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SFIO probe into Satyam deal likely

December 29, 2008 19:47 IST

The government said on Tuesday it would refer the controversial $1.6-billion Satyam-Maytas failed deal to the Serious Frauds Investigation Office if the Registrar of Companies detects major irregularities during its investigation into the issue.

"The case is already with the registrar of companies. If the RoC and regional director say that the case is of serious nature, and a serious fraud has been committed, it will be referred to the SFIO," a corporate affairs ministry official said on Monday.

Satyam [Get Quote] had abandoned the deal on December 17, a day after it announced acquisitions of two Maytas firms, promoted by the family of company chairman B Ramalinga Raju in the face of stiff protests from investors who charged violation of corporate governance.

Within days, the World Bank also made public an eight-year ban on the company on charges of bribery and wrong business practices.

The ministry has asked the RoC to submit within three weeks reports of the Satyam-Maytas deal and the details involved.

The official, who did not want to be named, said that the issue could also be sent to the Company Law Board, a quasi-judicial body that also looks into the working of companies in the interest of minority shareholders.

For this, the ministry could even waive the condition of a minimum 10 per cent of shareholders required for moving the CLB with complaints. Even if there are lesser number of shareholders approaching the government, the ministry could refer the matter to CLB, he said, adding till now 'no one has filed a complaint'.

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