The Supreme Court on Thursday granted bail to PriceWaterhouse auditor Talluri Srinivas, arrested for his alleged role in doctoring Satyam Computer's accounts in collusion with firm's founder B Ramalinga Raju and others to show a fictitious and fraudulent profit of Rs 7,136 crore.
A bench of Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, Justice JM Panchal and Justice BS Chauhan granted bail to Talluri on a personal bond of Rs 20 lakh with two sureties (people with the same financial worth) of same amount.
While allowing Talluri bail, the bench also asked him not to leave Hyderabad without the permission from the local wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The bench, however, allowed the CBI to keep Talluri's passport, implying that he cannot leave India.
Talluri had come to the apex court challenging the Hyderabad High Court order that refused him bail earlier in December. The high court also denied bail to another auditor, S Gopalakrishnan, who too was accused in the accounting fraud at Satyam Computer Services Ltd.
Talluri was arrested January 9, 2009, by Hyderabad police, which earlier probed the case before it was handed over to the CBI the following month.
The CBI, which has already filed charge sheet against Raju and eight others including the two auditors, opposed the bail plea of Srinivas, saying he was the part of the conspiracy in the entire fraud.
Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval, appearing for the CBI, said the reports received from abroad showed sufficient evidence against him.
Quoting the reports provided by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, he said that while Srinivas was the partner in the PriceWaterhouse, Bangalore, he had signed on the audit reports for and on behalf of the firm deliberately with the knowledge of its implications and consequences, violating the requirements of the Auditing & Assurance Standards 28.
Talluri's counsel, however, contended that his client audited Satyam accounts only after 2007, while the accounts showed inflated profits since early 2000s.