BJP, CPI-M want strong action against Satyam culprits

January 8th, 2009 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Thursday urged the government to take strong and immediate action against those behind the financial fraud at leading IT firm Satyam Computers.The two parties described the over Rs.70 billion (Rs.7,000 crore) scam as the biggest corporate fraud in the country and said the entire episode raised serious concerns about the very legitimacy of Indian market.

“Civil, criminal and corporate liability in the matter must be investigated and the guilty must be punished,” BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

“The government should immediately exercise its right under Section 401 of the Companies Act and approach the Company Law Board and get an interim management established because the entire affair of Satyam Computers has been conducted in a manner prejudicial to public interest,” Prasad said.

The BJP spokesman expressed concern over the failure in detecting the fraud in Satyam Computers, a company listed on stock exchanges, by internal and external auditors and independent directors as well as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

“The much larger question remains as to how the company affairs ministry is conducting itself. The prime minister owes to the nation to inform as to why steps were not taken in time, more particularly when many questionable deals were (made) by Satyam Computers to promote family interest and hurt corporate and shareholders’ interest,” the BJP said.

Suspecting political patronage to Satyam founder chairman B. Ramalinga Raju, Prasad said: “There are already reports that the project for Hyderabad Metro has been given to one of the group companies in circumstances, which raise a lot of questions.”

The CPI-M urged the government to “take suo motu cognizance of the admission of guilt by the Satyam chairman and immediately proceed against him (and take him) into custody.”

“The concerned directors in the Satyam board and the audit firm PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC) must also be held accountable for the gigantic fraud, and strict penal action should be initiated against them,” the party central committee said in a statement from Kochi.

“It is noteworthy that PwC partners were earlier indicted for fraudulent accounting after the collapse of Global Trust Bank,” it said.

The party also urged “the government to take immediate steps to safeguard the interests of the 53,000 employees of Satyam Computers”.

“It is important to ensure proper coordination between the separate investigations and monitoring by a single department of the union government. The entire fraud should be thoroughly and speedily investigated and all the beneficiaries of the scam brought to book,” the CPI-M said.

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