Hyderabad: A local court dealing with economic offences on Thursday convicted Nandini Raju, the wife of Satyam Computers founder Ramalinga Raju, and her sons for the evasion of income-tax.
Apart from them, 81 people, who acted as the directors of 19 companies — floated Raju as his front companies — were sentenced to serve a simple imprisonment for a period ranging from six months to one year.
The sentence, however, has been suspended for a month to enable the accused to approach a higher court. M. Laxman, Special Judge for the Economic Offences Court at Nampally, who examined arguments on both the sides sentenced the men and women directors of the accused companies simple imprisonment, besides imposing `10,000 fine on each of them.
These companies contributed nearly 90 acres of their land for the construction of Maytas Hill County housing project and declared that they had generated income through their sale, but failed to pay the tax.
According to A. Ramakrishna Reddy, public prosecutor for the income-tax department, the firms did not pay the tax deliberately though some have shown amount ranging from `93 lakh to `2 crore in each company as pending tax.
While all male directors were sentenced to one year jail term, the female directors were sentenced to six months of jail term. “We served notices to them, and filed a prosecution complaint in the court in 2011.
They were charged under section 276 c (2) and 278(B) of the Income-Tax Act. Though they had sufficient means to pay the tax, they deliberately did not pay. This is what we argued and the court upheld our argument. Each company has four to five directors comprising mostly Raju's family members and same persons were repeating as directors in all companies,” Reddy said.
The front companies were headed by Raju’s relatives and friends. They include D.V.S. Subba Raju, Manthena Hari Prasad Raju, N.S.L.R. Prasad Raju, A.V. Raghava Raju, M Suryanarayana Raju, K. Gopi Krishnam Raju, D. Srinivasa Raju along with B. Radha (wife Raju’s brother Rama Raju) and B. Jhansi Rani (wife of another brother Suryanarayana Raju).