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Satyam saga: Were Raju brothers drifting apart

Rama Raju, who was till recently the Managing Director of Satyam Computers, allegedly told the police investigators that he had no role in the cooking of books and diversion of funds from Satyam Computers, reports Ashok Das.

india Updated: Jan 26, 2009 19:45 IST
Ashok Das
Ashok Das
Hindustan Times

Were the Satyam brothers, B Ramalinga Raju and B Rama Raju, really drifting apart before the bubble burst.

It appears so if you go by what the police sources tell you.

Rama Raju, who was till recently the Managing Director of Satyam Computers, allegedly told the police investigators that he had no role in the cooking of books and diversion of funds from Satyam Computers and merely executed the orders of his brother, B Ramalinga Raju, whether he liked it or not.

The younger sibling was allegedly not happy with the way the elder brother was going all out to promote his two sons through Maytas Infra and Maytas properties, that too at the cost of the flagship company, Satyam Computers and to the exclusion of other family members who stood by him through thick or thin and helped create the empire.

Though initially all the brothers were equal partners in the infrastructure and property companies, which were created as an alternative revenue source by capitalizing on the real estate and construction boom, they were gradually made to leave to make way for Ramalinga Raju`s sons, Teja Raju and Rama Raju(junior).

Teja Raju on his return from USA after completing his MBA joined as a Director in Maytas Infra in 2000 and initiated a rapid expansion plan which was not often to the liking of his two uncles (Rama Raju and Suryanarayana Raju). Gradually he took over control of Maytas Infra and acquired complete control in 2006 when father Ramalinga Raju asked his two brothers to quit the board as Directors.

The same scene was apparently repeated in Maytas Properties where the two brothers exited to make way for another nephew Rama Raju (junior).

Senior Rama Rraju allegedly told his interrogators that though he often disagreed the way things were being conducted but he was too awed by his brother to protest.

However, Satyam insiders as well as some relatives of the Rajus are unwilling to buy the story." The brothers worked in tandem in everything. While Ramalinga Raju managed the business aspect of it keeping away from public glare, Rama Raju was the company's public face, interacting the rich and powerful, bureaucrats, lawmakers and who is who of society. He had extensive contacts and used that for trouble shooting for the company," said a top Satyam executive.

Even some police officials have doubts about the so-called confessions of Rama Raju. "This could be part of a bigger plan to get him off the hook. Recall what Ramalinga Raju said in his Jan 7 letter: that he was alone responsible for the fraud and no one else was involved. This could be a conscious effort to build on the same story and see that one brother takes the hit for all the crimes while the other gets away lightly," said a top police official.

Some circumstantial evidences help strengthen the above doubts.
1) Police did not seek custody of Ramiro after end of four-day custody even though it asked and secured additional one-day custody of Rambling Raja and his tainted CFO Adamant Zinnias.

2) Ramarao's bail petition is coming tomorrow whereas bail petition of the other two coming on Jan 28, though the two brothers were arrested on the same day.

3) The two brothers came to DGPs office in one car on Jan 8 night to surrender, whereas Vadlamani Srinivas did not come and had to be arrested from his house.

4) Ramalinga Raju did not mix with anyone in jail and spent most of his day chatting with his brother.

First Published: Jan 26, 2009 19:42 IST