Hearing on SEBI plea to quiz Rajus adjourned to Feb 9

Friday, 30 January 2009, 09:51 Hrs
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Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh High Court Friday adjourned to Feb 9 the hearing on a petition by market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) seeking permission to record statements of disgraced Satyam Computer founder B. Ramalinga Raju and his brother B. Rama Raju in the 70 billion fraud.

Justice Seshasayana Reddy issued notices on SEBI's plea to the two Rajus and Chanchalaguda prison superintendent where they are lodged. They have to respond by Feb 9.

Solicitor General of India G. Vahanvati, appearing for SEBI, said his plea for an ex-parte interim order to allow SEBI to interrogate the Rajus was not accepted.

"The judge said he will not pass the order without hearing them (the Rajus and the prison superintendent)," Vahanvati said.

"This request will also be considered on Feb 9," he aid.

SEBI moved the high court Wednesday after the sixth additional chief metropolitan magistrate dismissed its similar petition last week.

Justice Reddy had adjourned the hearing to Friday.

On Thursday, Vahanvati had argued that SEBI was the authorised agency to investigate the case and record statements of the accused as the interests of tens of thousands of investors were involved.

Vahanvati said SEBI wanted to record statements of the Raju brothers for alleged violations of security laws, including fraudulent and manipulative practices.

SEBI has made the state's home department, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) and the Chanchalguda Central Jail Superintendent as respondents.

SEBI's petition said there were several allegations including a strong likelihood of insider trading prior to Jan 7, when Ramalinga Raju confessed to the massive fraud.

While SEBI summoned Ramalinga Raju Jan 9, he sought a day's time leading to the adjournment of the proceedings till Jan 10.

"As a strange coincidence, they were arrested (by CID) on Jan 9 night," SEBI said adding that they were remanded to judicial custody that was being extended from time to time.

As the accused were in judicial custody and beyond its reach, SEBI has sought permission to record their statements.

The Raju brothers and former chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas, who was arrested Jan 10, are lodged in Chanchalguda Central Jail here, as they are in judicial custody till Jan 31.
Source: IANS
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