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Price Waterhouse network moves SAT against SEBI order

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on January 17, 2018

Regulator banned PW on January 10 and ordered disgorgment of over ₹13 cr

The Price Waterhouse (PW) network in India on Wednesday moved the Securities Appellate Tribunal challenging the recent SEBI order against its firms in the matter of the Satyam scam.

Finding Price Waterhouse guilty in the Satyam scam, the capital markets regulator had issued an order on January 10 barring PW from issuing audit certificates to any listed company in India for two years. The ban also covered certification of compliance of obligations of listed companies and intermediaries registered with the regulator.

“The SAT appeal was filed today at Mumbai,” said a Price Waterhouse network spokesperson when contacted.

It may be recalled that SEBI had also ordered the disgorgment of over ₹13 crore of wrongful gains from the auditing firm and its two erstwhile partners who worked on the IT company’s accounts.

Nine-year case

The SEBI order came nine years after the scam at Satyam Computer Services first came to light and after two failed attempts by the Price Waterhouse network in India to settle the case through the consent mechanism.

SEBI had also said its order will not impact the audit assignments relating to fiscal year 2017-18 undertaken by Price Waterhouse.

The capital markets regulator also restrained PW’s two erstwhile partners — S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri — from directly or indirectly issuing audit certificates for listed companies for three years.

‘Confident of getting stay’

Price Waterhouse had, soon after the SEBI order, expressed disappointment with the findings of SEBI investigations and the adjudication order.

“We are confident of getting a stay before this order becomes effective,” PW had then said in a statement.

SEBI had, in its order, said the objective of insulating the securities market from such fraudulent accounting practices perpetrated by an international firm of repute will be ineffective if the directions do not bring within its sweep the brand name PwC.

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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Published on January 17, 2018
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