M. Rajeev

Defence counsel to explore other options

Order on the bail petition of Gopalakrishnam Raju reserved

SEBI files plea in HC for permission to record statements

HYDERABAD: The bail applications of the former Satyam chairman, B. Ramalinga Raju, his brother B. Rama Raju and ex-chief financial officer Srinivas Vadlamani were dismissed by a city court on Wednesday.

‘Causing evidence to disappear’

The prosecution, represented by K. Ajay Kumar, opposed the bail on the ground that the accused were causing disappearance of evidence even while in jail. There was a possibility of their tampering with evidence, besides causing disappearance of other suspects vital to investigation.

Defence counsel S. Bharat Kumar later said they would explore other options to secure bail. They would either renew the petition in the same court or approach the next higher court to secure the release of the Raju brothers, in custody since January 9.

The Sixth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D. Ramakrishna, however, reserved for Thursday his order on the bail petition of another accused, D. Gopalakrishnam Raju, general manager of SRSR Advisory Services. The bail applications of Price Waterhouse partners S. Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri will also be taken up the same day.

‘Hand in glove’

Earlier, the court heard the arguments on the bail petition of Mr. Gopalakrishnam Raju. The prosecution urged the court to extend his custody claiming that only custodial investigation would help to ferret out facts of the self-confessed offence of pocketing the “sweat and blood” of lakhs of investors.

It said the accused had been associated with Satyam since 1984 and “hand in glove” with Mr. Ramalinga Raju. This was evident from the fact that the land assets of the former Satyam chairman were in his custody.

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) filed a petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking permission to record the statements of the Raju brothers.

The SEBI urged the court to declare the magistrate’s order dismissing its application to record the statements as violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

In the absence of permission to record their statements, the SEBI would be severely handicapped in investigating violations committed by the brothers, who were in judicial custody and beyond its reach.

Observations contested

The market regulator contested the magistrate’s observations about the SEBI’s role as an investigating agency. It claimed it had powers equivalent to that of a civil court and the magistrate had wide powers “to authorise even the detention of the accused in such custody as he thinks fit,” the petition said.

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