Hyderabad: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) says it suspects B. Ramalinga Raju, the jailed founder of Satyam Computer Services Ltd, who is now in hospital on treatment for a liver ailment, may be influencing witnesses in the case.
CBI counsel B. Ravindranath on Wednesday submitted to a fast-track court details of some 250 people who had visited Raju in the hospital over the past 100 days. He said most of the visitors have claimed to be Raju’s advocates while signing in the hospital register.
Ravindranath pointed out the court had permitted only Raju’s wife and son to meet him in the hospital, where he has been since November.
New allegation: A file photo of Ramalinga Raju coming out of Nampally criminal court in Hyderabad after a hearing. Bharath Sai/Mint
He asked why Raju was not appearing before the special court despite repeated summons if he was fit enough to meet many visitors.
“The CBI suspects that Raju is intentionally avoiding appearance in the special court to delay the trial and meanwhile try influencing the witnesses through visitors,” said Ravindranath.
The special court judge has now directed authorities of Chanchalguda jail, where Raju was held in judicial custody after his arrest last January, to furnish details of the visitors to his room in the hospital.
The Supreme Court had on 15 March denied bail to Raju on the grounds that he could influence witnesses. A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan had said, “When serious crimes are committed, people are bound to be in jail.”
The Supreme Court had said Raju could not be released until the main witnesses were examined. The trial court has to examine 671 witnesses and 160,000 documents.
Raju’s counsel, S. Bharath Kumar, did not respond to repeated calls and text messages left on his mobile phone seeking comments on CBI’s submission in the special court.
In January 2009, Raju had admitted to a Rs7,136 crore accounting fraud at Satyam. The company has changed hands since. It is now controlled by Tech Mahindra Ltd, a unit of the Mahindra group, and is known as Mahindra Satyam Ltd.