The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Wednesday dismissed the pleas of debt-ridden IL&FS auditors — Deloitte Haskins & Sells and KPMG arm BSR & Associates — challenging their impleadment in the case involving alleged fraud in IFIN, a subsidiary of IL&FS.

A two-member NCLAT bench led by Chairman Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya dismissed the pleas of auditors and other independent directors. The appellate tribunal, however, granted a relief to both auditors and other independent directors by allowing the operation of its earlier interim order passed on July 29, 2019 for two weeks.

On July 29, the NCLAT stayed the order of the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to implead the auditors and the independent directors of IL&FS.

Earlier on July 23, the NCLT had allowed the plea of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to implead the auditors and independent directors of IFIN. “On the request of the counsel, we allow (that) interim order dated July 29 would continue till another two weeks,” the bench said.

The MCA had asked the NCLT to freeze the assets of the former auditors in the case involving alleged fraud in IFIN.

While, commenting on the development, Delloite India spokesperson said: “We will review the written order before determining our further course of action, which may include an appeal.”

Auditors cannot be treated as part of the management which is responsible for managing the affairs of the company and therefore should not be charged, the spokesperson said. “We will continue to present and protect its position, supported by the facts, to the relevant authorities. The firm remains committed to high standards of audit quality and ethical conduct in its professional practice,” he added.

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