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Satyam scam: SEBI vs Price Waterhouse, verdict on Aug 13
August, 12th 2010

At the Bombay High Court, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Price Waterhouse completed their arguments today in their tussle related to the Satyam scam.

For starters what is the question of law over here, are chartered accountants in their capacity as per professionals acting as auditors covered under the SEBI Act? That is a million dollar question, which the division bench of the Bombay High Court will answer when it passes its judgment on Friday that is August 13, 2010.

The arguments of both the parties are over today. Significantly, the Price Waterhouse Counsel sought a quashing of all the show cause notices that were issued by SEBI under Fraudulent & Unfair Trade Practices (FUTP) regulations. These show cause notices were related to the Satyam scam.

The Price Waterhouse counsel also pointed out that in an earlier order the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal had directed a case of auditor misconduct to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Then he went to point out that the power to remove or suspend auditors rest only with the ICAI and this above right has been interfered by SEBI.

In response, the SEBI counsel pointed out that SEBI is in no mood to use up anyones powers and that auditors have a direct relationship with shareholders and that is why they have a direct association with the share market. Hence, they come under SEBIs ambit. We will have to look at Friday, August 13, to get to know the answer to this question.

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