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Raju minted money on fictitious employees

Last updated on: January 22, 2009 16:09 IST

In a sensational disclosure, a public prosecutor has told a local court in Hyderabad that the disgraced chairman of Satyam Computer Services B Ramalinga Raju had not only inflated the number of employees by thirteen thousand but also used the fictitious numbers to mint money.

Ajay Kumar, the public prosecutor appearing for the Criminal Investigations Department of Andhra Pradesh police told the court that the real employee strength at Satyam was not 53000 but only 40,000. "He (Raju) used the non existing employees to draw an amount of Rs 20 crore (Rs 200 million) from the company every year," he said.

Ajay Kumar, appearing before the 6th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ramakrishna in the Nampally courts pleaded that the police custody of the accused should be extended by three days to facilitate further questioning on the basis of information and documents recovered so far during the raids and searches by the CID.  He sought further custody of only Ramalinga Raju and former CFO Vadlamani Srinivas and not of Rama Raju.

The prosecution said that Raju had indulged in diverting huge amount of money to the tune of Rs 7400 crore (Rs 74 billion) for other purposes and indulged in many other irregularities and fictitious transactions. Raju's claim of having Rs 3300 crore (Rs 33 billion) bank balance was also false, he said.

The prosecutor told the court that during the investigations and questioning so far, as many as 400 land transactions in and around Hyderabad and other states involving Raju had come to light and further questioning was necessary. "We have to find out where exactly the company funds were diverted and in whose name they were diverted".

Stressing that the whole world was watching the developments and the very image of India was at stake, the prosecutor said, "We need more time to question them. We need to confront them with the documents".

The prosecutor claimed that the shares of Satyam Computer were transferred in the name of Raju's mother Appalla Narasamma and younger brother Suryanarayana Raju. The investigators also unearthed land transactions between Raju and one Akula Rajaiah to the tune of Rs 125 crore (Rs 1.25 billion), he said.

The prosecutor also informed the court that the HDFC Bank informed the CID that a bank deposit certificate found in the record of Satyam was also forged as the bank did not issue any such certificate and it did not have any such deposit of Satyam in any of its branches.

However the team of lawyers representing Raju brothers and Vadlamani strongly opposed the CID plea for further extension in their custody saying the CID had already seized all the documents and questioned the accused.

After hearing the argument, the 6th additional chief metropolitan magistrate adjourned the case. Meanwhile Ramalinga Raju and his brother Rama Raju and Vadlamani Srinivas were sent back to the Chanchalguda Central Jail on the expiry of their four day police custody this morning.

Meanwhile the Hyderabad court allowed police to interrogate Ramalinga Raju and Vadlamani Srinivas for one more day.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad