HYDERABAD — A special court here is slated to pronounce the much-awaited judgment in the multi-crore accounting fraud in the erstwhile Satyam Computer Services Limited (SCSL) today. During the last hearing on December 23, 2014, special judge BVLN Chakravarthi had said that he would pronounce the verdict on March 9, citing voluminous documents of the case.
Around 3,000 documents were marked and 226 witnesses examined during the trial that began nearly six years back. The case was probed by CBI. Touted as the country's biggest accounting fraud, the scam had come to light on January 7, 2009, after the erstwhile firm's founder and the then chairman B Ramalinga Raju allegedly confessed to manipulating his company's account books and inflating profits over many years to the tune of several thousand crores.
Raju was arrested by Andhra Pradesh police's Crime Investigation Department two days later, after he allegedly confessed to the fraud. Besides Raju, the nine other accused in the case are his brother and Satyam's former managing director B Rama Raju, former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas, former PwC auditors Subramani Gopalakrishnan and T Srinivas, Raju's another brother B Suryanarayana Raju, former employees G Ramakrishna, D Venkatpathi Raju and Ch Srisailam and Satyam's former internal chief auditor VS Prabhakar Gupta.
The accused were charged with offences like cheating, criminal conspiracy, forgery and breach of trust under relevant sections of IPC, for inflating invoices and incomes, account falsification, faking fixed deposits and falsifying returns through violation of various Income Tax laws. At present, all the accused are out on bail.
In February, 2009, the CBI took over the investigation and filed three charge sheets (April 7, 2009, November 24, 2009, and January 7, 2010), which were later clubbed into one. During the trial, the CBI alleged that the scam caused a loss of Rs 14,000 crore to Satyam shareholders, while the defence countered the charges saying that the accused were not responsible for the fraud and all documents filed by the central agency related to the case were fabricated and not according to law. The Enforcement Directorate had also filed a charge sheet against them under Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
In January last year, Ramalinga Raju's wife Nandini Raju and sons Teja Raju and Rama Raju were among 21 relatives of the ex-Satyam boss who were convicted by a Special Court for Economic Offences here for default in Income Tax payment.
On December 8 last year, Ramalinga Raju, Rama Raju, Vadlamani Srinivas and former director Ram Mynampati were sentenced to six months' jail and fined by the Special Court for Economic Offences in connection with complaints filed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) for violation of various provisions of the Companies Act.