Karnik Satyam chief
New Delhi, February 6
The government also decided to extend the probe by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to 325 more companies associated with the beleaguered firm and its chairman. Besides, 25 individuals associated with company’s past chairman Ramalinga Raju would also be investigated.
Corporate Affairs Minister PC Gupta made the announcement about Karnik's elevation from being a member of the company's board to executive chairman. The minister gave an assurance that the perpetrators of the scam will soon be bought to book. Addressing a press conference here, Gupta said: “The probe is heading in the right direction. You will definitely have an outcome that is required in the larger interests of the corporate sector. It will be a fair assessment of the situation”.
The minister said the SFIO, which was already investigating the Rs 7,800-crore fraud by Raju, had been given an additional mandate of investigating the links of another 325 companies and 25 individuals with Satyam.
He said the probe would seek to ascertain if founder and former chairman of Satyam B. Ramalinga Raju, along with his associates, had used a network of companies to perpetrate the scam on what has been India’s fourth largest IT company.
There is, however, a time frame that has been set for the probe to be completed.
When asked when the probe was likely to be completed, the minister said: “As soon as possible, they will do it. But you will appreciate that it takes time.”
Gupta also defended the newly appointed chief executive officer of Satyam A. Murty, particularly in the wake of reports that he had sold 40,000 shares in Satyam days before Raju admitted to financial bungling.
Karnik was part of first group of the three directors appointed to the board after the previous board was dissolved following the disclosure of the fraud.
Pursuant to the directions of the Company Law Board, the government initially had appointed Karnik, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh and past-presiding officer of Securities Appellate Tribunal C Achutan to the board.
Later, three more members were nominated, including CII chief mentor Tarun Das, LIC nominee S Balakrishna Mainak and past-president of ICAI TN Manoharan.
Karnik, who will head Satyam, was Nasscom president in 2001-02 and has earlier held several key positions in the IT sector. He has also served as managing director of Discovery Network in the country.