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Decision on regulator's plea to grill Raju

A Hyderabad court will pronounce its orders on a petition by market regulator SEBI to question disgraced founder and former chairman of Satyam Computer Services B Ramalinga Raju.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2009 20:52 IST

A city court on Thursday will pronounce its orders on a petition by market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to question disgraced founder and former chairman of Satyam Computer Services B. Ramalinga Raju.

SEBI has already moved a petition seeking the court's permission to question Raju, who quit as company head on Jan 7 while admitting to a Rs.70-billion (Rs.7,000-crore/$1.43-billion) fraud.

The sixth additional chief metropolitan magistrate on Jan 16 heard the arguments of both sides on SEBI's petition and set Jan 19 for issuing the order. However, as the court remanded Raju to police custody the next day for four days, the case was adjourned to Jan 22.

SEBI counsel had argued that the market watchdog wanted to question Raju to gather more evidence about the statement he made on Jan 7, while Raju's lawyer had contended that no purpose would be served by him appearing before SEBI as all the documents were already seized from Satyam office and that his client had no access to the records to answer SEBI's questions.

SEBI believes Raju is trying to avoid grilling by the market watchdog. It served summons with Raju Jan 9 and his lawyer announced that he would appear the next day. However, a few hours later, Raju surrendered before the CID, denying SEBI an opportunity to question him.

The police custody of Raju, his brother and former managing director B. Rama Raju and former chief financial officer of the company Vadlamani Srinivas ends on Thursday. The Crime Investigation Department (CID), which is probing the fraud, questioned the accused.

The court will also take up hearing on the bail petition of the accused and is also likely to pronounce orders on their petition for special status in jail.

The magistrate had remanded the Raju brothers and the former CFO to judicial custody till Jan 23. They are likely to be produced in the court on Friday as the prosecution will seek extension in judicial custody.