The Satyam trial proceedings are unlikely to be over by the end of this month, raising the possibility of the Supreme Court granting bail to the main accused, including Ramalinga Raju, the disgraced former chairman of Satyam Computer Services.
While cancelling bail to Ramalinga Raju and other prime accused, the Supreme Court in October last year directed the special court in Hyderabad to complete the trial by July 31. “If the trial is delayed then there is strong ground for the court to grand bail to all main accused in the case,” said a legal expert.
The Satyam scam broke out on January 7, 2009 after the confession of Ramalinga Raju, former chairman of Satyam Computer Services , who admitted to have conducted financial irregularities in the company including inflating revenues and showing fictitious bank accounts with cash. Subsequently, Raju was arrested on January 9, 2009 and the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in February 2009.
A senior CBI official said that they will complete all the arguments and witness examination in 10 days. “After that, the court can question the accused based on evidences collected. Then it is entirely up to defence side and their strategy to counter the case presented by us. If they want they can recall the witnesses,” says CBI counsel P Surendra.
But he added that a delay in trial proceedings need not necessarily lead to automatic bail to the accused . “The Supreme Court had said if the trial is not completed on July 31, the accused can approach the trial court again seeking bail,” he said. CBI filed three chargsheets in the case and named about 666 witnesses.
Later, CBI reduced the number of witnesses to 226 to speed up the case. “We wanted to present a strong list of witnesses and decided to reduce the number. We have already recorded statements of 211 witnesses and 15 are due, which include officials of investigating agencies including Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID ) and the CBI,” said Surendra. Economic Times