The Supreme Court today issued notices to Subramani Gopalakrishnan, partner of the global auditing firm PriceWaterhouse (PW) and VS Prabhakar Gupta, internal audit head of scam-hit IT firm Satyam Computer, over a plea by the CBI seeking cancellation of their bail granted by the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
A Bench of justices P Sathasivam and BS Chauhan issued notices to Gopalakrishnan and Gupta directing them to file their replies by April 13.
Additional Solicitor General HP Rawal, appearing for CBI, said the apex court had on October 26 last year cancelled the bail granted to B Ramalinga Raju, the founding chairman of Satyam Computer (now Mahindra Satyam), and five others.
He submitted that accordingly, bail granted to Gopalakrishnan and Gupta too should be cancelled on the basis of the apex court's order.
Appearing for Gopalkrishnan, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi opposed the CBI plea, contending the invstigating agency has come to the apex court almost ten months after the high court had granted bail to his client.
He said the high court had given the bail in June 2010 and the probe agency has come to the Supreme Court in April 2011.
Rohatgi said there was not a single allegation against Gopalkrishnan of trying to tamper with evidence or influencing witnesses, warranting cancellation of bail.
"The special court constituted on the direction of the Supreme Court has already completed up to 75 per cent of the trial. We should wait for them," Rohatgi said adding that since November, 2010, 170 witness have been examined.
He also said the Supreme Court has already given bail to one of the PW auditors of Satyam- Talluri Srinivas- and CBI is seeking to send another auditor Gopalkrishnan behind the bars.
However, Rawal said there was difference in the role of Talluri Srinivas and Gopalkrishnan.
"Talluri was for the period of last one year. He merely followed the principles of Gopalkrishnan. Gopalkrishnan has take exorbitant fee from the company (Satyam). He even took charges for other services, which we do not. It may be that the money was to help them (Raju) in conspiracy," said Rawal.
The Bench also agreed and said "both (Talluri and Gopalkrishnan) are on different footing. It cannot be a precedent".