Six years after the biggest accounting fraud shook the corporate world in India, a special court on Thursday announced seven-year jail term for Satyam chief B Ramalinga Raju and nine other accused on charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating in the Rs 7000-crore scam.
The court also imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore on Ramalinga Raju and B Rama Raju. The court slapped a fine of Rs 25 lakh each on the remaining accused.
Raju and former employee G Ramakrishna were also found guilty under section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of IPC by special judge BVLN Chakravarthi, in the case probed by CBI.
Except Raju’s brother B Suryanarayana Raju and former internal chief auditor V S Prabhakar Gupta, all the others eight accused were found guilty under IPC sections 467, 468, 471 and 477A, relating to forgery of security, forgery for purpose of cheating and falsification of accounts, according to V Chandrashekhar, superintendent of police, CBI Hyderabad Zone.
Charges against Raju and others include criminal conspiracy and forgery of valuable security carrying minimum punishment of ten years imprisonment and maximum of life sentence.
While the accounting fraud was to the tune of Rs 7,000 crore, it had caused an estimated notional loss of Rs 14,000 crore to investors and unlawful gains of Rs 1900 crore to Raju and others.
Ramalinga Raju and his brother and Satyam’s former managing director B Rama Raju were also found guilty under section 409 of IPC relating to criminal breach of trust.
All the ten accused were present in the court, where media was not allowed, when the verdict was pronounced. After pronouncing the order, the judge directed the CBI to take all the accused into custody.
Touted as the country’s biggest accounting fraud, the Satyam scam had come to light on January 7, 2009, after the firm’s founder and then chairman Ramalinga Raju allegedly confessed to manipulating his company’s account books and inflating profits over many years.
Raju was arrested by Andhra Pradesh Police’s crime investigation department two days later after he allegedly confessed to the fraud, along with his brother Rama Raju and others.
Around 3,000 documents were marked and 226 witnesses examined during the trial that began nearly six years back. Besides Ramalinga Raju, the others accused are – B Rama Raju, former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas, former PwC auditors Subramani Gopalakrishnan and T Srinivas, Suryanarayana Raju, former employees G Ramakrishna, D Venkatpathi Raju and Ch Srisailam and Satyam’s former internal chief auditor VS Prabhakar Gupta.
Satyam was purchased by Mahindra & Mahindra owned company Tech Mahindra in April, 2009.