The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has given a clean chit to the the company secretaries, G Jayaraman, global head of corporate governance and Savita Jyoti, practicing company secretary of Satyam Computers on their role in the accounting fraud.
NK Jain, secretary, ICSI told FE, “On the basis of the investigation done by the core group and the information provided by the two company secretaries, the institute is of the view that there is no cause of concern with reference to the company secretaries.”
However Jain added that if other agencies like the Registrar of Companies (ROC), Sebi and Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) investigatng the Satyam matter come out with any adverse finding related to the company secretaries then the institute will surely take a call.
For now, the ICAI has made its stand clear in the Satyam matter by saying that “There is no cause of concern with reference to the company secretaries in the country’s biggest corporate fraud worth Rs 7800 crore and our company secretaries have done their job well.”
According to ICSI, the two company secretaries of Satyam did some certification for Satyam but were not involved in the certification of clause 49.
Clause 49 of the listing agreement is the certification on compliance of various requirements of corporate governance. In case of Satyam, this was done by the statutory auditors.
The 7 member core group of ICSI included Kayoor Bakshi, immediate past president of ICSI along with six other council members which includes Preeti Malhotra, SN Anantha Subramaniam, Anil Murarka, B arasimhan, R Sridharan, Nesar Ahmad.
NK Jain, CEO and secretary, ICSI had earlier said, “We need to identify the role of company secretaries (CS) in this scandal and build an adequate framework in place to prevent re-occurrence of such episodes in future and to further strengthen the existing framework.”
Like the accounting regulator, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), ICSI had also started investigating the role of their members in the Satyam corporate fraud after it received a letter from ministry of corporate affairs seeking clarification on the role of company secretaries in the Satyam scandal.
ICSI had formed a ‘core group’ to find out whether the two company secretaries of Satyam were involved in the fraud or not.
The two company secretaries in their replies to the institute made it clear that they never did anything wrong and were just performing their duty as the company secretary of the company.
The ICSI president, Datla Hanumanta Raju had earlier said that in case any of our members is found guilty of any misconduct, within the framework of Company Secretaries Act 1980, then the strictest disciplinary action would be taken against the erring member which includes removing his name from the list of members of ICSI and pecuniary fines.