SEBI begins interrogating Raju brothers

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SEBI-Securities and Exchange Board of India
Hyderabad, Feb 4: Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the market regulator began questioning fraud hit Satyam Computers ex-CEO Ramalinga Raju on Wednesday, Feb 4 after it was granted permission by the Supreme Court of India (SBI). SEBI will grill the Raju brothers for the coming three days in connection with the accounting fraud in Satyam.

Since the day Ramalinga Raju disclosed Rs 7,800 crore scam (Jan 8) in Satyam, SEBI had been trying to interrogate the Raju brothers. But Andhra CID arrested Rajus and since became inaccessible. The Market Regulator then approached a local court for permission to interrogate Rajus, but the court rejected the plea on technical grounds.

After the AP High Court repeatedly deferred the SEBI appeal, it moved to Apex court for 'urgent relief.' Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan directed the Superintendent of Chanchalguda Central prison to allow SEBI's investigating officer Sunil Kumar to question Rajus. It had also asked Kumar to inform the jail authorities in advance as who will be accompanying him.

SEBI would be investigating if there was any insider trading angle to the fraud since Raju had disclosed falsifying profits for years, which inturn helped the company to inflate share prices. Meanwhile SC had also ordered SEBI to intimate the jail authorities about the duration of interrogation.

G E Vahanvati, the Solicitor General, arguing on behalf of SEBI had earlier claimed that the interrogation and recording of statement was important to verify facts as documents were going out of the country. He also clarified to the court that the Market Regulator was not seeking custody of the Rajus, but only permission to question them.

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OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)

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