Regulator resumes questioning Ramalinga Raju


Hyderabad : The market regulator Thursday resumed questioning the disgraced Satyam Computer Services founder B. Ramalinga Raju in Chanchalguda Central Jail here over the Rs.70-billion (Rs.7,000-crore/$1.43 billion) accounting fraud at the IT bellwether.

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Officials of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), led by south zone general manager and investigating authority Sunil Kumar, returned to the jail in the morning to question Raju for the second consecutive day.

The SEBI team Wednesday questioned only Ramalinga Raju, and it was not clear if his brother and former managing director B. Rama Raju, and former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas would be grilled Thursday.

Jail officials are being allowed to watch Raju’s interrogation from a distance. However, SEBI has turned down the request of Raju’s lawyer S. Bharat Kumar to be allowed to be present during the interrogation or provide documents to his client.

Bharat Kumar said Raju needs legal assistance during questioning and announced he would take the matter to the Supreme Court.

On the first day, the SEBI team reportedly questioned Raju for five hours on possible insider trading, fudging of accounts and diversion of Satyam’s funds to other companies promoted by him and his family members.

This was the first time that SEBI officials had access to Ramalinga Raju after he confessed to the Rs.70-billion fraud Jan 7 while quitting as the chairman of India’s fourth largest IT services firm.

The Supreme Court had Tuesday allowed SEBI to interrogate the Raju brothers in jail Feb 4-6.