A gavel placed on a block for this arranged photograph (Source: Freepik)

Satyam Scam: SEBI Passes Fresh Order; Directs Raju, Three Others To Disgorge Over Rs 813 Crore

Passing a fresh order in the nearly decade-old Satyam scam, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Friday barred B Ramalinga Raju and three other entities from the securities markets for 14 years and directed them to return Rs 813 crore worth unlawful gains with interest.

The 14-year ban imposed by the regulator would include the debarment period already served by them. Besides, the regulator has reduced the disgorgement amount to Rs 813.40 crore from Rs 1,258.88 crore along with interest, as per the order.

Besides Raju, founder of erstwhile Satyam Computer, the watchdog has passed the order against his brother B Rama Raju, B Suryanarayana Raju and SRSR Holdings Pvt Ltd.

The latest SEBI ruling, pertaining to insider trading and fraudulent activities, has been passed after the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) directed it to pass a fresh order in the matter.

The debarment already undergone by Ramalinga Raju and Rama Raju since July 15, 2014 and by Suryanarayana Raju and SRSR Holdings Pvt Ltd since September 10, 2015 would be taken into account for calculating the total 14-year ban period, according to the order.

These entities have been barred for violating regulations pertaining to PFTUP (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) and PIT (Prohibition of Insider Trading).

The present case relates to Ramalinga Raju and Rama Raju - who were promoters and directors of Satyam Computer Services for falsifying the company's financial statements and making illegal gains by way of insider trading.

Besides, B Suryanarayana Raju and SRSR Holdings dealt with shares of Satyam Computer on the basis of unpublished price sensitive information.

While SRSR Holdings has been asked to disgorge Rs 675.39 crore, Suryanarayana Raju has to pay Rs 81.84 crore and Rama Raju has to cough up Rs 29.54 crore. Ramalinga Raju has been directed to pay Rs 26.62 crore, as per the order.

These amounts have to be paid along with 12 percent annual interest effective from January 7, 2009 - the day when the scam came to light through a letter written by Ramalinga Raju, then chief of Satyam Computer.

SEBI has directed the entities to deposit the amount within 45 days.

In July 2014, SEBI barred Ramalinga Raju, Rama Raju and others from the securities market for 14 years as well as asked them to disgorge illegal gains.

While agreeing with SEBI's finding that the individuals violated regulations, the tribunal had said the decision to uniformly restrain all the appellants from accessing the securities market for 14 years "without assigning any reasons is unjustified."

Similarly, the quantum of illegal gains directed to be disgorged by each appellant is based on grounds which are mutually contradictory and also without application of mind, the tribunal had added.