The trial in the multi-crore Satyam Computers fraud case will begin from November 2, nearly 22 months after its founder B. Ramalinga Raju admitted in January last year to fudging the company’s accounts to the tune of Rs. 7,200 crore.
Subsequent findings by the CBI revealed that the total size of the accounting scam was about Rs 14,000 crore.
The XXI Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate BVLN Chakravarti, after dismissing the petitions of the accused seeking discharge from the case, personally inquired if the accused committed the crime.
When all the accused including Raju pleaded ‘not guilty’, the magistrate set November 2, as the date for trial.
The court also directed CBI to furnish details of only key witnesses for the purpose of examination.
Supreme Court had recently pulled up the investigating agency, which challenged the Andhra Pradesh High Court order granting bail to Raju, for naming more than 250 witnesses in the case.
Raju and nine other accused were charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), 409 (breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 468 and 471 (forgery).
Raju, in a letter sent to Stock exchanges on January 7 last year, had resigned from the company after confessing to country’s biggest financial fraud.
He and his brother Rama Raju were arrested on January 9, 2009. Later the case was handed over to CBI.