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Satyam case: SAT allows cross-examination of witnesses

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Setting aside the order, appellate tribunal today allowed to cross examine witnesses in the Satyam fraud case and asked the regulator to complete the enquiry within four months.

"The board is directed to allow the appellants (PriceWaterhouse) to cross examine the persons ... The board is further directed to complete the enquiry expeditiously preferably within four months from the date of the order," said the order of the Securities and Appellate Tribunal (SAT).

While passing the order, the Tribunal also directed the PriceWaterhouse (PW) to cooperate with the Board and help early completion of the enquiry into the matter.

Following the order, the PW would be able to cross examine members of the PW team which were associated with the erstwhile Satyam Computer.

These include Srinivas Talluri, CH Ravindranath, P Siva Prasad and N Ramu. Sebi, in its earlier order in December 2010, had rejected the plea of PW and others to cross examine them.

The three-member bench of the SAT today issued the order on an appeal filed by the PW.

While upholding the contention of the PW, SAT said, "We are of the view that there has been violation of principles of natural justice in not allowing cross-examination of the witnesses whose statements are being relied upon in the showcause notice and also in not making available copies of the statements which have been relied upon by the board in issuing the showcause notice."

The order pertains to enquiry in the Satyam case, which came to light after the company's founder admitted in January 2009 to fudging of books of accounts.

Satyam Computer was later taken over by Tech Mahindra and renamed as Mahindra Satyam.

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