Thursday, January 11, 2018

Sebi bans PwC entities from auditing listed firms for two years

*Sebi bans PwC entities from auditing listed firms for two years Sebi also orders disgorgement of over Rs13 crore of wrongful gains from PwC and two erstwhile partners*

The order comes nine years after the scam at Satyam Computer Services came to light and after two failed attempts by PwC to settle the case through the consent mechanism.

Finding PwC guilty in the Satyam scam, India’s capital markets regulator on Wednesday barred its network entities from issuing audit certificates to any listed company in India for two years.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) also ordered the disgorgement of over Rs13 crore of wrongful gains from the auditing firm and its two erstwhile partners who worked on the IT company’s accounts. The order comes nine years after the scam at Satyam Computer Services came to light and after two failed attempts by PwC to settle the case through the consent mechanism.

This is also one of the most stringent orders passed by any regulator against a Big Four auditor.

In a 108-page order, Sebi has imposed a two-year ban on entities/ firms practicing as chartered accountants in India under the brand and banner of PwC from directly or indirectly issuing any certificate of audit of listed companies, compliance of obligations of listed companies and intermediaries registered with the regulator.

Sebi noted that the order would not impact audit assignments relating to the fiscal year 2017-18 undertaken by the firms forming part of the PwC network. Besides, Price Waterhouse Bangalore and its two erstwhile partners—S. Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri—have been directed to jointly and severally disgorge the wrongful gains of “Rs13,09,01,664 with interest calculated at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from January 7, 2009 till the date of payment”. They have to pay the amount within 45 days.

Further, Gopalakrishnan and Talluri have been restrained from directly or indirectly issuing any certificate of audit of listed companies, compliance of obligations of listed companies and intermediaries registered with Sebi for three years.

After consent pleas were rejected, PwC had approached the Supreme Court challenging Sebi’s jurisdiction over auditors. The apex court had asked the regulator to expeditiously pass the order in the matter after giving due opportunity, including access to documents, to the parties concerned.

Sebi said the objective of insulating the securities market from such fraudulent accounting practices perpetrated by an international firm of repute will be ineffective if the directions do not bring within its sweep the brand name PwC. The network structure of operations adopted by the international accounting firm should not be used as a shield to avoid legal implications arising out of the certifications issued under the brand name of the network, the order said.

“As we have said since 2009, there has been no intentional wrong doing by PW firms in the unprecedented management perpetrated fraud at Satyam, nor have we seen any material evidence to the contrary. We believe that the order is also not in line with the directions of the Bombay High Court order of 2011 and so we are confident of getting a stay before this order becomes effective,” PwC said in the statement.

It also noted that the order relates to a fraud that took place nearly a decade ago in which it played no part and had no knowledge of. Further, the statement said that Price Waterhouse Network firms in India has learnt the lessons of Satyam and invested heavily over the last nine years in building a robust and high quality audit practice.

First Published: Thu, Jan 11 2018. 12 38 AM IST
Source - http://www.livemint.com/Companies/KlbBm6VhxhQQswdgT9bycK/Satyam-case-Sebi-bans-PwC-entities-from-auditing-listed-fir.html

Monday, October 9, 2017

No absolute right to seek Regularisation of Contract Workers - says Kar HC

Contractual workers do not have a right to seek regularisation or absorption, the High Court has said, dismissing the petition by 205 taluk nodal officers of the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Limited, a company under the Housing Department of Karnataka.

In November 2015, the Corporation issued relieving letters to the existing nodal officers and a new order of contract. These were challenged by the officers who were relieved from service.

Justice Raghvendra S Chauhan gave his judgement recently. The question answered by the judgement was whether the TNOs "can claim the right to be absorbed or regularised in the service of the corporation or not?".

These TNOs were appointed on contractual basis for a period of two years from 2011. They continued in service for six years and approached the court when the corporation decided to review the works of TNOs and enter into a fresh contract by imposing fresh conditions. The existing TNOs were to be relieved before this process.

Dismissing the petition, the HC said,

"From day one, they were very well aware of the fact that their appointment was a temporary one; with the efflux of time, the appointment would come to an end. Merely because their services were continued for a further period of six years, would not, and does not, change the nature of their appointment from temporary appointment to quasi-permanent one. Such continuation neither creates a legitimate expectation of being absorbed or regularised by the government, nor bestows equity in their favour."

