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CBI to probe Satyam fraud; Raju denies diverting funds

CBI to probe Satyam fraud; Raju denies diverting funds
PTI
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First Published: Tue, Feb 17 2009. 12 40 AM IST

Joint investigation: Union minister for corporate affairs Prem Chand Gupta said the case would now be jointly probed by CBI and SFIO. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
Joint investigation: Union minister for corporate affairs Prem Chand Gupta said the case would now be jointly probed by CBI and SFIO. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
Updated: Tue, Feb 17 2009. 12 40 AM IST
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is set to start its inquiry into the multi-crore fraud at Satyam Computer Services Ltd.
Andhra Pradesh home ninister K. Jana Reddy said on Monday the state government has issued an order handing over the probe to CBI. The order was issued on 13 February, he added.
Joint investigation: Union minister for corporate affairs Prem Chand Gupta said the case would now be jointly probed by CBI and SFIO. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
Separately, Union corporate affairs minister Prem Chand Gupta said the case would now be jointly probed by CBI and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), along with other agencies. The Satyam case is expected to be discussed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, Gupta added.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) earlier in February asking for a CBI inquiry as it would result in better coordination between various investigating agencies probing the Rs7,136 crore fraud.
Meanwhile, B. Ramalinga Raju, founder and former chairman of the software exporter, denied diverting funds from the firm using bogus companies. His lawyer S. Bharat Kumar issued a statement via email.
“None of the investigating agencies, which are probing the case for the last 40 days, have ever found any piece of evidence about the diversion of funds from Satyam,” Kumar said.
In another development, a Hyderabad city court rejected bail to Price Waterhouse auditors S. Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri, who had audited Satyam’s accounts from 2000, and are in judicial custody.
Other executives close to the previous Satyam board are also facing the heat. On the heels of Satyam’s senior vice-president Subu D. Subramanian quitting citing personal reasons, the new government-appointed board has asked US-based senior vice-president Anil Kumar to step down.
“We believe he (Anil Kumar) has quit on directives of the board. However, no reasons were cited,” a company spokeswoman said.
Kumar was handling Satyam’s banking, finance and insurance vertical and was reporting to erstwhile interim chief executive Ram Mynampati.
Satyam shares rose at least 6% to end Monday at Rs49.25 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, ignoring a negative market.
(Mint’s C.R. Sukumar from Hyderabad and ‘Bloomberg’ contributed to the story.)
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First Published: Tue, Feb 17 2009. 12 40 AM IST