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More probes, more chaos

With too many agencies working to unravel the Satyam scam, investigations are likely to get lengthier and messier, reports Satya Prakash.

business Updated: Jan 13, 2009 00:58 IST
Satya Prakash
Satya Prakash
Hindustan Times

With too many agencies working to unravel the Satyam scam, investigations are likely to get lengthier and messier. As many as four agencies — Andhra Pradesh Police’s CB-CID, Registrar of Companies, SEBI and Serious Fraud Investigation office — are probing the Rs 7,000-crore scam.

The BJP has demanded probe by a central regulatory agency while the CPM has asked the government to ensure proper coordination between the separate investigations and monitoring by a single department of the union government.

Several experts favour a single coordinated inquiry by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by the CBI to speed up the probe, in which the other agencies are represented.

Senior Supreme Court advocate KTS Tulsi said: "There should be an SIT under the CBI in which representatives of Company Law Board, SEBI and Serious Fraud Office can also be included. A swift investigation and trial will restore the confidence of domestic as well as foreign investors in our stock market.”

Tulsi emphasised, “Even if separate prosecutions are required to be filed, a coordinated probe under one agency will be much faster and the same set of documents can be examined simultaneously for various offences under different laws.”

Agreeing with Tulsi, SC advocate Lalit Bhasin said: “Yes, there should be a coordinated probe…till the time a decision is taken various agencies involved in the probe should coordinate among themselves.”

Noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani, however, said there was no need for an SIT probe. “What is important is that various agencies involved should coordinate among themselves,” he said, adding: “The CBI is no better than the local police."

Jethmalani said the real challenge was to convert V. Ramalinga Raju’s ‘confession letter’ into legally admissible evidence.

First Published: Jan 13, 2009 00:57 IST