26 CAS un­der lens amid crack­down on shell com­pa­nies

The Northlines - - BUSINESS -

New Delhi:

At least 26 char­tered ac­coun­tants have come un­der the scan­ner of the ICAI for al­legedly help­ing shell com­pa­nies, a se­nior of­fi­cial said.

The In­sti­tute of Char­tered Ac­coun­tants of In­dia (ICAI) is the reg­u­la­tor for ac­coun­tancy pro­fes­sion­als and can initiate dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against erring mem­bers.

“The role of (around) 26 char­tered ac­coun­tants with re­spect to their al­leged links with shell com­pa­nies are be­ing looked into by the in­sti­tute,” ICAI Pres­i­dent Nilesh Shivji Vikam­sey told PTI.

As the gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues its clamp down on shell com­pa­nies in ef­forts to deal with the black money me­nace, many en­ti­ties have come un­der the lens of var­i­ous agen­cies, in­clud­ing the Se­ri­ous Fraud In­ves­ti­ga­tion Of­fice (SFIO).

Vikam­sey said ref­er­ence about the 26 char­tered ac­coun­tants came from the SFIO and de­tails about them are be­ing col­lected. The ICAI can initiate strin­gent dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings against mem­bers vi­o­lat­ing norms. The mea­sures can in­clude sus­pen­sion and even can­celling their regis­tra­tions. Shell com­pa­nies are du­bi­ous en­ti­ties that are gen­er­ally used for laun­der­ing il­le­gal funds.

How­ever, the term ‘shell com­pany’ is not de­fined un­der the com­pa­nies law. At ICAI’S foundation day func­tion on July 1, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi had sought to send out a strong mes­sage against char­tered ac­coun­tants try­ing to help en­ti­ties in black money deal­ings.

Till July 12, the cor­po­rate af­fairs min­istry has dereg­is­tered more than 1.62 lakh com­pa­nies that have not been car­ry­ing out busi­ness activities for long.

“The Reg­is­trars of Com­pa­nies (Rocs) have re­moved 1,62,618 com­pa­nies from the reg­is­ter of com­pa­nies as on July 12, 2017 after fol­low­ing the due process un­der Sec­tion 248 of the Com­pa­nies Act, 2013,” Cor­po­rate Af­fairs Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley told the Lok Sabha on July 21.

Sec­tion 248 pro­vides pow­ers to the ROC to re­move the name of a com­pany from the reg­is­ter on var­i­ous grounds, in­clud­ing that the en­tity was not car­ry­ing out any busi­ness for two pre­ced­ing fi­nan­cial years.

Out of the 1,62,618 com­pa­nies that have been struck-off the reg­is­ter, the reg­is­tra­tion of 33,000 were can­celled by ROC Mum­bai.

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