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Satyam's Raju can get a 7-year jail term

January 07, 2009 21:03 IST

Satyam [Get Quote] Computer chairman B Ramalinga Raju can face seven years' imprisonment in addition to monetary penalties for forging accounts, breach of trust and misappropriating funds.

"He (Raju) can be charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for falsification of accounts, cheating and breach of trust. These offences attract a maximum penalty of seven years," said a senior partner of law firm Titus and Company, Diljeet Titus.

Expressing a similar opinion, senior Supreme Court advocate C A Sundaram said, "If the admissions (made by Raju in his resignation letter) are true, it is a very serious matter. It would be violation of (the) SEBI (code), Company Law and the IPC."

Satyam Computer chairman Raju, in his resignation letter to the board, has admitted falsifying accounts and under-stating liabilities.

Another senior advocate and corporate law practitioner U K Chaudhary said the Satyam chief could be imprisoned for seven years under various provisions of company law.

"Under section 628 of the Companies Act, which deals with misrepresentation of accounts, he could be punished for a maximum of 2 years along with penalty. However, the punishment term could be extended to seven years for producing false affidavits and other documents," he said.

In addition to Raju, Titus said "action should also be taken against chief financial officers, finance managers, and legal and tax advisors for their complicity in this episode".

Suggesting that the CBI should get into the case, he said if appropriate action is not taken, the Satyam fiasco would 'make a mockery of the Indian enforcement mechanism'.

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