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Auditor out on bail. Raju next?
February, 05th 2010

A year after Satyam promoter Ramalinga Raju confessed to have falsified accounts causing the markets to tank and triggering serious questions about corporate governance, the Supreme Court has granted bail to one of the main accused in the giant swindle on a ground that can raise hopes for others chargesheeted by the CBI.

The court let out auditor T Srinivas on bail on the ground that with the chargesheet running into 55,000 pages and with the agencies continuing to unravel the mystery of the corporate fraud, the trial was going to be a long drawn out affair.

If you have already seized the relevant documents, is his detention after more than one year still needed? asked the court dealing with the bail plea of accused Talluri Srinivas, who as partner of Price Waterhousecoopers was the statutory auditor of Satyam Computer Services Ltd.

Though a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices J M Panchal and B S Chauhan gave bail to Srinivas, who is lodged along with key players Ramalinga Raju, Rama Raju and V Srinivas in Chanchalguda central prison in Hyderabad, it did express serious concern over the manner in which the scam was allowed to happen affecting the countrys economy.

Srinivas is accused of playing ball with the key players in the scam by certifying the accounts as correct, allegedly glossing over falsification of it by over Rs 7,100 crore. The Bench asked him to furnish a bail bond of Rs 20 lakh and two sureties of like amount.

Asking him to appear before police in the first week of every second month and warning him not to tamper with evidence or influence witnesses, the bench felt since the case was based on documents, all of which was already seized by CBI, it would be of no use to keep the accused in jail, where he had been lodged since January 2008.

Appearing for Srinivas, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said the CBI had produced a 55,000 page chargesheet which alleged nothing substantial against the auditor.

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