Operation of sentence suspended till Feb. 7
Former Satyam Computer chairman B. 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 an economic offences court here on Thursday for default in payment of Income-Tax.
While the accused men were convicted for one-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000 each, Nandini Raju and two other women got six months’ rigorous imprisonment and Rs. 5,000 each. On a prayer by the accused, the judge, M. Laxman, suspended the operation of the sentence till February 7 to enable them to appeal in a higher court.
All those sentenced were directors of 19 companies that entered into an agreement with Maytas Properties owned by Ramalinga Raju’s sons to develop 98 acres of land at Bachupally on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The profit sharing ratio between Maytas and the companies was supposed to be 77:23 but the latter did not pay up its short-term capital gains tax despite booking profits on its 23 per cent stake and declaring taxable income in 14 cases.
In the remaining five cases, the companies returned nil income while investigation disclosed suppression of income. The Income-Tax department filed 19 cases, representing each company, and identified tax default ranging from Rs. 93 lakh to Rs. 2.30 crore in each of them.
Significantly, Ramalinga Raju did not figure as the director in any of the 19 companies. The land was given to Maytas Properties for development in 2002 but the companies filed returns only from 2008-09.
Apart from Nandini Raju and her two sons, the others sentenced included Ramalinga Raju’s brother and former Satyam managing director Rama Raju and their other sibling Suryanarayana Raju, a director of the holding company of Satyam. The spouses of the latter Radha and Jhansi were also convicted.