HYDERABAD - A city court Wednesday dismissed fresh bail petitions of Satyam Computer’s disgraced founder B. Ramalinga Raju, his brother B. Rama Raju and former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas.
The court also allowed the income-tax department to interrogate Ramalinga Raju in Chanchalguda central jail Feb 21 in the Rs.70 billion (Rs.7,000-crore) accounting fraud at the IT services firm.
The three are in judicial custody since early January. Raju was arrested Jan 9, two days after he confessed to the country’s biggest corporate scam. His brother and former managing director was also arrested the same day. Srinivas was picked up a day later.
Sixth additional chief metropolitan magistrate D. Ramakrishna also allowed market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to quiz Srinivas Friday and two former auditors of Pricewaterhouse - S. Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri - a day earlier.
All the five accused are lodged in Chanchalguda central jail, with their judicial custody ending Feb 21.
Public prosecutor Ajay Kumar told reporters outside the Nampally court complex that the magistrate had dismissed fresh bail petitions of the Raju brothers and Srinivas.
After hearing arguments of both sides Feb 13, the court had reserved its orders.
During the arguments, the prosecution had told the court that investigations were at a crucial stage and that if the accused were granted bail, they could influence witnesses and cause disappearance of evidence.
The magistrate had Jan 28 dismissed bail pleas of the three accused, who subsequently moved fresh applications.
The magistrate also allowed the income-tax department to interrogate Ramalinga Raju for one day Feb 21. ‘The court has permitted the income tax department to question Ramalinga Raju from 10.30 am to 5 pm,’ said public prosecutor A. Ramakrishna Reddy.
The department had sought three days to quiz the former Satyam chairman.
This would be the third central agency to interrogate Ramalinga Raju in jail. SEBI and Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) have already grilled him and his brother in jail.
Earlier in the day, the magistrate had permitted SEBI to question Srinivas Wednesday and the two auditors Thursday. The judge modified his orders with regard to Vadlamani following a plea from SEBI.
SEBI counsel Ranjendra Prasad, who was not present when the magistrate pronounced the orders in the morning, later moved a plea expressing SEBI’s inability to question Vadlamani at such a short notice.
Earlier, on the direction of the Supreme Court, the market regulator interrogated and recorded the statements of the Raju brothers for three days from Feb 4.