Defendants in the massive Satyam Computer Services securities class action that’s pending in New York are big, big fans of the Indian court system. At least that’s the impression one gets from reading the motion to dismiss the case they filed on Monday. [Hat tip: Bloomberg.]
The Satyam scandal may have worsened India’s already-poor reputation for corruption, but Satyam’s auditors — PricewaterhouseCoopers and Lovelock & Lewes — would still like to see the case handled in India rather than the United States. Their motion, filed by Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, argues that virtually all of the key evidence, witnesses and defendants are located in India. But it also claims that Indian courts, “which have a history of expediting legal matters of national significance,” are more than prepared to take on the case. They say India has a securities fraud statute in which victims of a fraud on the market can be compensated. And since the matter of Satyam — in which more than $1 billion in assets were misstated — is “India’s Enron,” it will be a top priority.
“Quite simply, what is arguably the highest profile legal matter in India, will command the attention of the Indian judiciary and proceed swiftly,” wrote the Wilmer lawyers. “This case belongs in India.” (The lawyers have also filed a separate motion to dismiss the case on more traditional grounds.)
Keith Fleishman of Grant & Eisenhofer, an attorney for the lead plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
Satyam, which joined the motion supporting a dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds, filed its own motion on Monday seeking to dismiss part of the complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Satyam is represented by Jones Day, which replaced Wachtell Litpon Rosen & Katz in September.
This article first appeared on The Am Law Litigation Daily blog on AmericanLawyer.com.