Source:  http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/Contract-workers-need-not-be-regularised-Karnataka-High-Court/articleshow/60987389.cms

Thursday, September 21, 2017

ADVISORY ON "BLUE WHALE CHALLENGE GAME"

ADVISORY ON "BLUE WHALE CHALLENGE GAME"

Blue whale game (The suicide game) is abetment to suicide. It is understood through various internet reports that it is shared among secretive groups on social media networks. The creators seek out their players/victims who are in depression and send them an invitation to join. The basis of the challenge is that an anonymous “group administrator,” otherwise known as “the curator,” hands out 50 tasks to selected “players” that must be completed, documented and posted during a 50-day period. Players of the challenge can’t stop playing once they’ve started; they are blackmailed and cyber bullied into completing the “game”.

Look out for following Signs and symptoms:

Becoming withdrawn from friends and familyPersistent low mood and unhappinessChild seems to be worried that stops him from carrying out day to day tasksSudden outbursts of anger directed at themselves or othersLoss of interest in activities that they used to enjoyVisible marks like deep cuts or wounds on any part of the body of the child.

How to protect your child from this game:

Check in with your child, ask how things are going. Ask if there have been things stressing them, or anything that has them worried. If your child is talking about any level of distress, do not hesitate to ask them about changes in mental health.Unless there is reason to believe your child already knows of or has played the game, don't discuss about the Blue Whale game. By doing so, you increase the chance that your child will search for it on their own.Monitor your children's online and social media activity to ensure they are not engaging with this game.Keep your eyes open for:Unusually secretive behaviour, mostly related to their online activityA sudden increase in the time they spend online, especially social mediaThey seem to change screens on their device when approachedThey become withdrawn or angry, after using the internet or sending text messagesTheir device suddenly has many new phone numbers and email contactsInstall a good cyber/mobile parenting software which helps them in monitoring your children.Parents should take reports from child counsellor present in the school at regular intervals.If you fear your child may be at risk, get professional help right away.Remind your child that you are there and will support them as they face life challenges.

For further information, You may visit the following URLs :

(a) http://ncpcr.gov.in/showfile.php?lang=1&level=1&sublinkid=1267&lid=1499(link is external)

(b) http://infosecawareness.in/Know-About-Blue-Whale-Suicide-Game(link is external)

(c) http://unicef.in/Uploads/Publications/Resources/pub_doc148.pdf0 bytes

(d) http://goapolice.gov.in/documents/adv.pdf0 bytes

(e) http://meghalaya.gov.in/megcms/sites/default/files/press_release/Press%20Release_0.pdf0 bytes

 

 
Dated. 12-09-2017

Source:- http://meity.gov.in/advisory-blue-whale-challenge-game

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fake Social Media Message Alert!

These days the following message has been doing the rounds in social media, especially WhatsApp.

Even some of the lawyers have been forwarding the same, without verifying its veracity.

This is the message:

Very useful info...please read it..
Accidental Death & Compensation:
(Income Tax Return Required)
If a person has an accidental death and the person was filing income tax returns for the last three years, then the government is obliged to give ten times the average annual income of the last three years to that person's family.
Yes, you will be surprised by this, but this is right and it is Government rule. For example, if someone's annual income is  4 lakh 5 lakhs and 6 lakhs in the first, second and third years respectively, its average income is ten times of five lakhs.. means five million rupees, family of that person is entitled to receive from the Government.
In the absence of much information, people do not take this claim with the Government.
If any return is missing, mainly last three years, this could lower the claim amount or even no claim because court takes ITR as only evidence. NO wealth record, FD's; business etc. is given that much importance as compared to ITR in the eyes of law.
Many a time,  people do not file ITRs regularly..or it will be taken lightly..
Due to lack of information the family receives no economic benefits.

Source - forwarded
Section 166 of the Motor act, 1988 (Supreme Court Judgment under Civil/ Appeal No. 9858 of 2013, arising out of SLP (c) No. 1056 of 2008) Dt. 31 Oct.  Venki Indore

The above news claims that, to get compensation in case of road accidental death, it is mandatory for the deceased victim  to have filed his/her Income Tax (IT) returns for the last 3 years. Else the claimants will not be eligible to get any compensation.

As per analysis, this is a fake news.

In the case referred above, the Honourable Supreme Court of India has passed orders with respect  to Section 166 of Motor Vehicle Act.

Read the order by clicking on the below link -

http://sci.nic.in/outtoday/ctorders/sc105608.pdf

Or,

https://indiankanoon.org/doc/127361556

There is nowhere mentioned that IT returns is mandatory to get compensation.

Source:
http://www.ayupp.com/social-viral/road-accidental-death-compensation-income-tax-returns-required-14980.html