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Hyderabad: A local court in Hyderabad on Monday refused to accept appeal petitions of B. Ramalinga Raju and nine others who challenged a special court verdict that convicted them in the accounting fraud at Satyam Computer Services Ltd. The court asked all 10 to approach the high court instead.

Metropolitan sessions judge T. Rajani returned the petitions of all convicts because she found them “non-maintainable," two lawyers and two court officials said.

Rajani said the sessions court did not have the mandate to hear the petition challenging the special court’s verdict. The court asked the 10 convicts to approach the high court, which, it said, has jurisdiction over the special court formed exclusively to hear cases related to Satyam fraud.

The decision marks a setback for Raju and others, who were hoping the court would set aside their jail term and fines ranging from 27 lakh to 5.5 crore.

Raju’s next course of action was not immediately known. His lawyers did not respond to phone calls or text messages on Monday.

All convicts are currently serving jail term at the Cherlapally central jail near Hyderabad after the special court sentence on 9 April. Following their sentencing, all of them had moved the sessions court.

The special court found Raju and others guilty of conspiring and cheating the company’s shareholders by overstating revenue and profit over several years, making it the country’s biggest accounting scam to the tune of 7,136 crore.

Raju has also been found guilty in two separate cases filed by Serious Fraud Investigation Office and market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India. The Enforcement Directorate, which investigates foreign exchange violations, has filed a chargesheet against Raju and 212 individuals besides 166 firms under different sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

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