Apex court says no to Raju’s plea on surrender

New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday declined to entertain applications by former Satyam Computers Services Limited (SCSL) chairman B. Ramalinga Raju and five others seeking four weeks’ time to surrender in a multi-crore rupee accounts-fudging scam.

Ramalinga Raju is a prime accused in the scam. He, along with his brother B. Rama Raju and four others, was accused of fudging the company’s accounts to inflate its balance sheet.

On Tuesday, the apex court also rejected the applications filed by Rama Raju and four others seeking more time to surrender.

The four others are Vadlamani Srinivas, G. Ramakrishna, D. Venkatapathy Raju and Chetkuru Srisailam.

The apex court bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Deepak Verma declined to entertain the applications as senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi pleaded before the court for an extension of the deadline by four weeks.

The court by its order of Oct 26, cancelled the bail of Ramalinga Raju, Rama Raju and four others and had directed them to surrender before the authorities on or before Nov 10.

On Tuesday, the applicants’ counsel Rohatgi told the court that the trial in the case started Monday and Ramalinga Raju and others required four weeks’ time to assist their counsel during the trial.

Ramalinga Raju’s application said that he was discharged from hospital Oct 2 and needed some time to recover.

While Ramalinga Raju took health as a ground for seeking four more weeks to surrender, the other five applicants said that since they were the sole bread earners for their families they needed to make arrangements for their dependents.

The apex court cancelled the bail of Ramalinga Raju and five others on an appeal by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) challenging an Andhra Pradesh High Court’s order granting them bail.

Ramalinga Raju was granted bail by the high court Aug 18. The five others were granted bail by the high court July 20.

The apex court by its Oct 26 order directed the trial court to complete the trial by July 31, 2011.

It further said that in case the trial was not completed by July 31, 2011, Ramalinga Raju and other accused would be at liberty to approach the high court for the grant of bail.

Ramalinga Raju shocked the corporate India by admitting to a Rs.7,800-crore accounting fraud in the IT major.

While resigning as chairman of the firm in January 2009, he confessed that the company cooked its books resulting in ‘inflated (non-existent) cash and bank balances’ over several years.

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