The stage is set for the multi-crore Satyam fraud case to go to trial with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filing its charge
sheet against nine accused persons including the company’s former chairman B Ramalinga Raju and his two brothers Rama Raju and Suryanarayana Raju in the local CBI court on Tuesday.
The others accused in the case are former CFO Vadlamani Srinivas, PW auditors S Gopalakrishnan and Talluri Srinivas, Satyam vice president G Ramakrishna, senior finance manager D Venkatapathi Raju, and assistance finance manager Ch Srisailam.
All the nine accused have been charged with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, impersonation, forgery of valuable security, forgery for the purpose of cheating, showing forged documents as genuine, falsification of accounts and causing disappearance of evidence. The sections it invoked for this are 120-B read with 420, 419,467, 468, 471, 477-A and 201 of IPC. If proven, the charge under section 467 alone would impose a life imprisonment on the accused while the punishment for remaining charges may vary between two to seven years in jail. The chargsheet did not touch the area of diversion of funds by the Raju brothers or anyone else. “We could not come to any conclusion so far on this aspect. If we arrive at a definite conclusion in further investigations, we will file a supplementary charghsheet,” CBI DIG V V Lakshmi Narayana said.
Interestingly, the CBI left out D Gopalakrishnam Raju, the general manager of SRSR services Ltd, who had also been arrested by the CID in connection with the Satyam case, on the grounds that no incriminating evidence was found on him. Sources said he is likely to turn an approver at a later stage.
Addressing the media after submitting the chargesheet, DIG Lakshmi Narayana said as of now, this is the final chargesheet. “However, investigation by the agency is still continuing and if any new evidence comes forward, we would file the same in the form of an additional affidavit in the court under 173 (8) of the CrPC in the coming days,” the DIG said.
The CBI, which took over the investigation of this scam from the CID on February 20, 40 days after the scam broke out, is under a legal obligation to file the chargesheet before the expiry of the fast approaching statutory 90 days time limit. After taking over the case, the CBI filed its chargesheet in 45 days.
The CBI brought all the documents pertaining to the Satyam case in a closed van to the CBI court. This included a 300 page chargesheet, citation of 433 witnesses and 1,532 additional documents taking the grand total to 65,000 pages, weighing 22 tonnes in all.
“We have covered areas like forgery, fictitious invoices and the loans arranged through 327 frontal companies floated by the accused and some other areas and collected incriminating evidence against the accused,” DIG Lakshmi Narayana said at the media briefing. In its chargesheet, the premier investigating agency has reportedly mentioned that the total value of the scam far exceeded the much publicised figure of Rs 7,000 crore.
Meanwhile, the court on Tuesday allowed the CBI sleuths to collect the specimen signatures and the handwritings of the accused before a magistrate before April 9.