Wednesday, Aug 21, 2002
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A day after DCA officials, led by the Registrar of Companies (RoC) Mumbai, visited the Cuffe Parade office of Ferguson, the DCA came out with a press note saying on Sunday the Department had received reports that papers relating to Tata Finance were being shred by Ferguson in its Mumbai offices.
"Since it was necessary to prevent the destruction or mutilation of any record pertaining to Tata Finance, specially in the wake of the recent controversy created by withdrawal of the report by Ferguson from Tata Finance, a petition under Sec.234 A was immediately prepared to be filed before the judicial magistrate concerned in Mumbai,'' the note said adding the petition was not accepted on Sunday evening.
It said the petition came up for hearing before the magistrate who allowed it under Sec.234 A of the Companies Act.
Consequently, the note said a team of six officials headed by the RoC Mumbai reached the Ferguson office and "is looking into the matte.''
"The team is authorised to seize any documents that might be necessary to conduct any probe that is required,'' the DCA note said.
Meanwhile, a Ferguson official said in Mumbai that the DCA officials had inspected several books and files yesterday and the firm has offered to cooperate in inspection of any records.
The official denied that any documents had been confiscated. PTI
Inspection of data
The Department of Company Affairs, which conducted searches on the accounting firm A. F. Ferguson's Mumbai office yesterday in the wake of audit relating to the Tata Finance scam, today said that the probe may be extended to inspection of available data under provisions which also relate to fraud.
A six-member DCA team, headed by the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Mumbai, had yesterday conducted a `search and seizure' operation at the Ferguson office under Sec. 234 A of the Act after the DCA obtained the permission of a judicial magistrate in Mumbai for the purpose.
"The DCA got to know on Sunday afternoon that Ferguson was shredding documents relating to Tata Finance and we began a search and seizure operation of Ferguson's Mumbai office last evening. If needed, we may extend the probe to include inspection of Ferguson's books under Sec.209 A (inspection of Ferguson's books) and 237 (fraud) also,'' DCA officials told PTI here.
Acknowledging that the Department has received the report Ferguson has compiled on TFL besides the company's books of accounts for the last five years, the officials said while Ferguson's was not the statutory audit report of TFL, it could still be used to detect if any irregularities were committed by the company.
"The Ferguson report is not the statutory audit report of TFL and hence it cannot be used as evidence per se but we can still use it to work backwards and find out if any financial irregularities were committed,'' officials said. PTI
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