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Rajus’ assets may be attached

Andhra Pradesh police may move to attach the properties of Satyam`s ex-Chairman B Ramalinga Raju, and his brother and company ex-MD Rama Raju, in view of their having admitted to various crimes.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2009 20:40 IST
Ashok Das/Lalatendu Mishra

Andhra Pradesh police may move to attach the properties of Satyam`s ex-Chairman B Ramalinga Raju, and his brother and company ex-MD Rama Raju, in view of their having admitted to various crimes.

CID sources said they were making a list of properties in the names of the two, in consultation with civic and revenue authorities and banks and insurance companies. Appropriate action would follow soon, they said.

Counsel for the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) , Pradyumna Kumar Reddy, expressed fear that the multiple-agency nature of the probe could lead to delays. “We want to record a statement based on the letter Ramalinga Raju has sent us and the stock exchanges. Charges will be framed after recording the statement. But now we have to get police permission to see each and every document,” he said.

The police, which wants to question the independent directors of Satyam, may start the process on Thursday. At least two of the independent directors, former cabinet secretary TR Prasad and former Indian School of Business boss Ramamohan Rao, are in the country.

Prasad has meanwhile released a statement saying: “I have the relevant material with me to establish that while serving as an independent director on Satyam Board, I have faithfully discharged the responsibilities of such a director, as laid down in the judgement of Bombay High Court, referred to in the Naresh Chandra committee report.”

A team from the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which was appointed by the Union Government to investigate the matter, landed in Hyderabad Wednesday morning.

The six-member team, which visited the Satyam office in the Hi-tech city, is expected to examine the documents seized by the CID when its teams searched the residences of Ramalinga Raju, Rama Raju and company CFO V. Srinivas.

It is reliably learnt that the probe agencies may attach the two firms, Maytas Infra and Maytas Properties, controlled by
the Raju family, to offset the losses caused in the fiasco.

Though the probe is at a preliminary stage, prima-facie it appears that money was illegally transferred from Satyam to these two closely held firms, said sources monitoring the sequence of events.

It is not known how the assets of Maytas Infra, a listed company, could be attached, but Maytas Properties, with 6,800 acres land bank, is a closely-held company and should not pose a problem, said analysts.

“Since there is a linkage between Satyam and Maytas, there will be investigation of funds procurement. The two Maytas firms are bound to come under scanner,” said George Johnson, City (Hyderabad) head, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM) a real estate consultancy.

“The company law board has lot of powers. Any thing is possible if investigators find out some violation in funds transfer from Satyam,” said a Chennai-based company law expert.