Satyam’s Raju brothers, former CFO in police custody for four days (Second Lead)

January 17th, 2009 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Ramalinga RajuHyderabad, Jan 17 (IANS) A court here Saturday remanded disgraced Satyam Computer Services founder B. Ramalinga Raju, his brother B. Rama Raju and the IT major’s former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas to police custody for four days.Hyderabad, Jan 17 (IANS) A court here Saturday remanded disgraced Satyam Computer Services founder B. Ramalinga Raju, his brother B. Rama Raju and the IT major’s former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas to police custody for four days.

Pronouncing the order, the sixth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D. Ramakrishna said the three accused would be in the police custody from Jan 18 to Jan 22.

The lawyers of the accused said they would challenge the order in a higher court.

The trio, currently in judicial custody and lodged in Chanchalaguda jail, will be taken into the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Andhra Pradesh Police at 10 a.m. Sunday.

The CID, probing the massive financial fraud of more than Rs.70 billion (Rs.7,000 crores/$1.43 billion), which Ramalinga Raju admitted Jan 7, had sought their custody for seven days to interrogate them further to “dig out the truth”.

After hearing the arguments of both sides Friday, the magistrate had reserved orders on the CID plea.

Ramalinga Raju and Rama Raju, who was Satyam’s managing director, were arrested Jan 9 and Srinivas the next day. All three were sent to judicial custody till Jan 23.

S. Bharat Kumar, who is acting as spokesman of the defence team of the accused, told reporters outside the court complex that the judge directed the CID to question the accused only during daytime and in the presence of their respective lawyers.

“The honorable magistrate has specifically directed the CID not to use third-degree methods (torture) during the custodial interrogation,” he said.

The court also asked CID to provide medical treatment to the accused, if necessary.

Bharat Kumar said they would challenge the orders of police custody in a higher court.

“As soon as we get a certified copy of the ruling we will move the higher court (sessions court or high court). This could be even tomorrow (Sunday). Since Sunday is a holiday for the courts, we will move the application at the house of a higher court judge,” he said.

“There is no requirement for their police custody since CID has already interrogated them and seized documents. Our arguments were not taken into consideration while passing these orders,” he said.

The market regulator Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI) also wants to grill the three accused and has moved a petition seeking a permission to do so. The court will pronounce orders on Monday.

The prosecution, however, said SEBI could not question the accused while they were in CID custody and that the market watchdog would have to seek separate permission from the court.

Meanwhile, the bail petition of all the three accused would not come up for hearing before the magistrate Monday. “The bail petition can’t be heard during CID custody of the accused and hence it may come up only on Jan 22,” said Bharat Kumar.

The court had Friday adjourned the hearing on bail petition to Monday.

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