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No clean chit to PW auditors
April, 07th 2009

Auditing regulator Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on Monday ruled out a clean chit to tainted Price Waterhouse auditors held in jail for the Satyam scam and said its investigations against them, including disciplinary proceedings, were far from over.

ICAI president Uttam Prakash Aggarwal told TOI that ascertaining the exact role of the auditors, and their complicity if any, would take months. "No decision has been firmed up on the matter so far," Aggarwal said. ICAI's stand comes hours after the auditing body earlier in the day said that Satyam's disgraced ex-CFO Vadlamani Srinivasu told its high-powered committee that neither the Price Waterhouswe auditors S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri nor the independent directors were aware of the scam.

"We are only stating what we were told by Vadlamani. However, we have to verify this from documentary evidence. Inquiry against them (auditors) is on, for which we have to look at many other issues," Aggarwal said.

Three separate investigations are being conducted by the ICAI in relation to the satyam scam. While Aggarwal heads the high-powered committee formed after the scam came to light, ICAI V-P Amarjit Chopra is part of the all-important disciplinary committee that functions independently. Another ICAI agency, financial reporting review board (FRRB), is also looking into the matter and is examining the data and records provided by Price Waterhouse of the last five years of Satyam audit.

Sources said the disciplinary committee probe is the most-important and its findings would form the basis of the future course of action. Chopra refused to indicate the timeframe for probe completion, saying the disciplinary committee was yet to speak to Price Waterhouse auditors. "We have to hear the auditors before arriving at any conclusion," he said.

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