Satyam trials to begin in 3-4 weeks

Satyam trials to begin in 3-4 weeks

Hyderabad: Trials in the multi-crore accounting fraud at Satyam Computer Services Ltd, once the country’s fourth largest software exporter, will begin in three-four weeks, an official of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said.

A designated CBI court meanwhile posted the hearing on framing of charges against B. Ramalinaga Raju, former chairman and founder of Satyam, and nine others accused in the case to 9 December. It also extended judicial remand for all the accused in the case to the same date.

The CBI official said a special court was being readied with a magistrate and supporting staff in the premises of the metropolitan magistrate court at Nampally, Hyderabad.

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“CBI is ready for the trials in the case and expects the trial to begin in the next three-four weeks," he said on condition of anonymity.

On Tuesday, CBI, India’s premier investigation agency, said in fresh charges that it had found evidence of an additional Rs4,739 crore fraud in the Satyam case. This was on top of the Rs7,136 crore in misstated accounts Raju had confessed to in January, and takes the total extent of the fraud to Rs11,875 crore.

The new evidence dragged the stock down 11% the following day, but it bounced back on Thursday on the back of assurances by Satyam’s new management on improving performance and the arrest of client attrition. Satyam shares climbed 2.43% to close at Rs92.75 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday, on a day the benchmark Sensex index fell by 344 points, or 2%, to 16,854.93.

After spending nearly three months in hospital after he complained of chest pain, Raju was on Thursday discharged from the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences and shifted back to jail. He underwent an angioplasty on 15 September and was then being treated for a liver ailment.

CBI opposed further hospitalization for Raju while responding in court to a petition filed by Raju’s wife Nandini, who offered to bear the treatment expenses and sought his further stay in the hospital. The court has reserved its orders on the issue for Friday.

Graphics by Yogesh Kumar / Mint

PTI contributed to this story.