An MCA official told FE, The ministry of corporate affairs is going to recognise the role of the serious fraud investigation office and give it more teeth in the revised Companies Bill. We will make SFIO an important arm of MCA in the revised bill and give it more powers. We will soon start with the procedure of recruiting more people in the SFIOs office as 50-60 new posts have been sanctioned. At present, if the government wants SFIO to undertake some investigation, then they have to appoint some inspectors in the office. Moreover, SFIO does not have the power to seek documents and evidence which is one of the main hindrance in its investigation.
The task of strengthening SFIO and giving it a place in the revised Companies Bill gained momentum after the new corporate affairs minister stated the need of giving special powers and investigation rights to SFIO that can be exercised only by the police and CBI. Even the eight-member committee, headed by Vepa Kamesam, former deputy governor of RBI submitted its report recently to the ministry that suggested a separate statute for the SFIO.
With the number and magnitude of corporate frauds increasing, the Vepa Kamesan Committee has also suggested the ministry to give SFIO the power to collect evidence from abroad through Letters Rogatory. A Letters Rogatory is a formal request from a court to a foreign court for judicial assistance.