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Govt seizes Satyam documents

January 09, 2009 14:57 IST
Last Updated: January 09, 2009 17:01 IST

A team of government officials investigating the Rs 7,800-crore (Rs 78 billion) Satyam [Get Quote] fraud seized the documents from the premises of the company and its record office in Hyderabad.

"The procedure of seizure was on till five in the morning," corporate affairs minister Prem Chand Gupta told reporters on Friday.

The government, he said, has also rushed an eight-member team to Hyderabad to investigate the accounts of eight subsidiary companies of IT major Satyam Computer Services, whose founder B Ramalinga Raju admitted doctoring the accounts and presenting a false picture and resigned as chairman on Wednesday.

The eight companies, against which the ministry of corporate affairs has ordered inspection on Thursday, include Maytas Properties and Maytas Infrastructure.

Following the disclosure, the MCA has asked the Registrar of Companies, Hyderabad to investigate the company, while market regulator Sebi also ordered a probe.

"After obtaining judicial order from the magistrate in Hyderabad, the Registrar of Companies, in coordination with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, went to the office of Satyam and seized the documents from its premises and the record office of the company," Gupta said.

The minister had earlier said that the matter would be referred to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office, a wing of the government that investigates grave corporate offenses.

"The eight officers, which have been send to Hyderabad, will be called inspectors on behalf of the government. They will carry out inspection under 209A of the Companies Act," Gupta said.

In addition to Maytas Properties and Maytas Infrastructure, the other Satyam group subsidiaries which are under probe include Satyam BPO, Nipuna Services, Knowledge Dynamics, Nitor Global Solutions, CA Satyam ASP and Satyam Venture Engineering Services.

The problem in Satyam erupted after the IT major tried to buyout Maytas Properties and Maytas Infrastructure, companies belonging to kins of the promoters of Satyam. The $1.6-billion deal, however, was aborted following protest from the shareholders.

Gupta further said, "The government is committed to protect the interest of 53,000 employees, three lakh shareholders and clients of Satyam. We are concerned about all of them. Whatever is the best under the law, we will do".

The shares of Satyam at the Bombay Stock Exchange was trading at Rs 24.10, down 40 per cent over the previous day's close.

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