Ramalinga Raju, others sent to CBI custody (Lead)

March 9th, 2009 - 8:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, March 9 (IANS) A city court Monday sent disgraced Satyam chairman B. Ramalinga Raju and four others to seven-day custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The court allowed CBI to take custody of Ramalinga Raju, his brother and former managing director B. Rama Raju, former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas and sacked Pricewaterhouse partners S. Gopalakrishnan and Talluri Srinivas.

Pronouncing the orders, the Fourteenth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S. Samuel Victor Emmanuel directed CBI to question the accused between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the presence of their lawyers.

CBI will interrogate the accused for the first time after taking up investigations into the Rs.78 billion (7,800 crore) scam in the IT firm. Earlier, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Andhra Pradesh police was probing the scam.

CBI’s 16-member multi-disciplinary investigation team (MDIT), headed by the agency’s Deputy Inspector General V.V. Lakshmi Narayana is likely to quiz the accused at state-owned Dilkusha Guest House (provided by Andhra Pradesh government), which is serving as the camp office of the MDIT.

“MDIT team has been divided into subgroups to look into the different aspects of the whole scam such as fraud aspect, fudging of accounts, forgery and bank share transactions, role of front companies and acquisition of assets, siphoning of funds and technical team to collect the digital evidence,” a CBI statement said.

The teams have already started field investigations at different locations both inside and outside Hyderabad city. Several documents have been collected and several witnesses have been examined. All the documents collected by the CID have been taken over.

The court Monday also dismissed the bail petition of former auditors of Pricewaterhouse. This is the third time that their bail plea has been dismissed by the court. The magistrate posted to March 18 the hearing on the bail petition of Vadlamani Srinivas.

CBI has already filed a case against the accused under sections 120-B (Criminal Conspiracy), 409 (Criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (forging documents including electronic) and 477A (falsification of accounts) of the Indian Penal Code.

Ramalinga Raju Jan 7 confessed that he had cooked the company’s account books and inflated profits over the past several years.

The company founder and his brother Rama Raju were arrested by the CID Jan 9. Former chief financial officer Vadlamani was picked up the following day.

The three along with two former auditors from Pricewaterhouse are currently lodged in Chanchalguda central jail in Hyderabad.

The court had Saturday extended their judicial custody till March 20.

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