Satyam founder gets bail as case drags on

The investigation into his alleged involvement in the Satyam fraud continues

The former chairman and founder of Indian outsourcer Satyam Computer Services was released on bail on Wednesday by the High Court in Andhra Pradesh, state of south India.

B. Ramalinga Raju is being investigated by the country's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with alleged fraud and embezzlement at Satyam. In January last year, Raju said in a statement that the revenue and profit of Satyam had been inflated for several years.

Tech Mahindra, another Indian outsourcer, acquired a dominant 43 percent stake in Satyam in a global bid. The induction of a strategic investor was part of a rehabilitation package proposed for the company by the government, which appointed its own nominees to the company's board after the scandal broke.

The investigation by the CBI has delayed the reinstatement of the accounts of Satyam, which is now fixed for before Sept. 30. Satyam officials said that the reinstatement of accounts for 2008 and 2009 is getting delayed as the company has by a court order only limited access to financial data that is in the custody of the CBI.

Raju has been in jail since January last year. He has been receiving treatment recently for what his doctors say is hepatitis C. Nine other executives charged in the case are also out on bail.

Raju was granted bail on the condition he stay in Hyderabad and on provision of two sureties of 2 million rupees (US$43,000) each.

The CBI had opposed the bail for Raju, saying he could try to influence witnesses and tamper with evidence. The delay in completing Raju's case has been criticized.

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John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
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