Slamming the now defunct Satyam Computers' directors for failing to perform their duty, Reserve Bank of India general manager J L Negi, who is with CBI's economic offences wing, said, "The directors were sponsored by B Ramalinga Raju. They acted as rubber stamps and not even a single dissent note was recorded. Meetings were conducted in a perfunctory manner and promoters were always present to influence the decision."
In another disclosure, Negi said that the company's directors were not only given handsome remuneration by Raju, but were given Satyam stock options at a mere Rs2 a share as against the market price of Rs500 per share.
Satyam's board of directors included some globally renowned figures like Pentium chip inventor Vinod K Dham, corporate governance expert and Harvard School faculty member Krishna G Palepu, former Indian School of Business dean M Mohan Rao, and Harvard University fellow Mangalam Srinivasan, as well as some government officials like IAS officer V P Rama Rao, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chairman and IIT Delhi director V S Raju, and former cabinet secretary T R Prasad.
The multi-billion Satyam scam, which blew open in early 2009, washed away over Rs14,000 crore from the investors' kitty, while the accused Ramalinga Raju and his relatives had allegedly made a handsome Rs2,700 crore through fraudulent dealings in shares.
The investigators have found majority of the Satyam top brass and the auditors of the company guilty in the fraud. The case is being heard in a court in Hyderabad, Negi pointed out.
The first piece of evidence was nailed after the investigating agency found out that there were manual entries made in the system to include fraudulent sales, Negi said. The next step was to find out the authors of these invoices.