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SC to decide on bail plea of PW auditor
January, 19th 2010

The Supreme Court will decide on February 3 the bail plea of Price Waterhouse auditor Talluri Srinivas, who was arrested in the Rs 7,136-crore Satyam fraud case for allegedly conniving with its founder B Ramalinga Raju and other aides.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan posted the matter for final hearing on February 3 after hearing counsel for both the partiesSrinivas and CBI. Earlier, it had sought response from the investigative agency on an appeal field by Srinivas challenging the Andhra Pradesh High Court verdict that rejected his bail.

Even the high court in December last year had rejected the bail plea of another auditor S Gopalakrishnan who was also accused in the accounting fraud at Satyam Computer Services Ltd. Talluri, while denying any criminal wrongdoing in its appeal, has said his role was minimal and charged CBI with adopting an unprofessional approach by linking all the accused.

CBI, which has already filed chargesheet against Raju and eight others including the two auditors, opposed the bail plea of Srinivas, saying he was the part of the conspiracy in the entire fraud.

Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval, appearing for CBI, said that the reports received from abroad showed sufficient evidence against him.

Quoting the reports provided by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, he said that while Srinivas was the partner in the Price Waterhouse, Bangalore, he had affixed signature on the audit reports for and on behalf of Price Waterhouse deliberately with the knowledge of its implications and consequences and violated the requirements of the Auditing & Assurance Standards 28.

Talluri Srinivas has intentionally certified the inflated and forged balance sheets prepared on the basis of the forged FDRs and other data furnished to him with regard to the banks and also the status of sales without making any mandatory independent verifications, CBI said in its reply.

Besides, it said that the confirmations received from banks by the accused were in great variance with the figures provided by the management of company and in the books of the accounts.

Despite this glaring discrepancy Srinivas in furtherance of the conspiracy, has chosen the forged bank confirmations provided by the accused, certified the same and incorporated in the final accounts, the agency said.

The auditors were arrested on January 24, 2009 on charges of conspiring in the fraud and had been in judicial custody since then at the Chanchalguda central jail in Hyderabad.

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