A special court today set March 9, 2015, as the date for the verdict in the multi-crore accounting fraud in erstwhile Satyam Computer Services Limited (SCSL).
Citing voluminous documents of the case, Special Judge BVLN Chakravarthi, trying the case probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, said he would pronounce the judgement in the case on March nine.
“You know the volume of the case…it requires some more time (to study). You may be satisfied or not (with the outcome), but I must satisfy myself (before coming to a conclusion). Typing of the judgement itself needs 2-3 weeks,” the judge told prosecution and defence counsels.
Around 3,000 documents were marked and as many as 226 witnesses were examined during the trial that began nearly six years ago.
CBI’s Special Public Prosecutor K Surender said, “The judge set March nine as the final date for verdict in the Satyam case.”
The erstwhile Satyam Computers founder and then Chairman B Ramalinga Raju, along with his brother and its former Managing Director B Rama Raju, former Chief Financial Officer Vadlamani Srinivas and others accused were present in the court hall.
Touted as the country’s biggest accounting fraud, the scam came to light on January 7, 2009, after Ramalinga Raju allegedly confessed to manipulating his company’s account books and inflating profits over many years to the tune of several crores of rupees.
The others accused in the case are – former PwC auditors Subramani Gopalakrishnan and T Srinivas, Raju’s another brother B Suryanarayana Raju, former employees G Ramakrishna, D Venkatpathi Raju and Ch Srisailam, and Satyam’s former internal chief auditor V S Prabhakar Gupta.
Raju was arrested by the Crime Investigation Department of Andhra Pradesh Police two days later after he allegedly confessed to the fraud, along with his brother Rama Raju and others.
Raju and others were charged with offences like cheating, criminal conspiracy, forgery and breach of trust under relevant sections of IPC for inflating invoices and incomes, account falsification, faking fixed deposits, besides allegedly falsifying returns through violation of various Income Tax laws.
In February 2009, the CBI took over investigation and filed three charge sheets (on April 7, 2009, November 24, 2009 and January 7, 2010), which were later clubbed into one.
During the trial, the CBI alleged that the scam caused a loss of Rs 14,000 crore to shareholders of erstwhile Satyam, while the defence countered the charges saying the accused were not responsible for the fraud and all the documents filed by the central agency relating to the case were fabricated and not according to law.
At present, all the accused are out on bail, though the Enforcement Directorate has also filed a charge sheet against them under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
In January this year, Ramalinga Raju’s wife Nandini Raju and sons Teja Raju and Rama Raju were among 21 relatives of the ex-Satyam boss, who were convicted by a Special Court for Economic Offences here for default in Income Tax payment.
Two weeks back, Raju, Rama Raju, Vadlamani Srinivas and former director Ram Mynampati were sentenced to six months’ jail term and fined by this same court here in connection with complaints filed by Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).