Satyam scam: Raju ordered to pay back Rs.1800 crore
In a fresh development in the 7 year old case, Raju and those associated with him were asked by SEBI to pay back the Rs.1800 crore they had swindled their investors out of in the Satyam scam. In addition, they will have to pay Rs.1500 crore as interest on the amount, levied since 7 January 2009, the day the case came to light.
The Satyam scam swindled the market by lying about the company's financial health, inflating all financial returns of the company.Fake invoices and bills were created using software such as 'Ontime', used for calculating hours put in by an employee.
On 7 January 2009, B Ramalinga Raju resigned as the chairman of Satyam Computers. He confessed to a Rs.7,136 crore fraud committed by him, his relatives and employees at the company. Over the next few days, Citibank froze Satyam's assets; Satyam's board was disbanded by the central government, to be replaced by their own directors. Raju and his younger brother were both soon arrested.
In February, CBI took over the investigation, halfway through the 90-day time-limit for filing chargesheets, after the arrest of Satyam's former CFO Srinivas Vadlamani. In the meantime, Satyam had been removed from Sensex and Nifty. The CBI was given a deadline of April 9 within which to file chargesheets; they worked hard within this time-limit in order to prevent the accused from getting bail.
By April, the value of Satyam's shares had taken a nosedive; its market value crashed to $330 million, from more than $7 billion about 6 months before this. After getting the go ahead from SEBI to bid, Tech Mahindra made an open offer to Satyam shareholders to buy them at Rs.58 per share. In June, Mahindra revealed a new brandname for Satyam, Mahindra Satyam.
In September 2009, the counsel for Raju pointed out that the chargesheets filed by the CBI were a "general treatise of the purported crime". He said that when read together, the chargesheets did not make it clear which of the accused were guilty of what wrong. He blamed the CBI for making unsubstantiated accusations against him-that he had created and destroyed fixed deposit receipts.
The AP HC had granted bails to Rama Raju (brother of Ramalinga Raju), Srinivas and three others former Satyam employees in July. Ramalinga Raju was the only one left out; but in August, he was also granted bail by the AP HC on health grounds despite objections raised by the CBI. Raju had been in the hopsital being treated for Hepatitis-C since November 2009.
In October, the Supreme Court, reacting to the CBI's plea against the bail granted to the accused, cancelled the bails and asked all six accused to surrender by November 8. The bench of Supreme Court judges said that in the light that that this was one of the biggest scams in India, bail could not be granted. In November, Raju surrendered to the court.
Having served 2 years and 8 months in prison, Ramalinga Raju, Rama Raju and Vadlamani Srinivas were granted bail by the Supreme Court and released from jail. However, the bench gave liberty to the CBI to move the court for cancellation of bail if the accused abused their liberty or tried to influence the trial. With this, all the accused are out on bail.
Ramalinga Raju and 9 other accused had been given 7 years rigorous-imprisonment. Raju was charged under Section 120B for criminal conspiracy, under Section 409 for breach of trust, under Section 420 for cheating, and under Section 468 and Section 471 for forgery. However, barely a month after their conviction, a metropolitan sessions court in Hyderabad granted bail to them and suspended their sentences.