India’s market regulator, the Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI), on Wednesday, barred Price Water houses’ networking entities from issuing audit certificates to any listed company in India for two years after finding the Firm guilty in Satyam scam.
SEBI has also ordered the disgorgement of over Rs. 13 crores of wrongful gains from the auditing firm and it’s two erstwhile partners who worked on the IT company’s accounts.
A 108-page order imposes a two-year ban on entities/ firms practicing as chartered accountants in India under the brand and banner of PW from directly or indirectly issuing any certificate of the audit of listed companies, compliance of obligations of listed companies and intermediaries registered with the regulator.
The order is passed nine years after the Satyam Scam and after two failed attempts by auditor major Price Waterhouse to settle the case through consent mechanism.
The order, however, clarifies that this would not adversely affect the audit assignments relating to the financial year 2017-18 undertaken by the firms forming part of the PW network.
Besides, Price Waterhouse Bangalore and its two erstwhile partners, S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri — have been directed to jointly and severally disgorge the wrongful gains of “Rs 13,09,01,664 with interest calculated at the rate of 12 percent per annum from January 7, 2009, till the date of payment”. The payment must be made within 45 days.
Further, Gopalakrishnan and Talluri have been restrained from directly or indirectly issuing any certificate of the audit of listed companies, compliance of obligations of listed companies and intermediaries registered with Sebi for three years.
“The network structure of operations adopted by the international accounting firm should not be used as a shield to avoid legal implications arising out of the certifications issued under the brand name of the network,” the order said.
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