HYDERABAD, India Aug 18 (Reuters) - An Indian court granted
bail to former chairman and founder of outsourcer Satyam
Computer Services in a case of accounting fraud that turned out
to be India's biggest corporate scandal.
Ramalinga Raju, a management graduate from Ohio University
who founded Satyam in 1987, shocked investors in January 2009
when he said the firm's profits had been overstated for years
and assets falsified in a fraud allegedly worth over $1.5
Raju had been in police custody since the revelation of the
fraud. A court in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, where
Satyam is headquartered, granted the bail on Wednesday.
"He has been cooperating with the investigation, he has been
cooperating with the trial, and he will do so without exception
and without any concession," Raju's lawyer Bharat Kumar told
reporters outside the court in Hyderabad.
Kumar said he could not immediately comment on the grounds
for the bail as he was yet to receive a court judgement copy,
but local Indian television channels said Raju was granted bail
on medical grounds.
"The important grounds are that this is a long incarceration
as an under-trial prisoner," Kumar said. "My client himself
surrendered before the police and he cooperated all through with
the investigating agencies and his health is also not good."
India's federal crime bureau, which has been investigating
the case, will appeal to the apex court after studying the
order, V.V. Lakshmi Narayana, a Hyderabad-based senior official
with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), told Reuters.
In April last year, the bureau had said it had filed charges
against nine people for alleged involvement in fraud at the
outsourcing firm. The charges include criminal conspiracy,
cheating, forgery and falsification of accounts.
Five former Satyam officials were also granted bail in July.
Those included former managing director B. Rama Raju and former
finance chief Vadlamani Srinivas.
Satyam was sold to Indian IT firm Tech Mahindra,
majority-owned by automaker Mahindra & Mahindra and partly owned
by British telecoms operator BT Plc, in an auction in April last
It was subsequently renamed Mahindra Satyam, which is also
listed in New York. The firm counts General Electric Co,
Citigroup, Cisco Systems and GlaxoSmithKline among its clients.
Shares in Mahindra Satyam ended 0.5 percent lower at 84.95
rupees and Tech Mahindra closed little changed at 714.70 rupees
in the main Mumbai market that rose 1.2 percent.
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy, Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by
Jui Chakravorty and Jon Loades-Carter)