As soon as the news broke out that the disgraced former chairman of Satyam Computers, B.Rama Raju, his brother and managing director, and some associates were found guilty and will serve 7 years in jail along with a hefty penalty, there was a sense of relief among stakeholders that it might have repaid them by some amount. The accused were sentenced to a seven-year prison term for fudging accounts and inflating profits; for cheating investors and breaching the trust of thousands of shareholders; evading taxes and paying additional taxes at another point to justify the fictitious revenues they could not otherwise account for.
In a booming Information technology, this scandal was surely a road-block, which made government think fast enough and quickly stepping up to minimize the damage and transfer the management to a new group i.e. Tech Mahindra. This not only saved thousands of jobs but it also ensured that the company remained competitive.
Coming back to the poster boy, his attempt at deception failed completely. The 14,000 crore fraud as estimated by CBI, making it the biggest accounting scam. Thanks to his close connections with Chandrababu Naidu and Y Rajayashekher Reddy, he never had any problem with the government whatsoever.
It is therefore commendable that the meticulous work of investigators and judicial officers brought closure to a challenging trial that involved a voluminous amount of documents and electronic evidence. However, this makes me wonder about the statement by Congress Spokesperson Abhishek Manu Sanghvi “Exactly why people lament Indian Judicial System”.
The fact that the investigative machinery has brought to book the culprits just a little more than six years after his confession of fraud is a major achievement in a country where investigation and court proceedings usually drag on for decades. But with Raju now already behind the bars for another few years it is unlikely that he can walk out freely anytime soon even if the appeals against the verdict go up to the highest courts.
Such examples are many and include that of large mining scams in the states of Karnataka, Goa and Orissa and the national rural health mission scam in Uttar Pradesh. The nature of institutional interventions, the pace of investigations and prosecution in these cases still remain weak and sluggish. In other cases like the fodder scam in Bihar and the Taj corridor in Uttar Pradesh the situation remains murky.
Public Institutions must retain their vigilance and tackle such grieve issues to the maximum extent possible.