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We referred CBI papers to Mumbai: ICICI

November 13, 2010 03:01 IST

An ICICI Bank official, who deposed before the special court today, said the local branch had referred some documents provided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to its head office for verification.

The documents were seized by CBI from the offices of Satyam Computer Services Ltd and Price Waterhouse.

Satyam had 59 accounts with ICICI Bank between 2001 and 2008 and there were several fixed deposits of the IT services company with the bank, said chief manager of the Hyderabad branch S R Vatsal. He, however, could not recollect the number of fixed deposits.

Vatsal had joined ICICI Bank in June 2005. He was a client banker in the corporate banking group at Begumpet in Hyderabad till recently.

ICICI compiled data of all the 59 accounts at the behest of the investigating agency, he said, adding the branch had two or three client bankers and the account relationship responsibilities were distributed among them. He could not provide the breakup of accounts branchwise but told the court that he supervised various certifications provided to the CBI.

However, the defence counsel said several certificates issued by ICICI Bank did not indicate that the documents given by the CBI were compared with the original records of the bank. To this, Vatsal said different employees in the bank had varied access to the bank's database and the central data was in Mumbai.

The defence counsel also pointed out that the specimen FD receipt enclosed was not valid, as it was 'a used, matured and dead' FD and not an unused one, to explain what an FD would mean or the process involved in making it. The counsel argued that the documents being presented as evidence were not in compliance with the Bankers' Book Evidence Act.

He alleged that ICICI officials were not cooperating during cross-examinations and asked the court to record the questions and responses to know the demeanour of the witness. The court intervened and told the official to respond to the queries first and later substantiate his answers, if required.

On Friday, tainted Satyam founder and prime accused in the case B Ramalinga Raju, left the court soon after the proceedings began. He moved back to Chanchalguda jail, citing health conditions. Former chief financial officer Srinivas Vadlamani and PW auditor Srinivas Talluri left their seats to take note of the arguments while the cross-examination was on.

BS Reporter