In a setback to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Supreme Court on Monday refused to quash criminal prosecution initiated against it on a complaint by a shareholder of Satyam Computers.
The complainant had claimed that he had been deceived into believing the financials of Satyam was healthy on the basis of fraudulent audit reports allegedly issued by PwC.
“If you say you are innocent then why don’t you go to the trial court and prove it? Whether you have done this or not is a matter of trial, and hence let the trial court decide. You avail remedies available under the criminal law or any other resort available to you but we are not inclined to entertain your prayer to quash the proceedings. The High Court (of Bombay) has rightly dealt with your case,” said a Bench of Justices CK Prasad and Ranjan Gogoi.
Dismissing the Special Leave Petition by the PwC against the HC’s March-order, the Bench also turned down a plea by the lawyer for the company to clarify that this order should not have any adverse impact on their case before the trial court.
“Why should we say anything? Whatever legal consequences has to follow, will follow. You came to us, we heard you and decided your case. We are not going to say anything more,” the Bench shot back.
Earlier, the PwC counsel had contended that the company was not the statutory auditor but it was a firm sharing the same name.