Nearly six years after the Satyam Computer Services fraud rocked the corporate world, the Institue of Chartered Accountants of India has found the statutory auditors including audit incharge(s), the then CFO and head of internal audit department of the company guilty of professional misconduct.
ICAI said that it has decided to end the membership of the erring individuals and imposed a fine of five lakh each on them. This is the maximum punishment that the ICAI can award for such misconduct.
K Raghu, President, ICAI, said in the wake of Satyam scam, disciplinary action was initiated against these professionals suspected of misconduct.
The Indian arm of PricewaterCoopers, the statutory auditor of Sayam, was fined $6 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for not following the code of conduct and auditing standards in the performance of its duties related to the auditing of the accounts of Satyam. The Satyam ADR was listed on NASDAQ and ADR holders had filed a class action suit to protect their interest.
After whistle blowing from within, the then Chairman of Satyam, Ramalinga Raju, resigned on January 7, 2009 for a confessed manipulation of accounts by $1.47 billion. In February 2009, CBI took over the investigation.?
Meanwhile, the special court in Hyderabad trying the Satyam case is likely to pronounce the judgment on December 23. On October 30, the special court judge, BVLN Chakravarthi, deferred the case after hearing arguments on the electronic evidence, following a Supreme Court judgment on the admissibility of such evidence.
The apex court had ruled that electronic document not validated could not be admissible as evidence.