Andhra Pradesh HC dismisses bail petitions of Satyam accused

Andhra Pradesh HC dismisses bail petitions of Satyam accused

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh high court on Tuesday dismissed bail petitions filed by Satyam Computer Services Ltd’s founder B.Ramalinga Raju and six other suspects in India’s biggest corporate fraud case and directed them to approach the lower sessions court instead.

“The high court dismissed bail petitions and asked the accused to apply for bail in the sessions court," said T Niranjan Reddy, counsel for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the high court. Bharat Kumar, Raju’s counsel, could not be reached for a comment.

The high court, however, admitted the bail plea of an eighth accused, former internal auditing head of Satyam Computer, and posted the matter for hearing on 12 August.

Raju, 56, in January 2009 confessed to misstating accounts to the tune of Rs. 7,136 crore over several years at Satyam, a Hyderabad-based computer services company that was bought in the following April by Tech Mahindra Ltd and rebranded Mahindra Satyam.

Bail was sought by the accused on grounds that the special court trying the case could not complete the trial process by a 31 July deadline set by the Supreme Court. The apex court, in October last year, while cancelling bail granted in August to Raju and five others, said the accused would be at liberty to seek bail if the trial was not completed by the deadline.

The CBI has opposed bail on grounds that the accused may attempt to influence witnesses and tamper with evidence if they were released.

The special court trying the Satyam case rejected the bail pleas of Raju and the seven other suspects last week, citing the magnitude of the case and the serious nature of offences they are accused of as well as the advanced nature of proceedings in the trial that started in June last year.

On Tuesday the high court dismissed the bail pleas of Ramalinga Raju; his brother B. Rama Raju, former managing director of Satyam Computer; Vadlmani Srinivas, former chief financial officer; Price Waterhouse auditor S. Gopalakrishnan; and former Satyam employees G Ramakrishna, D. Venkatapathi Raju and Ch Srisailam.