SEBI orders forensic audit of Adhunik Industries

Mumbai | Updated on September 21, 2018 Published on September 21, 2018

SEBI on Friday ordered a forensic audit of steel producer Adhunik Industries (AIL), which had figured among 331 ‘suspected shell companies’, on suspicion of misuse of the company’s books of accounts.

SEBI found AIL made advance payment of ₹10.15 crore to Gagan Ferrotech in March 2016 for purchase order issued to the latter in March 2015. The amount was subsequently refunded to AIL during between April 2016 to June 2017 and no purchases were made by the firm.

“It is observed that AIL had failed to give adequate explanation for the same. Thus, there appears to be prima facie suspicion of misuse of books of accounts/ funds of AIL,” the SEBI order said.

The directors and key management personnel have prima facie failed to discharge their fiduciary responsibility, SEBI observed. According to the order, approvals from requisite audit committee, board and shareholders were not obtained by the firm while executing fund transfers amounting to more than ₹400 crore with Adhunik Corporation.

Earlier, this year SEBI had banned trading in 331 companies suspected to be ‘shell’ or mainly used for money laundering. The regulator later said that it would order audits of companies after prima facie inquiry.

On Friday, SEBI directed the exchange to appoint an independent forensic auditor to verify any misrepresentation, including of financials or business, by Adhunik Industries and misuse of the books of accounts or funds, including facilitation of accommodation entries or compromise of minority shareholder interest.

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Published on September 21, 2018
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