Satyam's 'arrogant' letter irks SC

Satyam's 'arrogant' letter irks SC

Attorney General terms it highly offensive

Asking the company to withdraw the letter, the apex court expressed displeasure at its tone and tenor that indicated as if Satyam was dictating an order to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

The court said the company had misinterpreted the assurance of the Tax Department that it would set aside its earlier order seeking Rs 617 crore in Income Tax.

“You cannot do this in such a manner. Instruct them (Satyam) to withdraw the letter.

This is not the way,” a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia said when senior advocates Harish Salve and Abhishek Manu Singhvi were making submission for the IT firm.

Among other things, the Bench took exception to the use of word “shall” written more than once in the letter. Attorney General G E Vahanvati raised strong objection to the letter saying that it was “highly offensive” and was like dictating order to CBDT.

Sensing the mood of the court, the senior advocates steered clear of the controversy and said the letter was not drafted by them, and they had not seen it.

“We have not seen it. We want to withdraw it and apologise for it. This is not the way the letters are to be written,” they said, indicating that it was the work of some junior advocate. The court has adjourned the matter to Friday.

The apex court was hearing the plea of the IT firm to defreeze its bank accounts, worth Rs 1,300 crore. On April 8, the CBDT had informed the court that it would set aside its order directing the company to deposit Rs 617 crore.|

Attorney General G E Vahanvati, appearing for CBDT, had told the apex court that it would recall its March 10, 2011, order, challenged by Satyam on the ground that calculations were based on fictitious accounts of the previous management, led by disgraced founding Chairman B Ramalinga Raju.

In January 2008, Raju confessed to over Rs 7,000 crore accounting fraud at the company he founded.  It was later bought over, through bidding, by Mahindras.

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