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Stop Satyam sale, IT union tells EC

April 09, 2009 14:33 IST

UNITES, the union that represents workers in the IT and ITeS sector in India, has requested the Election Commission to shelve the sale process of scam-tainted Satyam until a new government takes over and the current investigations being carried out by the CBI reaches a conclusion. Over 2,000 Satyam employees, claims UNITES, have registered with the union since the scandal was reported on January 7 this year.

In an email written to Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, the union has requested the CEC to invoke the model code of conduct to stall the whole process citing the scandal-hit company's legal liabilities and other ambiguities as deterrents for any potential bidder to carry an effective due diligence process.

'We feel the Election Commission has every right to examine the whole move to get competitive bidding for Satyam's 51 per cent share, as the whole liability running into billions of dollars will eventually fall on the tax-payers of India,' Karthik Shekhar, UNITES'general secretary has mentioned in the mail, a copy of which is available with Business Standard.

He said after the Spice group withdrew from bidding process alleging lack of transparency in sale process, the UNITES had decided to bring this to the notice of the CEC. 'We are sending this by email in advance so that you can take an immediate view whether the Company Law Board and SEBI should be urged to seek EC's approval if there is such an urgency or wait until a new government is installed.'

Already several potential bidders including Spice Group and iGate have backed out of the race to acquire Satyam citing lack of transparency in the bidding process, and certain legal and financial ambiguities.

UNITES has mentioned that despite the decision to ask a former chief justice of India or an ex-Supreme Court judge to oversee the bidding process, 'one has to take into account the massive liabilities running into over a $1 billion in suits in UK and US and the absence of transparency several aspects of the company's transactions for the last seven years.'

BS Reporter in Chennai, Bangalore