Satyam scam: Raju’s brother fails to get anticipatory bail (Lead)

February 13th, 2009 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Ramalinga RajuHyderabad, Feb 13 (IANS) B. Suryanarayana Raju, brother of Satyam Computers’ disgraced founder B. Ramalinga Raju, Friday failed to get anticipatory bail to avoid his arrest in the Rs.70-billion (Rs.7,000 crore/$1.43 billion) financial fraud in the IT major.
A city court dismissed the anticipatory bail petition moved on behalf of Suryanarayana Raju, chairman of SRSR Advisory Services, floated by Ramalinga Raju to manage the family’s stake in Satyam.

The Andhra Pradesh police are on the lookout for him as they believe he is a key player in the fraud to which Ramalinga Raju has confessed.

The police say Suryanarayana Raju is absconding. He had sought anticipatory bail from the court of Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge T. Eshwar Rao.

Opposing the plea, the prosecution told the court that Suryanarayana Raju was the “mastermind” behind the screening of the evidence and shifting of documents related to the land purchased in the name of SRSR Advisory Services and several other groups floated by his family members.

Additional public prosecutor V. Bala Buchaiah said Suryanarayana Raju had conspired and siphoned off funds of Satyam to purchase land in the names of various companies.

The court was also told that Suryanarayana Raju was outside Andhra Pradesh. It was at his instance that D. Gopalakrishnam Raju, general manager of SRSR Advisory Services, was shifting land documents when Crime Investigation Department (CID) arrested him. He was granted bail by the court Feb 6.

Ramalinga Raju, his brother B. Rama Raju, who was Satyam’s managing director, and the firm’s former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas are now in Chanchalaguda jail and have again sought bail.

Sixth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D. Ramakrishna, who earlier rejected their bail plea, Friday reserved for Feb 18 his orders on the fresh bail applications.

The magistrate also reserved for Feb 17 his order on market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) plea to interrogate Srinivas and two former auditors of Pricewaterhouse.

On Feb 16, he will rule on income tax department plea for permission to interrogate Ramalinga Raju.

Appearing for Raju brothers, Prakash Reddy pleaded for granting them bail on the ground that no purpose would be served by keeping them in custody.

“They (Raju brothers) are ready to subject themselves to the trial and will always be available for the investigations. They will not run away,” he said.

The counsel of Raju brothers also told the court that the prosecution had so far failed to prove the charge that they diverted Satyam funds to other companies.

Public prosecutor Ajay Kumar, however, opposed the bail plea saying the probe was at a crucial stage.

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