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Satyam fiasco like Mumbai terror hit; difficult to stop: LIC

india Updated: Jan 22, 2009 15:10 IST

The Satyam scam was so sudden and severe that even the best brains could not have stopped it, just like the terror attacks in Mumbai, the IT firm's major shareholder LIC said on Thursday.

"It can be equated with terrorists sneaking into Mumbai and killing hundreds of persons and nobody with the best of preparations could have prevented it," LIC Chairman TS Vijayan told PTI.

"Satyam is a one-off example... Even with the brightest of minds sitting on the board, I do not think, this could have been prevented, because it was systematically committed by someone," said the chief of the government-run life insurer.

"The board was high profile, of proven integrity and ability and even then, they could not see... Auditors were also from the Big Four," he said, when asked if it would have helped to have a nominee on Satyam board from LIC, which has over four per cent stake in the IT firm.

"As far as (our representation on Satyam) board is concerned, we do not insist on a board seat with four per cent stake, because it is mostly an investment and not a strategic issue for us," Vijayan said.

Earlier this month, iconic IT firm's founder B Ramalinga Raju disclosed a massive financial fraud at the company, following which the government disbanded its board and has nominated its own directors, including one member, S Balakrishna Mainak, from LIC.

However, prior to this, LIC did not have any board representation on Satyam.

"It is not the duty of LIC to run that company... We just look at the performance of the company and if it is not doing well, we get out of that... We do not want a board seat, unless we have a strategic position," Vijayan said.