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Ramalinga Raju had 50 bank accounts in 2002
January, 15th 2009

The Income Tax (I-T) department has recalled a 2002 investigation report against the promoters of Satyam that had details of a probe conducted by I-T sleuths on family members and associates of B Ramalinga Raju in Hyderabad.

Not believing the confession of Raju that the company was left with no cash, and with investigations pointing to forgery of books of account to show bank balances and profits
, the authorities are taking a relook at the six-year-old probe that had unearthed more than 50 bank accounts in the name of Raju's family members and alleged fronts.

Sources said that the authorities in the finance ministry don't rule out the possibility that Rajus could have allegedly indulged in insider trading in the shares of his company using these front entities and bank accounts. In 2002, the Rajus' admissibility to the 50-odd bank accounts having more than Rs 20 crore as deposits had yielded the department a handsome tax bounty.

Other records available with the Tax department have also been recalled to look into the finances of Satyam and its group companies. The department will have a fresh look into the tax implications after the reconstructed and authenticated accounts are made available to it by the government-appointed auditors KPMG and Deloitte, sources said.

Tax sleuths are also set to examine the accounts of the other group companies of Satyam Computers, especially the real estate and infrastructure firms floated by the Rajus. The fact that the promoters of the beleaguered IT company have landholdings of more than 7,000 acres in and around Hyderabad raises suspicion of a possible diversion of money.

Maytas Infrastructure, run by Satyam founder's elder son B Teja Raju, had bagged projects worth more than Rs 30,000 crore in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and some other states. The controversial Rs 12,000 crore Hyderabad Metro project was also awarded to Maytas amid allegations of favouritism.

Known for their proximity to many politicians, the Raju-floated Maytas had also cornered several infrastructure projects in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra.

On Wednesday, the politburo of the CPM issued a statement calling for examination of the entire business operations of Maytas Infra Ltd and Maytas Properties Ltd, the two real estate and infrastructure development companies owned by the Satyam promoters.

The CPM politburo pointed out how the government overlooked a warning sounded out by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation MD E Sreedharan in September 2008 on the "hidden agenda of the developer to grab hundreds of acres of public land for its commercial exploitation in guise of the metro project".

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