Satyam officials issued notices as CBI drags case

September 19th, 2011 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Ramalinga Raju New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday issued notices to the founder chairman of the erstwhile Satyam Computers B. Ramalinga Raju and five others on a CBI plea, seeking an extension of two months for completion of trial in the accounting fraud involving the company.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also sought the modification of the apex court direction of Oct 26, 2010, which permitted Ramalinga Raju, his brother B. Rama Raju and four other former officials of the company to move the court for bail in case the trial did not end by July 31, 2011.

Along with Ramalinga Raju, the court notices were issued to Rama Raju and four former officials of Satyam Computers.

The apex court bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Deepak Verma directed the tagging of the CBI application along with the plea by four former Satyam officials who filed bail pleas Friday. The court has already issued notice to the CBI on their pleas.

The court gave two weeks’ time to Raju brothers and the other four to respond on the CBI plea for extension of time for the completion of the trial. The extension of time would have a bearing on their plea for bail.

As Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval, appearing for the probe agency, sought more time for the completion of the trial, Justice Bhandari said: “Your list of witnesses is too long. Obviously, it will take time (for the trial) to complete. Prune your list.”

Raval told the court that in pursuance of the orders of the apex court to examine “only the material witnesses”, the investigating agency had dropped 440 witnesses out of 666 cited in three charge sheets.

The court was told that 211 witnesses have already been examined and cross-examined and the prosecution has examined the 15 investigating officers.

The court was also told that to an extent it was the defence which contributed to the delay.

Raval also told the court that for 16 days the trial court could not function as lawyers boycotted courts on different occasions on account of the agitation for creating a Telangana state.

Besides Ramalingam Raju and Rama Raju, others who have been issued notice on the CBI plea are the erstwhile company’s former vice president G. Ramakrishna, former senior manager D. Venkatpathy Raju, former assistant manager C.S. Srisailam, and former head of the company’s internal audit V.S.P. Gupta.

The Satyam Computer Services Ltd. accounts fudging case is one of India’s biggest corporate scams. The Supreme Court Oct 26, 2010, directed a Hyderabad-based court to hold trial on day-to-day basis and complete it on or before July 31, 2011.

The court said that if the trial did not end by July 31, the accused would be at liberty to approach the Andhra Pradesh High Court for bail.

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