SFIO to begin prosecution of Satyam’s Raju

SFIO to begin prosecution of Satyam’s Raju

New Delhi: The Serious Fraud Investigation Office will shortly begin prosecution of Satyam Computer founder B Ramalinga Raju and others who perpetrated an accounting scam, which is being probed by multiple agencies.

“SFIO has been asked to begin prosecution for violation of company law in the Satyam case... it will also be against partners of Price Waterhouse (Satyam’s auditor at that time)", a senior official of Corporate Affairs Ministry said.

SFIO, an arm of the Corporate Affairs Ministry, had investigated the multi-crore rupee Satyam accounting fraud and submitted a report to the government detailing violations of the company law by Raju and others.

The investigating agency will initiate proceedings on about 30 charges mostly under the Companies Act 1956, while the Central Bureau of Investigation will be acting on five or six charges involving criminal offences under the penal code.

The Corporate Affairs Ministry asked SFIO to initiate prosecution in the Satyam case after obtaining opinion of the Solicitor General of India.

Besides Raju, SFIO will seek prosecution of Raju’s brother Rama Raju, Satyam’s former CFO Vadlamani Srinivas, and Price Waterhouse auditors S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri.

Raju had in January disclosed fudging the IT company’s books for years and has since been arrested and is awaiting trial.

The investigating agency submitted a preliminary report to the government in April. The SFIO report had highlighted various acts of commissions and omissions by Raju and Price Waterhouse.

Besides SFIO and CBI, the Satyam fraud case was probed by central and state governments, SEBI and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Satyam, which was administered by a government appointed board after the fraud came to light, was acquired by Tech Mahindra in April and has been rechristened Mahindra Satyam.