IL&FS money laundering case: ED summons Maha NCP President

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Maharashtra NCP president and MLA Jayant Patil for questioning in a money laundering case linked to alleged financial irregularities in the now bankrupt IL&FS, official sources said Friday.

The 61-year-old MLA from Islampur seat of Maharashtra has been asked to depose before the federal agency here on Friday, they said. Patil, a former minister of home and finance, is also the state president Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and is a seven-term legislator.

The agency has recently initiated fresh action in this 2019 case after it searched the Mumbai offices of Deloitte Haskins and Sells and BSR and Associates, an Indian affiliate of global accounting firm KPMG, the two former auditors of IL&FS.

The Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) filed for bankruptcy in 2018.

The premises linked to the two auditors in Mumbai were searched under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they added.

Some employees of the two companies — Deloitte Haskins and Sells and BSR and Associates,– were also questioned by the officials during the searches even as documents were seized.

“This routine inquiry is in respect to an ongoing matter regarding a former client and we continue to extend our full cooperation to the authorities,” a spokesperson for Deloitte said.

The action came a week after the Supreme Court set aside a Bombay High Court verdict that quashed an SFIO probe against the two companies, both former auditors of IL&FS Financial Services, paving the way for action against them under the Companies Act and allowing the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to take forward its enquiry against them.

The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is an agency under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs that investigates and prosecutes white collar crimes and frauds.

The money laundering probe into the alleged financial irregularities at IL&FS was launched by the ED in 2019 after the federal agency took cognisance of a Delhi Police Economic Offences Wing (EOW) FIR filed against IRL, ITNL (group companies of IL&FS), its officials and others.

The ED also took cognisance of a complaint filed by the SFIO against IL&FS Financial Services (IFIN) and its officials.

The agency had also attached assets of various entities in this case in the past.