The Appellate Authority for chartered accountants has upheld the sector regulator ICAI’s decision to bar two former statutory auditors of the erstwhile Satyam Computer Services Ltd -- P Sivaprasad and Chintapatla Ravindernath -- for professional misconduct.
In its order, the Appellate Authority said the fact that fudged accounts were certified as true and fair accounts for nine long years shows and proves that the conduct of the audit by the auditors was in gross disregard to the audit requirements.
It may be mentioned that in December, 2011, ICAI’s disciplinary panel found the two auditors guitly of professional misconduct and slapped them with a penalty of `5 lakh each besides seeking the removal of their names from the Institute’s register of members. Both Sivaprasad and Ravindernath were part of Price Waterhouse and Company of India at Bangalore (PW India, Bangalore) -- the then statutory auditor of Satyam Computers, now renamed Mahindra Satyam, from 2000 till 2009.
According to the order, Sivaprasad was associated with the audit of Satyam from April 2000 to March, 2005, while Ravindernath was associated with the company’s audit from April 2005 to September, 2008.
The Appellate Authority’s order was based on the appeals made by Sivaprasad and Ravindernath against the panel’s decision.
The Appellate Authority, set up under the Chartered Accountants Act, is chaired by former Delhi High Court Judge S N Dhingra.
The multi-crore Satyam accounting scandal came to light in January, 2009, with its then chairman B Ramalinga Raju admitting to fudging of accounts for more than `7,000 crore over a period of nine years starting from the year 2000.