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Serious Fraud Investigation Office

Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO)

Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO)

The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is a multi-disciplinary organization set up by the Indian Government to investigate and curtail the numerous cases of fraud in non-banking financial institutions. The SFIO was established on 21st July 2015 and operates under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

Objective

The core objective of the SFIO is to be an investigative and law enforcement agency to detect and prosecute or recommend to prosecute white-collar frauds or crimes.

Types of Investigations

SFIO will usually take up the following types of cases sent by the Central Government:

  • Complex cases needing investigation across multi-discipline and inter-department affairs.
  • Cases with a huge monetary impact on the public.
  • Cases where investigation can lead to cleaning up of systems and implementing changes in laws and procedures.
  • Serious fraud cases sent by the Department of Company Affairs.

SFIO can also take up cases on its own only when decided by the Director of the SFIO, and also giving the reasons for taking up the case in writing under Companies Act 1956.

Headquarters and Regional Offices

The SFIO has its headquarters in New Delhi and has five regional offices in India:

  1. Chennai
  2. Hyderabad
  3. Kolkata
  4. Mumbai
  5. New Delhi

Investigation Procedure

The investigation procedure will be followed as specified in Chapter XIV of Companies Act, 2013.

  1. The Central Government can ask the SFIO to investigate a company in the following cases:
    • When it receives a report from the Registrar or Inspector under Section 208, of Companies Act 2013.
    • When the company itself passes a special resolution and requests an investigation.
    • Where there is a huge monetary impact on the public or for other large-scale public interest cases.
    • When any Central Government or State Government department makes a request for an investigation.
  1. The Director of SFIO then assigns inspector(s) to investigate the case
  2. The Inspector or Investigating officer will obtain information and supporting documents after interviewing present and past employees of the company.
  3. If required by the Central Government, the investigating officer will submit an interim report on the ongoing investigation
  4. The Investigating officer then submits the final Investigation Report to the Central Government within the stipulated time.

To assist the officers of SFIO on investigations, the Computer Forensic and Data Mining Laboratory (CFDML) was set up in the year 2013. The laboratory of CFDML is equipped with the state of art tools for Computer (Media) Forensics and this centre follows international standards of quality with the certification of ISO/IEC 17025.

Organizational Structure

  • It is a multi-disciplinary organization with experts in the fields of Accountancy, Banking, Capital Market, Company Law, Forensic Auditing, Information Technology, Investigation, Taxation, etc.
  • The Head of the SFIO is the Director under whom the 5 regional offices (Kolkata, Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad) work along with the Computer Forensic & Data Mining Lab (CFDML).
  • Additional or Joint Directors for Forensic Audit (2), Investigation (8), Capital Market (1), Corporate Law (2), Financial Transaction (2), Information Technology (1) and Law (2) directly report to the New Delhi office.
  • Further down the organisation are Deputy Directors, Senior Assistant Directors, Assistant Directors, Senior Prosecutors, Prosecutors, and Private Secretaries.

The following is the organizational structure as given in the official SFIO website:

SFIO-Organization-Structure
SFIO-Organization Structure (Picture Courtesy: SFIO webpage – https://sfio.nic.in/Structure%20SFIO)

Contact Details

SFIO Head Quarters

2nd Floor, Pt.Deendayal Antyodaya Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003

Phone – 011-24365787/011-24369242/011-24369244/011-24369245/011-24369246

FAX – 011-24365809

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