The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of Satyam Computer founder B Ramalinga Raju and seven others accused in the multi-crore accounting fraud at the IT outsourcing company.
The petitioners approached the HC for bail on the basis of an earlier directive issued to the Central Bureau of Investigation by the Supreme Court, which asked the investigating agency to complete the probe by July 31 this year.
However, the CBI informed the judge that a petition filed by the CBI special court seeking extension of time for launching the trial was pending before the apex court. It also stated that the probe was in the completion stage and release of the accused on bail at this juncture would hamper the trial process. The delay in completion of the probe was only on account of unavoidable reasons, it said.
After hearing both sides, Justice Samudrala Govindarajulu rejected the bail petition of Raju and the co-accused, who are now left with the only option of approaching the Supreme Court.
This is the second time Raju has approached the AP High Court for bail in recent weeks. Earlier, he knocked the doors of the high court upon rejection of his bail plea by the CBI special court. The judge asked the petitioner to first exhaust other options before coming to the high court. Later, a session’s court too refused his bail plea.
Apart from Ramalinga Raju, his brother and former managing director B Rama Raju, former CFO Vadlamani Srinivas, former employees G Ramakrishna, D Venkatapathi Raju, former PwC auditor Subramani Gopalakrishna and former internal chief auditor VS Prabhakar Gupta have been in jail ever since the CBI arrested them in January 2009.
So far, the CBI has examined over 250 of the 600 witnesses in the case and exempted the rest, mostly employees of the company, from questioning on the directions of the Supreme Court.
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Jaitley, however, cautioned things may go from bad to worse if the country gave a fractured mandate in the ensuing general elections