Satyam probe almost over, says Salman Khursheed


Hyderabad : There is enough material for successful prosecution in the Rs.78-billion Satyam fraud case and as soon as the Andhra Pradesh High Court sets up a fast track court there will be further progress in the matter, the government said Friday.

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“As far as the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and the ministry of corporate affairs are concerned, the investigations are more or less over. There may be some minor things still to be done,” Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Salman Khursheed said.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference here, Khursheed said an additional charge sheet would be filed as the trial court has granted permission for it.

“We have permission to file an additional charge sheet based on information available during the last few weeks,” Khursheed said, adding: “We have got enough material for prosecution and that’s why charge sheet is filed.”

When his attention was drawn to attempts of the accused to avoid lie-detector test, the minister said: “These are matters of legal procedure.”

“The CBI is obviously in good hands. We have an outstanding legal team looking after it. Whatever is required will be done,” Khursheed said.

“The Enforcement Directorate (ED) and IRS (Internal Revenue Services) are still looking into some leads. We need to hear from them before we can make an assessment of the approximate figures of the amount involved. Obviously it was pretty huge,” he said.

The ED and IRS are also looking into diversion of Satyam funds. The ED is looking into two Maytas firms as well to understand whether their relation with Satyam required any investigation, the minister said.

Maytas Infra and Maytas Properties are promoted by the family of B. Ramalinga Raju, the disgraced founder of the fraud-hit Satyam Computers.

Raju stunned corporate India Jan 7 by admitting the accounting fraud. The accused face charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy, falsification of records and forgery.

The scam-hit company was later taken over by Tech Mahindra, the IT arm of the Mahindra group.

Khursheed said his ministry was happy with the recent developments in Satyam after Tech Mahindra bought the IT major.

“We have no reasons to be dissatisfied as this is a success story having moved from crisis to rehabilitation. For the present, we are happy with the progress but a lot more has to be done,” he said.

Asked about Mahindra Satyam firing some employees, Khursheed said the ministry looked at the pattern of entire software industry and did not find it unusual.

He added that there was no serious concern or problem about criminal liability as far as Mahindra Satyam was concerned.

“But there are problems for them as far as American litigation is concerned. They are in touch with us as to how we can be of any further help. We will certainly examine that.”

When asked if the ministry would take action against PriceWaterhouse Coopers, the auditors of the fraud-hit Satyam, Khursheed said the government was waiting for the Institute of Chartered Accountants to report on the matter.