Deloitte is potentially facing a five-year ban in India due to alleged malpractice in its audits of infrastructure development company Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (ILFS), according to reports.
Financial irregularities were made apparent at IFLS after it defaulted on a number of loan repayments over the course of 2018 and the company’s former chairman and managing director Hari Sankaran was arrested at the start of April by India’s Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).
It is understood that India’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs may invoke section 140 (5) of the Companies act to ban Deloitte India from providing audit services. Section 140 (5) states the ministry can order a company to change its auditor if the auditor is found to have directly or indirectly acted in a fraudulent manner or abetted or collided in any fraud in relation to the company.
Deloitte India told IAB that no such action had been proposed: “The investigations on the company IFIN are in progress and we are cooperating fully. We reaffirm that we have conducted our audits in accordance with the standards on auditing and applicable laws and regulations.”
Last year, PwC Indian member firm Price Waterhouse was banned for two year from providing audit services to listed companies due to its audits of Satyam Computer Services which was discovered to have its accounts falsified.