The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has slapped an over Rs 230-crore FEMA violation show cause penalty notice against multi-national accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and others, officials said on Friday. They said the notice was issued under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) after completion of probe by the adjudicating authority which is the Special Director (Eastern Region) of the Enforcement Directorate.
The penalty, to the firm and six others, totals to Rs 2,30,40,70,000, the order accessed by PTI said. Officials said the company along with other noticees received investments from PricewaterhouseCoopers Services BV by "falsely" showing them as 'grants' so as to avoid attracting provisions of FEMA, which require approval of the government or to say the Reserve Bank of India.
"The adjudicating authority during the course of adjudication has held the company guilty of violation of section 10(6), 6(2), 6(3) and 9(b) of FEMA, 1999 for receiving investments in the guise of purported grants in non permitted sector without the approval of the RBI," the order said. The ED had taken over the probe against the firm on direction of the Supreme Court which asked it to look into the affairs of the company from the point of view of FEMA.
The apex court order was made on the basis of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO. The company, it said, is involved in rendering financial services including financial forensics, financial risk consultancy, management consultancy, deals and transactions, taxation matters in which foreign investment is not permitted without prior approval of the RBI.
The noticees include PwC Pvt Ltd, chairman Shyamal Mukherjee, director Satyavati Behera, ex-chairmen Deepak Kapoor and Ramesh Ranjan, former executive director Ambrish Dasgupta and former employee of the company Shivam Dubey. They can appeal against the order within a time period of 45 days from the issue of the order.