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Govt orders probe into 8 cos promoted by Raju
January, 09th 2009

The government on Thursday ordered a probe into all the eight companies promoted by Ramalinga Raju, the former chairman of Satyam Computer Services. Raju had on Wednesday admitted to cooking up books of Satyam, Indias tier one IT services company.

Simultaneously, in a move that is directed to look at the role of the auditors, the government has directed the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to look into the way PwC carried out auditing of the company.

The Registrar of Companies (RoC) would investigate the operations of the eight Satyam group companies under section 209 (A) of the Companies Act, minister of corporate affairs Prem Chand Gupta told reporters. The eight companies to be probed are Maytas Properties, Maytas Infrastructure, Satyam BPO, Nipuna Services, Knowledge Dyanamics, Nitor Global Solutions, CA Systems ASP and Satyam Venture Engineering.

The secretary to the ministry of corporate affairs, IT secretary, law secretary and the finance secretary met this morning to discuss the possible course of action, Mr Gupta said. MCA is working in co-ordination with the Andhra Pradesh government as the company is headquartered in Hyderabad. Declining to give a direct answer on the possibility of appointing government directors on the Satyam board, the minister said I would not like to comment on that. But there are provisions regarding that.

Accounting regulator, ICAI, on the other hand, will examine the internal working paper of PWC, on the basis of which it carried out auditing of Satyam. The examination of the internal working paper detailing the audit strategy would help the government and the regulators find out whether the auditors had any prior information of the fraud being committed and if they in any way had deliberately suppressed the information.

ICAIs Financial Reporting Review Board (FRRB or the Board) would ask PwC to submit the internal working paper within three days. FRRB is a panel of ICAI that reviews companies compliance with the accounting and auditing standards issued by ICAI. The aim of the Board is to improve the overall quality of works executed by the members of the profession.

The MCA is co-ordinating with the law, IT and the finance ministry to protect the interests of small investors and the Satyam employees.

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