The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), said it will not initiate proceedings against S Gopalakrishnan, ex-partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore Satyam accounting scandal until the Delhi High Court’s stay on Srinivas Talluri, ex-partner, PwC, is lifted.
While Talluri was granted bail in April 2010, Gopalakrishnan was given bail in June 2010. Both the auditors were allegedly involved in the accounting fraud and ICAI, which is probing the role of auditors in the scam hasn’t made any progress so far due to their unavailability.
Talluri moved the Delhi High Court, when ICAI summoned him to participate in the disciplinary committee proceedings in April 2010. Subsequently, the court granted him a stay and the case is coming up for hearing this month.
“We have made an appeal in the High Court to lift the stay on Talluri, so that we can proceed with the case. We are unable to make any headway due to the stay,” Amarjit Chopra, President, ICAI told Express. ICAI also said, it will move the Supreme Court in case if the High Court’s ruling is in favour of Talluri.
“We will not initiate proceedings on Gopalakrishnan until Talluri appears in the disciplinary committee meetings. He (Gopalakrishnan) too would follow suit and make an appeal in the court seeking a stay. We are taking a legal opinion to try and find alternate ways of involving them in the probe,” Chopra said.
According to sources, Talluri sought a stay citing two reasons. One, since he audited Satyam’s accounts for only three quarters, he didn’t wanted to participate in the meeting in isolation, as Gopalakrishnan, was still under judicial custody then. Secondly, since all the necessary documents were under CBI custody, Talluri went on to explain that he lacked access to information on which he can rely on and defend his role.
It must be noted that ICAI’s high-powered committee, first submitted its investigative report on the alleged involvement of auditors in April 2009 and since then, no action has been taken on the accused as they weren’t given an opportunity to defend themselves.