New Delhi: India’s federal investigating agency will conduct an “all-encompassing” probe into the Rs7,136 crore fraud at Satyam Computer Services Ltd, using a vast multi disciplinary team, said its top official.
The findings of the Central Bureau of Investigation, or CBI, will likely also be used by litigants based in the US who have filed class action lawsuits against Hyderabad-based Satyam Computer, said CBI director Ashwani Kumar in an interview.
The special team that the CBI has set up comprises—besides its own officials—officers from the income-tax department, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, the serious fraud investigation office, auditors and accountants, forensic scientists and software developers, Kumar said.
Chief investigator: CBI director Ashwani Kumar. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
The team has been divided into several sub-teams that will investigate various aspects of the complex accounting fraud, including transactions carried out through electronic means, said Kumar, who took charge of the organization in July.
These sub-groups will provide inputs to CBI, following up on leads related to each department and share information and relevant documents with one another, he said.
“Our probe will be all-encompassing,” Kumar said.
The fraud was driven probably by “greed and second reason, which we have to inquire into, is failure of the regulatory mechanism”, he said.
The investigation into alleged accounting irregularities at Satyam Computer was handed over to CBI last month by the Andhra Pradesh government.
Some opposition parties had accused the state government of trying to shield Satyam promoters including founder B. Ramalinga Raju, who on 7 January confessed to having cooked the company’s books over several years.
Former CBI director Joginder Singh said this kind of an investigation, wherein several agencies are enlisted by CBI, first took place following the 1992 stock market scam orchestrated by the late broker Harshad Mehta.
“The CBI can seek documents held by other organizations who have inquired into transactions made by the accused. They can also request for manpower from these departments,” Singh said.