Today is Sunday the 8th Feb 2009 and Sunday Times carries three headlines on satyam:
1)Satyam fudging well planned. Dozens of Managers attended Scores of fudge meetings. (First page top headline)
2)Rajus get comfy in jail (second page)
3)Rajus in ‘proactive’ custody: Ex-Sebi chief. (third page prominent headline).
Contrast this with reporting in Deccan Chronicle of the same day.
A small column on front page, 'Raju gets jail till Feb.21' continued on page two summerising all that TOI did, in just a small report and in a very light vein. Is DC sympethatic to Rajus? Is it ‘manavadu’ feeling or is there something more?
I thought everyone was equel before law but police and judiciary possibly think otherwise.
The following is reported in the Statesman,which also shares my doubts.
Raju in ‘protective custody’, says Damodaran
Press Trust of India
AHMEDABAD, Feb. 7: In a biting criticism of Andhra Pradesh police's handling of the Satyam case, former Securities and Exchange Board of India chief, Mr M Damodaran today said the firm's founder Mr B Ramalinga Raju and other officials were in fact in “protective custody.”
Mr Damodaran, who demitted office as chairman of Sebi last year, suggested that there was no other way of looking at it given the weak resistance the police put up when the court remanded Mr Raju to judicial custody.
“Instead, the police happily handed over them (Raju brothers) in judicial custody, so that Sebi needs to get the court's permission first (to quiz them),” he said during a seminar at the IIM-A here.
When a Sebi probe team approached a magistrate court for permission to interrogate the Raju brothers, the petition was dismissed on technical grounds. As AP High Court too did not give early relief, the regulator had to finally move the Supreme Court.
The Sebi team yesterday finished questioning the Raju brothers on the accounting fraud in Satyam Computer.
“This is what I call protective custody of the Raju brothers and (former) Satyam chief financial officer, Mr Srinivas Vadlamani,” Mr Damodaran said.
“I don't know how the law will help when the state decides to provide protective custody,” he asked.
“This is a peculiar case in which the police produced a person before the court and (he) was granted judicial custody, not police custody,” Mr Damodaran noted, adding that normally policemen insist on securing custody of the accused in order to talk to them first and extract vital details. That is why they arrest people.”
On reports that Mr Raju was seeking special status and also mosquito nets in jail, he said sarcastically: “I don't know how brave the mosquitoes are to go near him.”
The matter of special status is still pending before the court.
On the rejection of Sebi's plea on technical grounds, Mr Damodaran said: “The lower court took a preposterous position that it was not a court that handles cases related to securities law. The Sebi application did not say that a case of securities law needed to be judged by that court.”
I have taken this Statesman report online because TOI online did not carry this report whereas their print edition did.