(Eds: Adds Fortis comments, more details) New Delhi, Feb 19 (PTI) The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) will probe alleged financial irregularities at Fortis Healthcare and Religare Enterprises, according to senior officials. Also Read - Axis Bank, Promoter United India Insurance Settle Cases of Alleged Disclosure Lapses with Sebi
The corporate affairs ministry has been looking into the affairs of Fortis and Religare after recent reports that financial irregularities have been found at the two companies. Also Read - Individuals, Corporates Won’t Be Allowed to Use Cryptocurrencies As Govt Plans Own Digital Currency: Report
Two senior officials said that a SFIO probe has been ordered against the two companies. Also Read - Bitcoin Witnesses 4-fold Spike in Trading After Tesla Announces to Buy Indian Cryptocurrency
The latest development comes against the backdrop of reports that the Fortis Healthcare promoters — Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh — took at least USD 78 million out of the company without any board approval about a year ago.
A Religare spokesperson said the company has not received any communication, written or otherwise, from any government authority with regard to such a purported investigation.
“As such we have no knowledge of any investigation against the company,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
In a filing to the National Stock Exchange, Fortis Healthcare said it “has not received any communication, written or otherwise, from any government authority with regard to such a purported investigation”.
The Singh brothers are promoters of both the companies. Earlier this month, they stepped down from the boards of the two firms.
The SFIO, under the ministry, mainly probes white collar crimes.
Fortis Healthcare has also come under the lens of markets regulator Sebi, which launched an investigation into the alleged regulatory lapses.
On Saturday, Fortis informed the exchanges that Sebi, which has instituted an investigation, has sought information and documents by February 26.
Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi, on February 10, said that the regulator was examining the Fortis issue. “We also received a reference on Religare from somewhere I cannot disclose and it will be looked into,” he had said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.