Government investigations—India—Q&A guide

The following Public Law practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Government investigations—India—Q&A guide
  • 1. What government agencies are principally responsible for the enforcement of civil and criminal laws and regulations applicable to businesses?
  • 2. What is the scope of each agency’s enforcement authority? Can the agencies pursue actions against corporate employees as well as the company itself? Do they typically do this?
  • 3. Can multiple government entities simultaneously investigate the same target business? Must they coordinate their investigations? May they share information obtained from the target and on what terms?
  • 4. In what fora can civil charges be brought? In what fora can criminal charges be brought?
  • 5. Is there a legal concept of corporate criminal liability? How does the government prove that a corporation is criminally liable for the acts of its officers, directors or employees?
  • 6. Must the government evaluate any particular factors in deciding whether to bring criminal charges against a corporation?
  • 7. What requirements must be met before a government entity can commence a civil or criminal investigation?
  • 8. What events commonly trigger a government investigation? Do different enforcement entities have different triggering events?
  • 9. What protections are whistle-blowers entitled to?
  • More...

Government investigations—India—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to government investigations in India published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: June 2020).

Authors: Trilegal—Pallav Shukla; Shankh Sengupta

1. What government agencies are principally responsible for the enforcement of civil and criminal laws and regulations applicable to businesses?

The agencies responsible for the enforcement of laws and regulations applicable to businesses are the following:

  1. the Serious Fraud Investigations Office (SFIO);

  2. the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI);

  3. the Enforcement Directorate (ED);

  4. the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI);

  5. the Competition Commission of India (CCI); and

  6. the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

2. What is the scope of each agency’s enforcement authority? Can the agencies pursue actions against corporate employees as well as the company itself? Do they typically do this?

The SFIO is a specialist agency for investigating and prosecuting crimes punishable under the Companies Act 2013. Its focus is to detect fraud in the operation and management of a company.

The CBI is a central investigation agency with its headquarters in New Delhi, which investigates crimes that are either referred to it by the other states or that violate the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 (POCA).

The ED enforces two statutes: the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. The civil enforcement arm of

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