Has the country’s stock market regulator played some card wrong? Did it slip up in its homework in getting its teeth into the Satyam fraud case?
Questions linger. Ten days after deposed chairman B Ramalinga Raju admitted to leading India’s biggest corporate fraud in Satyam Computer Services, he, his brother Rama Raju and former Chief Financial Officer Vadmalani Srinivas are not yet available for interrogation to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and central investigation agencies
They will not be available at least until Saturday, with state government agencies still managing the custody of a man at the heart of a white-collar crime attracting interest around the world.
The alleged political nexus between Raju and state authorities is casting a shadow on the investigations.
The role of Andhra government authorities has come under scrutiny for the manner they handled the case. There are accusations by critics that state sleuths acted hastily in the case to delay SEBI`s questioning of Raju and others.
An additional chief metropolitan magistrate in Hyderabad adjourned until next Monday the bail petition filed by his lawyer as well as a petition by SEBI seeking to interrogate Raju.
The court will take up on Saturday the petition by Andhra Pradesh’s Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) seeking his custody.
The CB-CID had produced Raju at a magistrate’s residence barely hours before he was appear before a SEBI team for questioing on January 9.
Raju’s lawyers led by Bharat Kumar told the court that the waklatnama (petition) was not signed by SEBI’s chairman and hence was invalid. They further argued that there was no need of SEBI interrogation as the market regulator can approach share transfer agencies for records pertaining to relevant issues.