The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has allowed the petition of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to implead 22 more parties as accused in the alleged financial misappropriation in the debt-laden Infrastructure Leasing & Financial ServicesNSE 1.81 % (IL&FS). This brings the total number of respondents to 343 in the case. The latest move to implead 22 parties includes leading auditors – Deloitte and BSR & AssociatesNSE 0.00 %, an affiliate of KPMG.
On Thursday, the division bench presided over by VP Singh and Ravikumar Duraisamy allowed the inclusion of Udayan Sen, Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP, BSR and Associates LLP, and Surinder Singh Kohli, an independent director of IL&FS Financial Services and others.
“This is the case of siphoning off the public money which resulted in default of the respondent companies of about Rs 90,000 crore and this is the biggest scam like Satyam” observed the tribunal in its 40-page order. “It is also important to point out that seeing the gravity of the case, Union of India has filed public interest litigation under Section 241(2) of the Companies Act, 2013.”
Other names include Kalpesh Mehta, Shahzaad Dalal, Subhalakshmi Panse, all former board members of IFIN, along with the chief financial officer Deepak Pareek in the list of about two dozen fresh respondents.
The auditors had argued that “Without prejudice to the fact that the audit of the financial statements of IFIN for the year ended March 2018 conducted by BSR jointly with Deloitte was in accordance with the requirements of the Auditing Standards issued by Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and there was no negligence on the part of BSR or the Proposed Respondents in the conduct of the audit in question.”
“BSR was appointed for the first time as Statutory Auditor of Company in November 2017, for the financial year 2017-2018 and that too jointly with Deloitte Haskins & Sells,” said the tribunal in its order.