HYDERABAD: The Special Economic Offences Wing (SEOW) Court in Hyderabad on Monday convicted former chairman of erstwhile Satyam Computer Services Limited B Ramalinga Raju, accused of one of the most sensational corporate frauds in the country, his brother Rama Raju and others and sentenced them to six months imprisonment in connection with complaints filed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) belonging to the Union Corporate Affairs Ministry.
In all, SFIO had filed seven complaints against Satyam Computer Services Limited (SCSL) and its then directors for alleged violations under different sections of the Companies Act in the Special Court for Economic Offences here in Dec2009. Another case regarding the CBI probe in Satyam scam is pending before a Special Court in Hyderabad for judgment on Dec 23.
Raju and some of the company’s directors were sentenced to six months imprisonment and each of them were fined amounts ranging from `10,000 to `5 lakh while in other complaints only fines were imposed on the convicted. The court directed one of the former directors Krishna G Palepu to pay fine of a whopping `2.66 crore in complaint number 394/2009 within two months.
It is learnt that the court has also imposed a fine of ` 20,000 each on all the former independent directors of Satyam -- Vinod K Dham, Krishna G Palepu, TR Prasad, BS Raju, Mangalam Srinivasan and Mendu Ramamohan Rao.
“Out of the seven complaints, the accused, including Raju and others, were convicted in six complaints with jail terms and fines while in one complaint where the offence is punishable with fine they were granted acquittal. The sentences will run concurrently,” company special prosecutor C Raghu said.
Raju is currently out on bail. Monday’s court order was suspended to enable the accused file appeals.
According to the SFIO, the accused did not adhere to the procedures contemplated under provisions of the Companies Act and thereby violated the provisions and hence the agency filed seven complaints against them.
All the accused were given one month’s time to appeal against the verdict.
Meanwhile, the six-year-old case, which came to light on January 7, 2009, when its founder Ramalinga Raju confessed to manipulating his company’s account books, is touted as the biggest accounting fraud in the country. Raju reportedly confessed that he inflated profits of the company over many years to the tune of several crores of rupees.
Apart from Raju brothers , those charged by the CBI included Vadlamani Srinivas, former PWC auditors S Gopalakrishna and T Srinivas and former employees of the company Suryanarayana Raju, G Ramakrishna, D Venkatapathy Raju and Ch Srisailam. Satyam Computer Services Ltd subsequently merged with Tech Mahindra.