Hyderabad: A special court conducting the trial of the accused in the accounting fraud at erstwhile Satyam Computer Services Ltd on Tuesday postponed a verdict.
Additional chief metropolitan magistrate B.V.L.N. Chakravarthi said he would announce the judgement on 9 March.
Chakravarthi cited voluminous documentation in the case as a reason for postponing the date. “You must understand that I am a one-man army,” he said. “Typing (a verdict) itself takes three weeks.”
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had accused former Satyam chairman B. Ramalinga Raju of inflating revenues, fabricating invoices, falsifying accounts and income-tax returns, and faking fixed deposit (FD) receipts in collaboration with some of his key executives, to paint a rosy picture of the company’s financials to deceive the public.
The investigating agency has estimated that the actions of Raju along with the other accused—brothers B. Rama Raju (then managing director of Satyam) and B. Suryanarayana Raju, and some former executives who include former chief financial officer Srinivas Vadlamani, former chief internal auditor V.S. Prabhakar Gupta, G. Ramakrishna, D. Venkatapathi Raju and Ch. Srisailam—caused a loss of Rs.14,000 crore to Satyam shareholders.
Once the poster boy of the Indian outsourcing industry, Raju confessed to fudging Satyam’s accounts to the tune of Rs.7,136 crore in January 2009, a statement he disowned during the trial. A total of 216 witnesses and 3,038 documents were examined during the hearing of the case.
Earlier in December, an economic offences court handed Raju and three others—Rama Raju, Srinivas Vadlamani and former whole-time director Ram Mynampati—a six-month imprisonment and a total fine of Rs.10.5 lakh in six cases filed by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO).
Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) barred four former Satyam executives—Ramalinga Raju, Rama Raju, Srinivas and Gupta—from the capital markets for 14 years, and ordered them to pay Rs.1,848.93 crore with 12% interest from 2009 (totalling about Rs.2,958.29 crore) for pocketing wrongful gains in share transactions. The accused have challenged the Sebi order.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also filed a chargesheet against 213 people including Raju and 166 firms, including Satyam Computer, under different provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, and seized properties belonging to them.
Satyam Computer, which plunged into a crisis following Raju’s confession, has been nursed back to health by its new owner Tech Mahindra Ltd, which purchased the scandal-ridden firm in 2009 in a government-overseen auction. Tech Mahindra merged Satyam Computer with itself in June 2013.