The government has expanded the 'Serious Fraud' probe to cover 325 firms and 25 individuals related to Satyam and Ramalinga Raju's family, as it named Kiran Karnik as chairman of the troubled IT company.
The announcement coincided with market regulator SEBI winding up its three-day interrogation of Raju and his brother Rama Raju, who are in a Hyderabad jail awaiting trial.
Briefing reporters on the latest official action on the Satyam front, Corporate Affairs Minister Prem Chand Gupta said the probe was progressing in the right direction.
Satyam's auditor Price Waterhouse will also be subject to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) probe, he said, adding that the order was issued today.
There are approximately 325 companies and about 20-25 individuals who would be covered by the SFIO probe. "They are related to same Satyam and Raju (family) group and the SFIO would look into linkages between all these companies and all these individuals," he said.
The SFIO would examine the role of individuals and issues concerning diversion of funds, among others, he said.
Gupta also announced that Karnik, past president of software industry body Nasscom, has been appointed as Satyam's new chairman. The government-appointed board had only yesterday named Satyam veteran A S Murty as the company's new CEO.
"The probe is heading in the right direction... As required in the larger interest of the corporate sector and in the direction all of which we wish .... It will be a fair assessment of the whole situation," Gupta said.
On whether the investigating agency was equipped to conduct the probe at this scale, the minister said the SFIO is well equipped to tackle with the issues.
SFIO has moved a magistrate court in Hyderabad to quiz the Raju brothers. Only today, SEBI concluded its questioning of the Rajus.
Following disclosure of an accounting fraud by Satyam founder Raju on January 7, the government had ordered probe into the IT company and also related entities including Maytas Infra and Maytas Properties.
The company and its former executives and auditor Price Waterhouse are also facing class-action lawsuits in the US.
Kiran Karnik Appointed Chairman of Satyam
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