 7, 2009, November 24, 2009 and January 7, 2010), which were later clubbed into one.

During the trial, the CBI alleged that the scam caused a loss of Rs. 14,000 crore to shareholders of Satyam, while the defence countered the charges saying the accused were not responsible for the fraud and all the documents filed by the central agency relating to the case were fabricated and not according to law.

The Enforcement Directorate had also filed a charge sheet against them under Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

In January last year, Ramalinga Raju's wife Nandini Raju and sons Teja Raju and Rama Raju were among 21 relatives of the ex-Satyam boss who were convicted by a Special Court for Economic Offences here for default in Income Tax payment.

On December 8 last year, Ramalinga Raju, Rama Raju, Vadlamani Srinivas and former director Ram Mynampati were sentenced to six months' jail term and fined by the Special Court for Economic Offences in connection with complaints filed by Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) for violation of various provisions of the Companies Act. 

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