Kiran Karnik named Satyam chairman, fraud probe extended

February 6th, 2009 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Ramalinga RajuNew Delhi, Feb 6 (IANS) Noted technocrat Kiran Karnik was Friday named chairman of the scam-hit Satyam Computer Services even as the probe by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office was extended to 325 more companies associated with the beleaguered firm.Corporate Affairs Minister P.C. Gupta made the announcement about Karnik’s elevation from being a member of the company’s board to executive chairman, while giving an assurance that the perpetrators of the scam will soon be bought to book.

“The probe is heading in the right direction. You will definitely have an outcome that is required in the larger interests of the corporate sector. It will be a fair assessment of the situation,” the minister told a press conference here.

Gupta, however, declined to go into who nominated Karnik to the chairman’s seat - the board or the government. “What difference does it make to you?” he replied in Hindi, adding: “Don’t complicate matters.”

The minister said the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO), which was already probing the $1.43-billion scam, has been given an additional mandate of investigating the links among Satyam, 325 other companies and 25 individuals.

He said the probe will seek to ascertain if founder and former chairman of Satyam B. Ramalinga Raju, along with his associates, had used a network of companies to perpetrate the scam on what has been India’s fourth largest IT company.

“SFIO will probe linkages between all these individuals, all these companies.”

The minister said he had no time-frame to offer as to when the probe will be concluded. “As soon as possible, they will do it. But You will appreciate that it takes time.”

Gupta also went on to defend the newly-appointed chief executive officer of Satyam, A. Murty, particularly in the wake of reports that he had sold 40,000 shares in Satyam days before Raju admitted to financial misdemeanours.

“Then what, if you have you will also sell. Let us not make an issue of this and disturb the gentleman. Let him work.”

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