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SC rejects PW auditors bail plea
April, 20th 2010

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the bail plea of Price Waterhouse auditor Subramani Gopalkrishnan, 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 while dismissing the auditors bail plea observed that the auditor can renew his prayer for bail in the Andhra High Court. Gopalakrishnan withdrew his appeal.

Senior counsel Siddhart Luthra, appearing for Gopalkrishnan, said there was no distinction between the charges framed against another auditor Talluri Srinivas, who is on bail since February 3, and Gopalkrishanan.

Only difference is that Gopalkrishnan audited the Satyam accounts for seven years while Talluri did it for only two years, he said, adding that the former was not an employee of Satyam but was an external auditor.

Luthra further informed the court that the trial in the Satyam scam had not started yet and will take another two years to start and thus his client should not be kept behind bars till then.

Opposing the bail plea additional solicitor general Harin Rawal said Talluri had carried forward the audit done by Gopalakrishnan, who played a major role in the scam. Besides, Gopalkrishnan is not cooperating with the trial, he added.

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

While denying any criminal wrongdoing in their appeals, the auditors had said that their role was minimal and had charged CBI, which is investigating the Satyam fraud, with adopting an unprofessional approach by linking all the accused. The High Court in December last year had dismissed the bail pleas of the auditors involved in the accounting fraud at Satyam Computer Services Ltd.

However, Srinivas got bail from the apex court on February 3 after he was asked to furnish a personal bond of Rs 20 lakh and two sureties of like amount and surrender of his passport as the condition of his release on bail. Even disgraced Satyam Computers founder and ex-chairman B Ramalinga Raju bail was dismissed in March.

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