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ICAI investigations in Satyam case in final stages
March, 26th 2010

The Indian government Wednesday allayed apprehensions that accounting regulator ICAI was not working speedily against auditors involved in the accounting fraud in erstwhile Satyam Computers, even as the US counterpart has already banned two such auditors.

"The work is in final phase. ICAI is working on it...We should not say they are not working. We are moving forward," India's Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told reporters on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) function here.

Earlier this month, the US regulator for auditors, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), had barred Siva Prasad Pulavarthi and Chintapatla Ravindernath - senior executives with PricewaterhouseCoopers' associate Lovelock &

Lewes, the former auditor for Satyam Computers.

However, the Indian accounting regulator, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), is yet to complete its disciplinary committee hearings against two PriceWaterhouse

auditors involved in Satyam accounting -- S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri--who were imprisoned and recently were granted bail.

Khurshid said, "We must keep in mind those two people were imprisoned... We will move forward very quickly... There is no reason to worry on what needs to be done."

The Minister said ICAI is awaiting certain documents, which could not be furnished earlier as the two auditors were in jail.

Siva Prasad Pulavarthi and Chintapatla Ravindernath were senior executives with PricewaterhouseCoopers' associate Lovelock & Lewes, the former auditor for Satyam Computers.

LoveLock had undertaken the auditing of Satyam's account for four years between 2004-05 and 2007-08.

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India is also investigating auditors' role among other things in Satyam fraud.

Khurshid said,"I think you can be assured that SEBI will do the best... no timeline, but we are just trying to do the things that need to be done..."

Over Rs 7,000 crore Satyam fraud came into light in January, 2009, when the then Chairman Ramalinga Raju had confessed to overstating the accounts in the balancesheet.

 
 
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