Commodities

MCX-IGIDR agreement had many gaps, reveals forensic audit report

PALAK SHAH | | Updated on: Apr 25, 2019
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Pact, its signing and stamping have different dates, says audit firm TR Chadha & Co

Forensic audit firm TR Chadha & Co, which has conducted a probe into sharing of key market data by Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) with Susan Thomas and Indira Gandhi Institute of Developmental Research (IGIDR), has found the agreement between them had several gaps.

Liability, indemnity clauses

The audit shows there existed a separate document for sharing data by MCX with Thomas, which was called an ‘undertaking’, that lacked any clause on liability, indemnity and did not identify people involved in research with whom data should be shared. Moreover, the undertaking was signed by Thomas of whom there is no knowledge at IGIDR, according to the statement of the organisation’s registrar in Mumbai to the auditor.

The audit report says it found no records to suggest “if MCX had verified that Thomas was authorised to sign such an undertaking and if the same was binding upon IGIDR.” Yet, the audit found an email from MCX researcher V Shanmugam that told the research and legal team that ‘undertaking’ will be provided by the researcher on behalf of IGIDR. “No check was done to identify if Thomas was authorised to sign the undertaking,” Shanmugam told auditors.

Thomas told auditors, “I was not specifically authorised by IGIDR for the same (signing undertaking).

“The faculty at IGIDR are able to undertake such research projects. They are permitted to receive the data that is required to fulfil research. I gave undertaking on behalf of IGIDR. It had provisions of data fields, mechanism of data sharing and confidentiality requirements.”

When auditors asked if she had informed IGIDR about the ‘undertaking’, she said it was not required.

The audit report says various people were involved in receiving data from the MCX based on the ‘undertaking’ even though they had ‘no role with IGIDR’ and even their names, roles, and contact details were not mentioned.

The agreement, its signing and stamping have different dates, the audit report says. MCX, Thomas, SEBI and TR Chadha did not reply to email queries for the story.

Published on April 25, 2019

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