Petitioners could not be enlarged on bail going by the circumstances of the case, says magistrate

A plea of the former chairman of Satyam Computers, B. Ramalinga Raju, and seven others for grant of bail was rejected on Thursday by the special court dealing with the multi-crore scandal in the company.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate B.V.L.N. Chakravarthi said in his order that the petitioners could not be enlarged on bail going by the circumstances of the case, nature of accusations and charges framed against them.

He noted that the overriding considerations in granting bail were the nature and gravity of the circumstances of the case, and other relevant grounds. He dismissed the petitioners' contention that their conduct during the trial was of high standards, saying this alone was not sufficient ground.

Responding to another plea by them that there need not be any apprehensions about their tampering with evidence if they were released on bail, Mr. Chakravarthi said it was not a case of bail application being made at the stage of investigation. It was filed at an advanced stage of trial when production of evidence for prosecution was coming to a close. Therefore, the question of tampering the evidence was not important.

Ramalinga Raju, apart from his brother Rama Raju, ex-chief financial officer Srinivas Vadlamani, statutory auditor S. Gopalakrishnan, internal audit head V.S. Prabhakar Gupta and three employees G. Ramakrishna, D. Venkatapathiraju and Ch. Srisailam had filed the bail application based on the Supreme Court judgement, which allowed them the liberty to do so if the trial was not completed before July 31.

Cross-examination

The magistrate observed that the trial in a criminal case concluded on adjudging guilt or innocence of the accused as per law after meeting all the steps. However, the present case was far from over as the cross examination of the investigating officers was on.

As on date, some more steps like examination of the accused, recording of defence evidence, hearing arguments on both sides and preparation of judgement were still left. He had no doubt that the trial would close in near future if it went on at the same pace, Mr. Chakravarthi said.