The CBI’s Multi-Disciplinary Investigation Team (MDIT) played a crucial role in unraveling the Satyam scam, which was not only massive in scale but also posed challenge to investigators due to web of transactions and other technicalities, said V V Lakshmi Narayana who was part of the high-profile probe.
“MDIT was started for the first time in the CBI. The Andhra Pradesh CID also carried out excellent investigation initially. This is one of the major corporate frauds in the country.
“Understanding the system and the fraud was the major challenge we faced during investigation at the beginning. When we got the case in our hands it was over 40-day old. And within 43 days we had to file the charge sheet. And we did. On some days we worked for over 18 to 19 hours a day,” Lakshmi Narayana told PTI today.
The officer, currently posted as the Joint Commissioner of Police, Thane, was with CBI when the case was handed over to the agency by the Centre on February 18, 2009.
“Our officials had to travel to several countries to chase the case. We have sent Letters of Rogatory to investigate the case,” the police official said.
Ramalinga Raju, former chairman of Satyam Computer Services Limited (later merged with Tech Mahindra) had confessed to the Rs 7,800-crore fraud on January 7, 2009 and accepted he had cooked company’s account books and inflated profits over the last several years. He was arrested by AP police on January 9, 2009.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs said the case forced the ministry to relook into the role of independent directors of companies.
After the CBI filed its charge sheet in the case, the Enforcement Directorate also got involved and started its investigation and provisionally attached some of the assets belonging to Raju and his family members.
The CBI had termed Satyam case as one of the biggest corporate frauds in independent India, having international ramifications.
“It was a complicated case involving digital evidences, computer techniques, audit procedures accounting standards, revenue records source codes and computer network log etc,” according to CBI.
In January last year, Ramalinga Raju’s wife Nandini Raju and sons Teja Raju and Rama Raju were among 21 relatives of the ex-Satyam boss who were convicted by a special court for Economic Offences here for default in Income Tax payment.
On December 8, 2014, Raju, his bother Rama Raju, Vadlamani Srinivas and former director Ram Mynampati were sentenced to six-month jail term and fined by the Special Court for Economic Offences in connection with complaints filed by Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) for violation of various provisions of the Companies Act.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in June 2014 barred Raju and four others from markets for 14 years and asked them to return Rs 1,849 crore worth of unlawful gains with interest.