This Article is From May 08, 2015

Court Order on Ramalinga Raju's Appeal For Sentence Suspension Today

Court Order on Ramalinga Raju's Appeal For Sentence Suspension Today
A local court would pronounce its order tomorrow on appeals filed by Satyam Computers founder Byrraju Ramalinga Raju and nine others, seeking suspension of their sentences and the fines imposed on them in the multi-crore accounting fraud in the erstwhile IT firm.

M Laxman, special judge for Economic Offences court-cum- Metropolitan Sessions Judge (MSJ) court here, heard the arguments and counter arguments today and posted the matter for orders tomorrow.

Ramalinga Raju, the kingpin of the scam, and nine other convicts, currently lodged in Cherlapally Central Prison, had filed the appeals in the MSJ court on Monday, challenging their conviction (sentences and fines imposed) by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (ACMM) in the over Rs 7,000-crore scandal that came to light in 2009 and enlarging them on bail.

On April 9, the ACMM court, which tried the Satyam corporate fraud case probed by the CBI, sentenced Ramalinga Raju and others to seven years' rigorous imprisonment for criminal conspiracy and cheating, among other offences.

It had also imposed Rs 5.35 crore fine on Ramalinga Raju and his brother Rama Raju while others were fined Rs 25 lakh each.

E Uma Maheswar Rao, who argued for Raju, and other defence counsels submitted before the court today that their clients had already served a "substantial part" of their imprisonment by spending 35 months in jail and requested it for suspension of their sentences.

They further contended that the fines imposed on them were also "exorbitant" and now they have no source of income as all their bank accounts have been frozen by CBI and their properties have been attached by ED and they have no monetary means of paying the fine.

Mr Rao submitted that the fine amount was "highly excessive" and claimed that if at all there is any victim of the "financial fraud", it is his client.

"There were no real benefits for Raju and others who pooled their own resources and pumped money into the company and the proceeds had gone to charity," he claimed.

The defence counsels, while seeking suspension of sentences and for granting bail, cited a few Supreme Court rulings, including the one pertaining to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa, wherein it had suspended her four-year sentence in the disproportionate assets case and granted her bail.