After 13 months in jail, PwC auditor Srinivas Talluri has got a bail from the Supreme Court after furnishing a personal bond worth Rs. 20 lakh. Karanjawala & Co. had briefed Mukul Rohatgi and Siddharth Luthra.
After doing time for 13 months at a Hyderabad jail, the Supreme Court has finally granted a bail to Srinivas Talluri. The Full Bench headed by the Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan granted bail to the auditor on a personal bond of Rs. 20 Lakh ($415,000) in addition to two sureties totaling Rs. 40 lakh ($830,000). PriceWaterhouse auditor Talluri Srinivas was arrested on January 9 last year for his alleged role in assisting Raju Brothers in the Satyam scam to show fictitious and fraudulent profits of Rs. 7,136 crore ($1.49 billion).
The matter was listed as the first matter yesterday and was argued by Senior Counsels, Mukul Rohatgi and Siddharth Luthra, who have been holding fort for PwC fort in the entire Satyam dispute and are briefed by Ruby Singh Ahuja, Manu Aggarwal and Jatin Mongia of Karanjawala & Co. The same team appeared before the High Court in a related dispute when the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India issued a show cause notice on PwC.
One of the arguments put forth by Talluri’s lawyers was that he audited Satyam’s books only from 2007 and the fraud was being perpetrated since 2000, which is much before 2007. Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval, appearing for the CBI, said the reports received from abroad showed sufficient evidence against Talluri.
However, questions as to how PwC allow an accounting error of such magnitude, or whether they played a more inclusive role remain. These questions remain, so much so that aspersions have been cast on their competence.
While PwC has engaged a bunch of high profile counsels, the prime accused, the Raju Brothers have engaged a variety of counsels subject to the jurisdiction of the case. With the auditors getting bail, we must wait and watch whether the Raju brothers are next in line with their bail petitions.