Letter of the Week

The Satyam scam,where (books of) accounts were fudged and investors bilked,has thrown up the urgent need for a mechanism...

Written by The Indian Express | Published:January 10, 2009 11:25 pm

The Satyam scam,where (books of) accounts were fudged and investors bilked,has thrown up the urgent need for a mechanism,as in the developed world,to swiftly punish economic offenders,says Ved Guliani from Hisar in his letter earlier this week.

This refers to the editorial,‘Company to keep’. Satyam’s fraudulent manipulation of balance sheets,especially in this economic crisis,will shatter investor confidence. But Ramalinga Raju’s confession — about a fraud of Rs 8000 crore — also underlines how professional and ethical breaches victimise the ignorant small investor. We have no safeguards to protect shareholders. Nor do we have a mechanism to swiftly,visibly and correctly punish the guilty. Economic offenders have the money,and therefore the power,to manipulate retributive action against them. But developed countries,that have innumerably more and bigger corporate scams,also have the system and the will to punish the guilty when they are caught. Enron is indeed a lesson for India.

Guru learns

This refers to the editorial ‘Lesson for Guruji’. The results of the recent assembly elections in four states and now the defeat of Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren in a by-election show that Indian democracy is coming of age,albeit slowly. People have become more mature and judicious and use their franchise as a tool to punish unscrupulous,corrupt and manipulative politicians. Soren losing by a margin of 8000 votes and that too at the hands of a small-time leader cannot be just a happenstance. This verdict is overwhelmingly against skulduggery and criminalisation of politics. This time,the UPA should not allow itself to be blackmailed or arm-twisted by Soren for any short or long term partisan purpose and must ask him to resign forthwith. Shibu’s rejection is a lesson not only for him but also for his ilk. They must read the writing on the wall.

— Tarsem Singh New Delhi

The editorial,‘Lesson for Guruji’ about the electoral defeat of the incumbent chief minister of Jharkhand,Shibu Soren,hits the nail on the head. Soren’s political career is a roller-coaster ride littered with controversies. The architect of Jharkhand state and a tribal leader of eminence losing election to a lesser known opponent Gopal Krishna Patar is a victory for democracy in our country. One is reminded of George Fernandes winning the election against the political bigwig S.K. Patil in a Mumbai constituency decades ago. One hopes that this chastens Soren suitably to introspect on where he stands in today’s electoral democracy.

— John Alexander Nagpur

Auditor’s hand

A fraud of this kind and order was never expected of an esteemed company like Satyam Computers. What is appalling is that Price Waterhouse approved of the entry of Rs 5000 crore as “cash and bank balances” in the balance sheet when the money was “missing”. Evidently,the audit firm connived with the Satyam chief in fudging the accounts and abetted in the act of fraud. This audit firm must be investigated and punished f guilty.

— S. Krishna Kumar Dombivli

Bring him to book

The SEBI is a toothless wonder and the government a silent spectator,as B.R. Raju is yet to be arrested in spite of admitting to the fraud. The government should also trace the money which Raju stole and repay the shareholders.

— S.N. Kabra Mumbai

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