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Government seizes Satyam’s documents

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Union Minister of Corporate Affairs Prem Chand Gupta on Friday said a team of government officials probing the Rs.7,800-crore fraud in Satyam accounts had seized documents from the premises of the IT major and its records office in Hyderabad.

“The procedure of seizure was on till five in the morning [Friday],” Mr. Gupta told journalists here. The government, he said, has also sent an eight-member team to Hyderabad to inspect the accounts of Satyam’s eight subsidiary companies.

This followed the former Chairman B. Ramalinga Raju’s confession on having doctored the parent company’s accounts to present an inflated profit and performance picture.

Among the subsidiaries being investigated, as directed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), are Maytas Properties and Maytas Infrastructure.

The Ministry has asked the Hyderabad-based Registrar of Companies (RoC) to probe Satyam’s affairs while market regulator SEBI has also ordered an investigation.

“After obtaining a judicial order from the magistrate in Hyderabad, the Registrar of Companies, in coordination with market regulator SEBI, went to the office of Satyam and seized the documents from its premises and the record office of the company…The eight officers, who have been sent to Hyderabad, will be called inspectors on behalf of the government. They will carry out inspection under [section] 209A of the Companies Act,” Mr. Gupta said.

Apart from Maytas Properties and Maytas Infrastructure, the other subsidiaries of Satyam under the scanner are Satyam BPO, Nipuna Services, Knowledge Dynamics, Nitor Global Solutions, CA Satyam ASP and Satyam Venture Engineering Services.

Mr. Gupta said the government was committed to protecting the interests of 53,000 employees, three lakh shareholders and Satyam’s clients.

“We are concerned about all of them. Whatever is the best under the law, we will do,” he said.

The chartered accountants’ apex body ICAI has decided to serve a show-cause notice on PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) by Saturday and ask for a report on the auditing done by it for the IT major within 15 days.

Show-cause notice

“Our disciplinary committee will serve a show-cause notice to PwC…and will ask them to submit a report within 15 days on all the auditing done by them on Satyam Computer Services’ accounts,” ICAI president Ved Jain said here.

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