Almost three years after the fraud at Satyam Computer Services was exposed, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has come down hard on two external auditors for the company.
Chintapatla Ravindranath and P Siva Prasad - who worked for Lovelock & Lewes, an affiliate of Pricewaterhouse India - have been barrred from attesting financial statements for life, as well as fined Rs5 lakh each.
The duo's names have been removed from the members' register of ICAI permanently; while the fine slapped on them is the maximum the law permits.
The two were audit managers who performed the statutory financial audit of Satyam between April 2001 and September 2008 on behalf of Pricewaterhouse India. While Sivaprasad performed the statutory financial audit for the period 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2005, Mr Ravindranath did it for the subsequent period up to 30 September 2008.
The disciplinary committee of the ICAI, responsible for regulating the country's chartered accountants, had met on Monday to consider the matter. After having heard the accused, the committee found "serious gross negligence" on the part of the two CAs in the discharge of their duties as audit team members.
The enquiry against two audit partners of Price Waterhouse - S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri - is still continuing, as is the case of V S Prabhakara Gupta, who was the internal audit head of Satyam.