Ramalinga Raju, brother to be produced in court

January 10th, 2009 - 11:44 am ICT by IANS  

Ramalinga RajuHyderabad, Jan 10 (IANS) Disgraced former chairman of Satyam Computer B. Ramalinga Raju and his brother and former company managing director B. Rama Raju will be produced before a magistrate Saturday, a day after they were arrested by the Andhra Pradesh police.The duo, arrested on charges of cheating and forgery, spent the night in the custody of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) at the state police headquarters.

A cardiologist from Care Hospital was called to examine Ramalinga Raju after midnight following a request from his lawyer S. Bharat Kumar, who claimed that the former Satyam chief was feeling chest pain.

V.S.K. Kaumudi, inspector general of police, CID, told reporters late Friday night that both the accused would be produced before the magistrate within 24 hours.

CID officials interrogated both Ramalinga Raju and his brother for over three hours to collect evidence. The CID would produce the same before the court while seeking their custody.

Legal experts said the accused were not likely to get bail at least for 14 days. Ramalinga Raju’s counsel said a bail petition would be moved after they were produced in court.

Amid high drama, Ramalinga Raju and his brother, accompanied by their lawyer, drove to the police headquarters around 10 p.m. Friday to surrender but the CID officials arrested them to show that they were taking “tough action”.

Director General of Police S.S.P. Yadav told IANS that the state police arrested Ramalinga Raju and Rama Raju on charges of “criminal breach of trust, criminal conspiracy, cheating, falsification of records and forgery”.

According to legal experts, the Rajus, if convicted, could be sentenced to 10 years in jail.

A few minutes before the Rajus surrendered to the police, CID had booked a criminal case against them in the Rs.70 billion financial fraud in the company.

Police sources said the case was registered on a complaint by a Satyam shareholder Leela Mangat. The former bank employee complained that she held 200 shares in Satyam and lost heavily due to Ramalinga Raju’s action.

Ever since Ramalinga Raju Wednesday quit as chairman while admitting massive fraud in the company, the police had been maintaining that they could arrest him only if somebody lodges a complaint.

Police officer Kaumudi said the arrest did not preclude investigations being carried out against the accused by registrar of companies and market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

SEBI Friday served summons on Ramalinga Raju and his lawyer had announced that he would appear before SEBI officials at 4 p.m. Saturday. Following the arrest, the SEBI team is now likely to question him in CID custody.

Ramalinga Raju’s lawyer told reporters that SEBI would have to seek permission from the court to interrogate him.

The SEBI team has been conducting the probe into the fraud since Thursday. It checked the books of accounts at Satyam offices here.

Meanwhile, police sources said the CID might also arrest Vadlamani Srinivas, who resigned as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Thursday. The whereabouts of Srinivas were not known.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had ordered a probe by CID Wednesday to “look at the criminal angle into the entire episode”.

The CID stepped up investigations following criticism by opposition parties that the Congress government was soft towards Ramalinga Raju.

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