ED attaches assets worth Rs822 crore of Satyam's Raju, others

The ED attached the accounts of Satyam Computers as its probe found that Raju and his associates 'wrongfully' offloaded inflated shares of the company by way of sale or pledging of shares


Hyderabad/New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday issued attachment orders freezing fixed deposits worth Rs822 crore of B Ramalinga Raju, founder of scam-hit Satyam computers, and his family in connection with its probe in the money laundering case, reports PTI.

The orders issued by the Hyderabad zonal office of the agency specify that these deposits, held in the accounts of M/s Satyam Computers and Services Ltd (SCSL), were being attched as it has identified these value of assets as "proceeds of crime" under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The accounts of SCSL, according to the ED attachment order, in Andhra bank, Bank of Baroda, IDBI and ING Vysya have been freezed, even as the agency has filed a complaint in this regard with the Adjudicating authority of the PMLA in Delhi.

The ED attached the accounts of SCSL as its probe found that Raju and his associates "wrongfully" offloaded inflated shares of the said company by way of sale or pledging of shares, the order alleged.

According to the order, Raju and his family members allegedly "lured" investors into buying these shares by publishing "false" information about the financial credentials of the scam-hit company.

"Trail of loans derived from front companies revealed that Rs822 crores out of Rs2,171.45 crore found their way to M/s SCSL and were used for day-to-day expenses like payment of salaries among others.

"Since this amount subsists with M/s SCSL and constitutes a part of the loans that were derived or obtained by pledge of inflated shares of M/s SCSL, which is, Rs2171.45 crores they fall within the mischief of proceeds of crime under the PMLA and are liable for attachment," the order said.

An attachment under PMLA ensures that such assets cannot be used by the accused and he/she cannot take any benefits from these properties, and such an order can be challenged by the accused at the adjudicating authority of the said Act.

The ED had framed its case on the basis of the CBI FIR registered in this case and two subsequent charge sheets the probe agency filed in 2009.

The ED order explained the modus operandi of the sale of these shares to investors, which the agency alleges, were done by publishing wrong information.

"B Ramalinga Raju, Chairman of SCSL, had conspired with the other accused persons during the period 2001-2008 and lured investors into buying the shares of SCSL during this period by continuously publishing falsified books of accounts, thereby projecting a very rosy financial picture of the company for keeping the share prices of SCSL inflated.

"Raju who knew the true state of affairs of the finances in M/s SCSL, got the shares of SCSL held by him and his family members offloaded at opportune times and gained wrongfully. Offloading of inflated shares of M/s SCSL occurred by way of sale or pledge of shares," the ED said.

According to the probe of the agency, all the shares held in the name of Raju, his brother B Rama Raju, B Nandini Raju W/o Ramalinga Raju and B Radha Raju W/o B Rama Raju were transferred to Ms SRSR Holdings Private Limited in which family members of Ramalinga Raju were the directors.

The order said M/s SRSR Holdings pledged the inflated shares with non-banking financial companies and loans to the extent of Rs2,171.45 crore were obtained based on the inflated value of shares of M/s SCSL.

"These loans were circuitously transferred among the 327 front companies floated by Ramalinga Raju, his relatives and his associates to disguise the true source of funds. The front companies used these loans to buy properties in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

The ED has earlier attached 354 properties in this case which are valued at approximately Rs250 crores.



Congress disapproves of Khurshid's remarks daring Kejriwal

Commenting on Khurshid's controversial remarks against Kejriwal, Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said everyone should choose words carefully


New Delhi: Congress party on Thursday disapproved of Salman Khurshid's controversial remarks daring Arvind Kejriwal to protest in his constituency, as the activist saw it as a murder threat and accused the Law Minister of acting like a mafia don, reports PTI.

"Everyone should choose words carefully," Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters when asked to comment on Khurshid's controversial remarks against Kejriwal.

Khurshid had said, "Let them come and visit Farrukhabad. But let him also return from Farrukhabad." This was seen as a murder threat by the activist. Opposition parties had also protested against the remarks.

Kejriwal and his aides had yesterday slammed Khurshid for the comments with lawyer Prashant Bhushan saying the country's Law Minister should not be using such a language against his own people. Bhushan had also wondered as to why the country should have such a Law Minister.

"Salman Khurshid has threatened me. The country's Law Minister should not use such a language. My life is not in the hands of Khurshid. My life is in the hands of God. We will go to Farrukhabad and we will return from there as well," Kejriwal had said.

Congress had on Wednesday downplayed Khurshid's remarks with party spokesman Rashid Alvi saying that he was not aware of the details of what Khurshid had said.




4 years ago

Congress disapproves Khurshid's remarks but approves forgery

High time RBI turned to prop up growth: HDFC Bank, Axis

While monetary policy needs to focus both on inflation and growth, given the recent fiscal measures, the leaning of RBI policy needs to target growth right now, feels top executives of HDFC Bank and Axis Bank


Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should cut interest rate in its forthcoming monetary policy review to check India's growth slipping below 5%, reports PTI quoting top private bankers Aditya Puri of HDFC Bank and Shikha Sharma of Axis Bank.

"RBI could give a signal because you don't want growth to come below 5%," Puri, HDFC managing director, said at a banking awards function organised by CNBC TV18 late last evening.

Attributing the spike in September inflation - which many feel will hold back RBI from cutting rates - to diesel price hike, Puri said, "Yes, inflation has been high, but on that inflation, about 30 basis points is (due to) the fuel price increase, so (the actual number) is about 7.5%. I am hoping for the best."

Sharma, who is the managing director and chief executive of Axis Bank, said that after the fiscal reforms, which have a bearing on fiscal consolidation, the time has come for RBI to shift its focus towards growth now.

"While monetary policy needs to focus both on inflation and growth, given the recent fiscal measures, which are hopefully going take us towards a better situation on fiscal consolidation, I think the leaning of policy right now needs to be on growth," she said.

"We just can't afford to have growth being stopped below 5%. Therefore, I would see CRR cut by 50 basis points," she added.

All eyes are on RBI Governor D Subbarao who is to unveil the second quarter monetary policy on October 30. While there is growing optimism that he may walk with the government following the rash of reform measures in the past one month, the latest inflation numbers have poured cold water on any such hopes.

In September, the wholesale inflation index rose to 7.81%, a 10-month high, from 7.55% in the previous month. The industrial production numbers at 2.7% in August indicate that manufacturing activity has rebounded.

Given these contexts, many analysts believe that the Governor cannot but continue his anti-inflationary battle that has begun over three years ago.

Meanwhile, State Bank of India chairman Pratip Chaudhuri, who raised storm recently by demanding the scrapping of CRR or cash reserve ratio, said the RBI should also focus on employment data as is being done by other countries.

"I think in their policymaking, they should also take into account the employment numbers because now so many other countries have taken. Every country takes very serious note of the employment numbers," he said.


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