YSR hesitating to arrest Raju?

Written by: Santaram B
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Bangalore, Jan 9: For the second day after he confessed that he had run a Rs 7,000 crore accounting scam, the state government refused to arrest Mr Ramalinga Raju, who is in Hyderabad. The government merely stated that no complaint was booked against Mr Raju.

However, no officer would dare cross the path of someone who has been feted by two Chief Ministers and had given a clean chit as late as last week by the Chief Minister, Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy. A legal expert said Mr Raju has committed a cognisable offence belonging to the category of white collar crimes such as forgery and criminal breach of trust. Police can freely register an FIR, investigate and arrest an accused involved without a court warrant.

“The police can take up the case suo motu, more so when the accused has confessed to his crime in writing," said Mr Nageshwar Rao, Secretary of the High Court Bar Association. After much pressure on the government, it now appears that Mr Raju will be arrested on Friday. Perhaps in a move to force the state government"s hand, the union minister of corporate affairs, Mr Prem Chand Gupta, said in Delhi in the afternoon that the AP government had filed a criminal case against Mr Raju and was going ahead with 'necessary action'. But, even by evening, the state police had not filed a case as the officials were “waiting for a complaint."

Top police officials simply kept silent on the case. The CB-CID police told even the Chief Minister's Office that they were waiting for a complaint to be lodged. Meanwhile, the secretary of the Union corporate affairs ministry, Mr Anurag Goyal, rang up the state chief secretary, Mr P Ramakanth Reddy, and enquired about the progress made in the investigation. Mr Reddy assured swift action.

Under immense pressure, the government decided to get a move on. “The arrest would be made on Friday and a case would be filed accordingly," said a top official. It was also decided to handover the case to Central Bureau of Investigation on the premise that CBCID does not have the wherewithal to deal the case of this proportion. The CBI has the separate economic offence wing manned by chartered accountants and cost accountants. “The CBCID cops don"t even understand what a balance sheet is," said a police official.

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