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US SEC team meets Satyam board

BS Reporter in Hyderabad | February 05, 2009 13:31 IST

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The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  team met the six-member government appointed board of the Satyam Computer Services [Get Quote] here on Thursday.

Sources said that the SEC delegation was also likely to meet the Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department, which is probing the Satyam fraud case, to gather details of the scam.

Meanwhile, the two-day meeting of the Satyam board resumed in the morning. It is expected to induct former managing director of Tata Chemicals [Get Quote] Homi R Khusrokhan on the company's board of directors as executive director (ED) and former chief financial officer (CFO) of Murugappa group Partho S Datta as Director (Finance).

The board is also seriously mulling the buyout options that emerged with the interest of numerous suitors in the company. The names include that of Larsen & Toubro and B K Modi-owned Spice group (both asking for management control), Mahindra & Mahindra, Hinduja group, Essar group (Aegis BPO), HCL Technologies [Get Quote], Tech Mahindra [Get Quote] and iGate. Other unconfirmed names include that of Fijustu, Hitachi and IBM.

On the other hand, the five-member team from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), which grilled Satyam Computer Services founder B Ramalinga Raju on Wednesday, is currently questioning the company's former managing director B Rama Raju at the Chanchalguda jail in Hyderabad.

The Sebi team led by its southern zone general manager A Sunil Kumar said that it had questioned only Ramalinga Raju on Wednesday.

Sebi is learnt to have questioned Raju on fudging of accounts, insider trading of it firm's stocks, diversion of Satyam funds to other companies promoted by his family and other issues.

Raju's counsel S Bharath Kumar, who has stationed himself near the jail premises, said that he was not allowed to be present during the interrogation even on Thursday.  "We will question the validity of statements extracted in a confinement," he said on Wednesday adding that the Raju brothers have no legal assistance as they are in a prison.

The Raju brothers are in judicial custody till February 7. The police have also taken Price Waterhouse partners and auditors S Gopalakrishnan and Talluri Srinivas into two-day custody for custodial interrogation. Their police custody will end at 4 in the evening on Thursday.

The Satyam episode also figured in the state Legislative Assembly on Thursday with the opposition members demanding a debate on the scam-tainted company. Speaker, Suresh Reddy, said that the issue would be taken up for discussion on Monday.

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