The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to five accused persons in the multicrore Satyam accounting fraud case as trial could not be completed by July 31 as it directed in October last.

A Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and Dipak Misra granted bail to the former employees G. Ramakrishna, D. Venkatapathi Raju and Ch Srisailam, the former chief internal auditor V. S. Prabhakar Gupta, and PWC's former auditor Subramani Gopalakrishnan.

The Bench said: “On the totality of the circumstances, we deem it appropriate to release them on bail on a personal bond of Rs.2 lakh each and a surety for a like amount.”

The petitioners challenged the August 30 Andhra Pradesh High Court's order denying bail. The other main accused, the former Satyam chief, Ramalinga Raju, and his brother and former managing director, B. Rama Raju, are also in judicial custody.

The petitioners said they had been in custody for more than two years and since trial could not be completed by July 31 they were entitled to be freed on bail. They said 211 witnesses had been examined and CBI examination of seven of the 15 officers was over.

The petitioners contended that there was no question of their influencing witnesses.

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