Five other accused in Satyam fraud case surrender in court

After remaining a free man for nearly three months, B. Ramalinga Raju, prime accused in the Satyam Computers fraud, returned to Chanchalguda jail here following his surrender in a court on Wednesday.

The XXI Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate B.V. L.N. Chakravarthi remanded him to custody and sent him to Chanchalguda central prison amid tight security along with five other accused in the multi-crore accounting scam – B. Rama Raju, Vadlamani Srinivas, G. Ramakrishna, G. Venkatapathi Raju and Ch. Srisailam. They had also surrendered as the Supreme Court cancelled their bail on October 26 and asked them to give up by November 10.

Ramalinga Raju made his mandatory appearance in the court at around 10.00 a.m. and left a while later for the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) for a medical check-up. He returned at 3 p.m. for surrendering himself. The magistrate asked media representatives to leave the court hall when the final formalities for the surrender were being completed. Some of the paper work like submission of undertakings for the surrender of Raju and other accused were completed on Tuesday itself.

Counsel for CBI K. Surender later told The Hindu that the surrender of Ramalinga Raju and the other five meant only cancellation of their bail as per Supreme Court direction. On the other hand, CBI DIG V.V. Lakshminarayana held the accused could not seek bail till July 31, 2011. He said the Supreme Court had ruled that they could move bail petition only after July 31, provided the trial in the case was not completed by then.

Ramalinga Raju was granted bail by the A.P. High Court on August 18, but was discharged only on October 2 from NIMS, where he was undergoing treatment for his liver ailment. The CBI had challenged the bail of all the key accused in the Supreme Court in September last week.

The ex-chairman of Satyam was calm and composed, though a bit dull, during his nearly two-hour presence in the court. All along, he was conversing with his brother and co-accused Rama Raju. He covered his face with a newspaper while being taken into the police van as flashbulbs popped.