New Delhi: Offering relief to Tech Mahindra Ltd that took over Satyam Computer Services Ltd two years ago, the Supreme Court on Monday asked a trial court to defer framing of money laundering charges against it.
The apex court asked the Andhra Pradesh high court to hear within four months an appeal filed by the joint director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to consider if Tech Mahindra can be prosecuted for money laundering in the Satyam accounting fraud case.
Indraneel Ganguli, senior vice-president of marketing at Tech Mahindra said the firm would not like to comment on the court’s directions.
A bench of justices T.S. Thakur and R. Banumathi asked the high court to consider the case, after additional solicitor general Maninder Singh told the court that since framing of charges could lead to Tech Mahindra being internationally debarred, the apex court could ask the high court to consider the case and keep in abeyance the proceedings before the trial court.
He also told the court that ₹ 822 crore of Satyam’s money was still with Tech Mahindra as “crime proceeds", which prompted ED to move against Tech Mahindra.
Singh said an 11 June 2013 amalgamation order, through which Tech Mahindra took over Satyam Computers, transferred even the criminal prosecution over to Tech Mahindra.
Tech Mahindra moved the Supreme Court on 1 May seeking reprieve from the interim order of a two-judge bench of the Andhra Pradesh high court. The bench had reversed the ruling of a single judge of the high court which had found that ED could not move against Tech Mahindra.
Yogendra Kalavalapalli in Hyderabad contributed to this report.