New Delhi, Mar 16 (PTI): A Parliamentary panel on Tuesday said the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) should be armed with “sufficient teeth” to exclusively probe and prosecute cases related to complex corporate frauds that have huge impact on the economy and various stakeholders.
SFIO comes under the corporate affairs ministry and has been set up under the companies law.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, in its report on the ministry’s demands for grants for 2021-22, also said that since its inception, SFIO has not seen any conviction in non-compoundable cases so far and that the average time taken for disposal of prosecution cases is approximately 8 to 10 years.
“The committee would expect the SFIO to equip itself for higher standards of performance,” it noted.
According to the report, while the SFIO functions within the purview of the Companies Act, its initial objective of single-handedly tackling complex corporate frauds remains a far cry, with multiple law enforcement agencies conducting investigations into the same financial crime resulting in prolonged litigation.
“… the SFIO may be armed with sufficient teeth to exclusively investigate and prosecute cases relating to complex corporate frauds that have huge impact on the economy and various stakeholders.
“The committee also reiterate their earlier recommendation of involving certified fraud examiners to fill the specialised investigative skill requirements in SFIO,” the report, tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, said.