Satyam Computers Raju brothers sentenced to 7 years in jail, fined Rs. 5.5 crore


April 9, 2015

Former chairman of Satyam Computers B. Ramalinga Raju and nine other accused in the Satyam Computers scandal have been awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment and imposed varying amounts of fine by a Special Court in Hyderabad on Thursday.

April 9, 2015

Former chairman of Satyam Computers B. Ramalinga Raju and nine other accused in the Satyam Computers scandal have been awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment and imposed varying amounts of fine by a Special Court in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Former Satyam Computers chairman B Ramalinga Raju arrives for the final hearing at Nampally Criminal Courts in Hyderabad on Thursday. Photo: Nagara Gopal

All the 10 accused in the multi-crore Satyam Computers account fraud, were found guilty by the judge B.V.L.N. Chakravarthy.

Ramalinga Raju and his brother Rama Raju, former managing director, have been penalized Rs.5.5 crore each, while the eight other accused were asked to pay a penalty of Rs.50 lakh each. The two Raju brothers faced charges under Section 409 of IPC (criminal breach of trust by merchant and agent), a provision which attracted the maximum punishment.

In addition, Ramalinga Raju faced charges under Sections 120-B read with 420 IPC. He was also convicted under Sections 409, 467, 468, 471, 477-A and 201 of IPC. The sentence under the various charges will run concurrently.

He has already served jail sentence in the case from January 10, 2009 to August 19, 2010. He was freed on bail by the High Court in Hyderabad in August 2010. Following the cancellation of the bail by the Supreme Court, he was again lodged in jail from November 10, 2010 to November 5, 2011.

Along with Mr. Ramalinga Raju, nine others – B. Rama Raju, Srinivas Vadlamani (former Chief Financial officer), S. Gopalakrishnan and Taluri Srinivas (partners Price Waterhouse), B. Suryanarayana Raju, Prabhakar Gupta (internal auditor), G. Ramakrishna (Head, Finance), D. Laxmipathy and Venkatpathi Raju were found guilty in the scam under sections 120 B read with Section 420.

External auditors Gopalakrishnan and Talluri Srinivas and Ramakrishna were also convicted under section 419 (impersonation).

B. Ramalinga Raju, V. Srinivas, S. Gopalakrishnan Talluri Srinivas, G. Ramakrishna, senior manager (Finance) D. Venkatapathy Raju, assistant manager (finance), Ch. Srisailam were convicted under sections 467, 468 (forgery), 471 (using forged documents as genuine) and 472-A (fudging of accounts).

B. Ramalinga Raju, B. Rama Raju, V. Srinivas, Gopalakrishnan, Talluri Srinivas, Suryanarayana Raju and G. Ramakrishna Rau were also convicted under section 201 (destruction of evidence).

Mr. Ramalinga Raju and B. Rama Raju, were also found guilty under additional section 409 (Criminal breach of trust).

The quantum of sentence would be pronounced in the afternoon after further arguments. After the verdict, the Judge heard the accused individually.

It may be mentioned here that the scam broke out following the confessional statement by Ramalinga Raju on January 7 of 2009. Initially, the investigation was handled by the Crime Investigation Department of the State Government which effected the initial arrest of the accused.

The case was transferred to the CBI within a couple of months. The agency constituted a multi-disciplinary investigation team with financial and other experts and filed three charge sheets. It also sent letters rogatory to six countries seeking information on company transactions.

The Satyam Computers Services Case, over which arguments are going on in a Special Session Court here, has been a long-drawn affair, where in 226 prosecution witnesses were examined, 3,137 documents marked as material exhibits. The CBI filed three chargesheets, in the case which was one of the biggest corporate frauds in India having international ramifications.

It was a complicated case involving digital evidence, computer forensic techniques, audit procedures, accounting standards, revenue records, source codes and computer network blogs.

The former chairman Ramalinga Raju had admitted in the trial that the cash and bank balances were inflated to the tune of Rs.5,040 crore and liability was suppressed to the tune of Rs.1,230 crore and debtor position was overstated.

The Supreme Court while dealing with the bail petition of an accused Talluri Srinivas, a partner in Pricewater House, directed commencement of the trial as soon as the first chargesheet was filed in April 2009.

Special Court constituted

The CBI requested the State Government to designate an exclusive court for speedy trial. The State Government issued orders constituting the Special Court in November 2009 and three months later the present magistrate BVLN Chakravarthy started presiding over it.

The trial commenced on November 8, 2010 on a day-to-day basis.

Ramalinga Raju, was in judicial custody from January 10, 2009 to August 19, 2010, when he was released on bail. He was again taken into judicial custody on November 10, 2010 and continued in the jail up to November 5, 2011, when he was released on bail for the second time. He continued to attend court away from jail.

Ramalinga Raju underwent treatment for Hepatitis C while in judicial custody.

Ramalinga Raju's letter-bomb on unsuspecting investors, employees and the government confessing to a Rs.7,136-crore fraud committed by him and his close circle of relatives and employees at the company took all by surprise. The revelation sent shockwaves across the market and Satyam shareholders lost more than Rs.14,000 crore collectively as the market — rightly — took the share to the cleaners.

Courtesy: The Hindu