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IL&FS Crisis: Independent Directors Come Under Corporate Affairs Ministry Scanner

The crisis at IL&FS, which is estimated to have a debt burden of over Rs 94,000 crore, came to light last year after some group companies defaulted on debt repayments.

PTI

Updated:May 15, 2019, 11:33 PM IST
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IL&FS Crisis: Independent Directors Come Under Corporate Affairs Ministry Scanner
A logo of IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd.) is seen on a building at its headquarters in Mumbai.
New Delhi: Independent directors of various IL&FS companies are under the scanner of the corporate affairs ministry for alleged lapses in carrying out their duties as financial problems continued to brew at the diversified group, according to sources.

The crisis at IL&FS, which is estimated to have a debt burden of over Rs 94,000 crore, came to light last year after some group companies defaulted on debt repayments.

The sources said independent directors of various group companies have under the ministry's lens, including individuals who are on the boards of blue chip firms.

The role of auditors, credit rating agencies and some former officials entities are already being looked into by the ministry, which had superseded the IL&FS board in October 2018. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is probing the matter.

The ministry is already working on ways to further strengthen the framework for independent directors, who have an important role in ensuring good corporate governance practices at companies.

Earlier this month, Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas said IL&FS group's auditors have "many questions to answer" prima facie as they are supposed to act as "gatekeepers" and detect widespread irregularities, but it would be premature to pass any judgement at this stage.

"We are not expecting an auditor to detect a needle in a haystack, but if an elephant is in a room they ought to find it. That is the issue," he had said.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
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