Hyderabad: The high court in Hyderabad refused to entertain the appeal petition of B. Ramalinga Raju, main perpetrator of the financial fraud at erstwhile Satyam Computer Services Ltd, and asked him to approach the sessions court, which had earlier refused to entertain the appeals of Raju and nine others.
High court judge T. Sunil Chowdary on Thursday ruled that the special court which convicted Raju and others to seven years rigorous imprisonment was a metropolitan magistrate court, and an appeal has to be filed before the next highest court, which is the metropolitan sessions court.
The sessions court on 20 April returned the appeal petitions of the Satyam case convicts citing that it did not have the jurisdiction to hear the trial court’s verdict, and asked them to approach the high court. Adhering to the sessions court’s instructions, Raju and others moved the high court on 23 April.
Chowdary, however, concluded on Thursday that the special court that delivered the judgement in Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case was a magistrate court, and therefore the sessions court had jurisdiction over the 9 April verdict.
Raju’s lawyers said they would now file an appeal petition before the sessions court. “The moment we get the (high court) order copy, we will file an appeal in the MSJ (Metropolitan Sessions Judge) court," Ramakrishna Raju, one of Raju’s counsels said.
Raju will challenge the 9 April judgement, and seek suspension of the sentence and fine imposed by the sessions court.
Apart from the seven years in jail, the 10 guilty have been asked to pay fines ranging from ₹ 27 lakh to ₹ 5.5 crore for perpetrating corporate India’s biggest accounting scandal to the tune of ₹ 7,136 crore. All are serving time in a central prison on Hyderabad’s outskirts.
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.