Raju Grilled. Kiran Karnik Likely to be on Satyam Board

Hyderabad/New Delhi
Raju Grilled. Kiran Karnik Likely to be on Satyam Board

The Andhra Pradesh police today questioned Satyam's tainted founder Ramalinga Raju, even as market regulator SEBI and the Serious Fraud Investigation teams sought access to quiz Raju to piece together the entire financial fraud in the IT major.

Police resumed interrogation this morning after Raju underwent a medical check-up after he complained of chest pain and is expected to produce the disgrased Chairman and his brother before a magistrate anytime now.

The police also told teams of SEBI and Serious Fraud Investigation Office of the Corporate Affairs Ministry to get magistrate's permission to question Raju.

Meanwhile, Satyam's Head Global Marketing and Communications Hari Thalapalli said that the Company Law Board asked Satyam's interim management for not implementing the decisions of the board, although it allowed the company to continue with the business.

"We are asked by the Company Law Board not to implement the decisions of the Board. But we are allowed to continue our activity. The team which was constituted recently is continuing its work," he said.

Thalapalli added that business was going on normally at Satyam Computer though an element of uncertainty has crept into the company following the suspension of the Board.

The government had disbanded the Satyam Board on Friday, while announcing it would nominate 10 new members.

SEBI Chairman C B Bhave today called on Corporate Affairs Minister Prem Chand Gupta and discussed the concerted action by the regulator as well as the SFIO to get to the root of the fraud in Satyam.

Gupta later briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the developments.

Kiran Karnik's name doing the rounds

Meanwhile, the government is said to be considering Kiran Karnik, former chief of software industry body Nasscom, as one of the independent directors on the board of Satyam. 

Sources say Karnik could be one of the 10 nominee directors to be appointed by the government. When contacted, Karnik said: "I have no knowledge about this. As of now I have not been contacted by anyone in this regard."

The nominee members, official sources said, would be from various fields such as law, finance, IT and insurance. Besides, representatives from RBI, SEBI and LIC are also expected to join the new board of Satyam.

According to Corporate Affairs Minister P C Gupta, the first meeting of the new board of Satyam will take place within a week of reconstitution of the Board.

The new board, the minister said, will also take a view on the management of the company.

Names of HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh and IIM-A Professor Jayant Varma are also being tipped to join the new board ofthebattered IT firm.

Karnik, former President of Nasscom, was the Managing Director at Discovery Networks in India from 1995-2001. He spearheaded the launch of Discovery Channel in South Asia in August 1995 and Animal Planetin 1999. Karnik has worked for over 20 years with the Indian Space Research Organisation .

Only an interim measure

Meanwhile, the Company Law Board, which had recommended disbanding of the Board of tainted IT firm Satyam Computer, has clarified that the appointment of new directors will be an interim measure and was confident it would bounce back in months.

"Appointment of new directors is only an interim measure. After the investigations are completed... On the basis of their results, final order would be passed," S Balasubramanian, CLB Chairman, told PTI on the ongoing probe in the Rs 7,800-crore financial fraud in Satyam Computer.

Asked whether a multi-level probe by Registrar of Companies, SEBI, SFIO and state authorities would overlap with judicial investigation of the CLB, he said: "It has nothing to do with the judicial process of the CLB. All other investigations are independent."

Various regulatory agencies have started investigations into the country's biggest corporate fraud disclosed by Satyam founder B Ramalinga Raju three days ago.

On the future of the company which employs over 50,000 skilled employees, Subramanian said: "I am very confident that with the potential human resource of the company and with the assistance of directors of the to-be reconstituted board, Satyam Computer would bounce back within a few months."

He also said that none of the employees should be disheartened at what has happened now.

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