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Satyam: Min promises strictest action

January 08, 2009 17:20 IST

Corporate affairs minister Prem Chand Gupta, said on Thursday the government will take the strictest possible action in a coordinated manner to deal with the situation arising from the admission of fraud by the founder-chairman of Satyam Computer, B Ramalinga Raju.

"I had a meeting with the senior officials from the ministry of finance, Securities and Exchange Board of India, ministry of law and justice and the ministry of information and technology.

"We are taking coordinated action in a very firm manner and there would be no laxity on anybody's part," he said.

Noting that the market regulator Sebi and the Registrar of Companies are already on the job, the minister said, "As far as the auditors are concerned we have asked ICAI to take strictest possible action against the erring auditors."

While a team of Sebi has already reached Hyderabad, headquarters of Satyam Computer, the government has asked the RoC to look into the matters concerning the erring company.

Asked if the Prime Minister's Office has sought details on the Satyam controversy from the corporate or finance ministry, Gupta said, "I do not think it is necessary for me to discuss that."

"As the government we are concerned . . .we would be taking a coordinated action and it would be strictest possible action against the erring company, its officers and auditors, board members and whoever were involved in this fraud," he added.

The government, he said, is exploring various options to deal with the corporate fraud and protect the interest of investors and stakeholders.

"We are exploring various options... we are in fact more concerned about investors (and) the stakeholders", he said, when asked whether the government was proposing to appoint an independent director on Satyam's board.

Describing the whole episode as 'shameful', Gupta said on Wednesday the government would refer the case of financial bungling by Satyam to Serious Fraud Investigation Office after verifying the facts.

The controversy began after Satyam chairman B Ramalinga Raju admitted that company had overstated earnings and underestimated liabilities in its account books.

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