Had it not been for a fraud, the way things were manipulated for over seven years in IT major Satyam Computer could be a "work of art", former SEBI Chairman M Damodaran said.
"If it were not for a dishonest purpose, the planning and execution to the minutest detail was a work of art," he said at a gathering of CEOs hosted by CEO Clubs, a business network organisation, yesterday.
Damodaran, who is on the board of software firm Tech Mahindra, which made the successful bid for Satyam, said the fraud at Satyam was "unique" and he believes it is an isolated case, not reflective of the state of affairs of India Inc.
Expressing hesitation to reply to a query on the major takeaways for market regulator after the Satyam fiasco, he said he retired as the chief of the Securities and Exchange Board of India over a year now.
Damodaran, ING Group's Chief Representative and Adviser in India, however, said the idea should be to catch some of the big frauds and punishment should be swift and fast to act as a deterrent for others.
He cited the example of Harshad Mehta and Nick Leeson. While the courts sat on the case till Mehta himself died, Leeson was arrested, served the punishment, released, wrote a book and started afresh, he said.