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The Supreme Court refused to interfere in the order passed by the Bombay High Court that gave relief to BSR & Associates LLP, a KPMG network firm, in the IL&FS Financial Services case. The government is seeking a five-year ban on audit firms KPMG and Deloitte for their alleged roles in the IL&FS failure.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs in Union of India v N. Sampath Ganesh had filed an SLP challenging the ad-interim granted by Bombay High Court stating that no further NCLT proceedings shall take place or coercive action be taken against BSR Associates until further orders of High Court on 3rd October 2019, which is the next date of hearing.

The Bench of Justices UU Lalit and Indira Banerjee directed parties to file affidavits in reply and in rejoinder in the matter and said, “The parties have assured us that they will not seek any adjournment on any count and shall be ready to go ahead with final hearing on 03.10.2019. These directions are passed so that the matter could be taken up for final disposal by the High Court on 03.10.2019.”

Court also noted that following the resignation of BSR & Associates, and the inability of M/s Mukund to take up the assignment, fresh appointment is required to be made to fill up the vacancy. Court thus granted liberty to SG Tushar Mehta to submit appropriate application before the NCLT.

High Court’s stay operates on the NCLT’s order upholding its jurisdiction to ban both Deloitte Haskins & Sells and BSR for five years each for their alleged roles in the IL&FS case.

Investigations by the ministry’s probe agency had alleged a fraud case and estimated that the fraud involved a sum of more than Rs 90,000 crore.

–India Legal Bureau

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