Tag Archives: Fraud

Determination of Punishment


The Companies Act, 2013 like most other laws dealing with offences did not have any scheme to determine the level of punishment. This is always the discretionary power of a court to determine a punishment within minimum (if any) and maximum punishment provided under law. Presently, the legislature and executives of the country want to control discretionary powers of the third organ – judiciary to all possible extent. Though discretion may result in higher corruption, subordinate courts governed by precedents and do very little use of discretion. The companies Amendment Act, 2017 introduces new Sections 446A to guide the discretionary powers. Amount of fine and/or imprisonment also reduced in several cases.

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Connection of Director’s Disqualification to Fraud


Disqualification of directors certainly is a hot topic among professionals practising corporate laws. Irrespectively of popular perception, the list compiled and released by Ministry of Corporate Affairs does not confer any disqualification to any director. These directors were already disqualified. In a serious violation, many of these directors might have failed to communicate about their disqualification to companies appointing or reappointing them after the actual date of disqualification. Such failure has penal consequences. This blog post will discuss serious consequences of the failure of compliance with law and procedures after incurring disqualification by a director.

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REPORTING OF FRAUD


Ministry of corporate Affairs issued a notification dated 14th December 2015 and published here in the Gazette of India dated 15th December 2015 regarding amendment in the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules, 2014.

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Part of Companies Amendment Act became Effective


A draft notification posted here on website of Ministry of Corporate Affairs says that Section 1 to 12 and Section 15 to 23 of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2015 came into force with effect from 29th May 2015. The official language of notification read, “the Central Government hereby appoints the 296 May, 2015 as the date on which the provisions of sections 1 to 12 and 15 to 23 of the said Act shall come into force.” The Amendment Act was got presidential assent and notified by Ministry of Law and Justice as such on 26th May 2015 in official gazette.

Two sections not notified yet deals with Fraud Reporting Procedure [Section 13 amending Section 143 of Principal Act] and Related Party Transactions [Section 14 amending Section 177 of Principal Act]. This is understood that Rules related to these sections are in drafting process.

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THE COMPANIES AMENDMENT BILL 2014: PART 2 OF 3


The Companies Amendment Bill 2014 has been introduced and passed in Lok Sabha recently. This blog post has intention to analyse proposed changes in the Companies Act 2013.

Most important massage, this amendment prepares a best case for drafting skill development programmes in India. I am reading here this Bill clause by clause. This will be a three part series and part 2 of 3 is present here.

To amend sub-section (1) of section 123 of the said Act to include provisions for writing off past losses/depreciation before declaring dividend for the year [Clause 10 of the Amendment Bill]

A forth proviso is being added to the effect that no company shall declare dividend unless carried over previous losses and depreciation not provided in previous year or years are set off against profit of the company for the current year.

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FRAUD AND OTHER PUNISHMENTS


One might say the Companies Act, 2013 is more about dealing with corporate fraud than regulating companies. Section 447 is most talk about provision of this Act and many sections refer to this section directly.

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INSPECTOR’S REPORT AND THEREAFTER


Consequence of any investigation is report. The Report is just a milestone. We will discuss the journey ahead in this post.

Inspector’s Report (Section 223):

In inspector shall submit all interim reports, if any, and final report to the Central Government.

Every report shall be in writing or printed as per direction of the Central Government.

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PROCEDURE RELATED TO INQUIRY AND INVESTIGATIONS


We are going to deal corporate frauds, genre of crime committed by most educated, polished, professional, greedy white colour criminals. You may find these people to come out on technical or procedural grounds even after committed in all black and whites.

HUMAN INSPECTOR (SECTION 215):

No firm, body corporate or other association shall be appointed as an inspector.

This leaves only human being to be appointed as inspector.

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SERIOUS FRAUD INVESTIGATION OFFICE AND INSPECTORS


Presently, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is an organisation working under Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The office was established by the Government of India Resolution dated 2003 to investigate corporate frauds. The “About us” page of its website as on date read as under:

“The SFIO is a multi-disciplinary organization under Ministry of Corporate Affairs, consisting of experts in the field of accountancy, forensic auditing, law, information technology, investigation, company law, capital market and taxation for detecting and prosecuting or recommending for prosecution white-collar crimes/frauds. The SFIO will normally take up for investigation only such cases, which are characterized by:

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INSPECTION, INQUIRY, INVESTIGATION


We will discuss one important but neglected aspect of inspection, inquiry and investigation in this blog post.

POWER TO CALL FOR INFORMATION, INSPECTION AND INQUIRIES (SECTION 206):

This is a long but very powerful section as it appear from its section – heading.

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DEPOSITS (Companies Act 2013)


After the commencement of present Act of 2013, or more correctly, on issue of Notification by Government of India making Section 73 effective; no company shall invite, accept or renew deposits from the public except in a manner provided under Chapter V of the Act. The chapter V has total four Sections i.e. Section 73 to 76 (both inclusive).

This prohibition does not apply to a banking company, a non – banking financial company as well as any other class of company as specified by the Central government. The Central government may specify any company after consultation with the Reserve Bank of India.

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Statement on Annual Return by company Secretary


Under Section 92 of the Companies Act, 2013, every company shall prepare annual return in the prescribed form and signed by a director and the company secretary, or where there is no company secretary, by a company secretary in practice. The annual return, filed by a listed company or, by a company having such paid-up capital and turnover as may be prescribed, shall be certified by a company secretary in practice in the prescribed form, stating that the annual return discloses the facts correctly and adequately and that the company has complied with all the provisions of this Act.

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MAJOR CAUTIONS UNDER PUBLIC OFFER (COMPANIES ACT, 2013)


In recent posts, we discussed provisions of Chapter III of the Companies Act, 2013. This is time to discuss major penal provisions in this chapter.

CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR MIS-STATEMENT IN PROSPECTUS (SECTION 34):

Where a prospectus, issued, circulated or distributed:

a)    includes any statement which is untrue or misleading in form or context in which it is included; or

b)   where any inclusion or omission of any matter is likely to mislead;

Every person who authorises the issue of such prospectus shall be liable under section 447 i.e. fraud.

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Spam Fraud (Nigerian Scam)


A Corporate Law Consultant or Practicing Company Secretary always subscribe for all kind of news alert and updates from regulatory authorities. Reserve Bank of India is one of the most fatal subscriptions. Oh no! They not send us virus but all fraudsters love to be their look – like.

Even though, I have all regular E – mail ids of Reserve Bank of India in my contact list. Therefore, I am able to delete all suspicious mail looking similar to that of Reserve Bank of India. Last year, I receive a mail form one such mail and opened. This was looking spam as they are asking some details which are not usually asked by authorities through E – mail but through Public Announcement using all media coverage.

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