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Capital markets regulator Sebi has ordered a forensic audit of IRIS Mediaworks Ltd, which figures among 331 suspected shell companies under the regulatory scanner. The regulator, last week, had ordered forensic audit of three other such companies -- Hit Kit Global Solutions, Kavit Industries and GV Films -- while revoking trading curbs on their shares. In an order dated September 12, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said detailed examination and forensic audit need to be undertaken to unearth the entire extent of violations in IRIS Mediaworks Ltd (IML). "The exchange (BSE) shall appoint an independent auditor to conduct forensic audit of IML for verification, including the credentials/financials of IML," the regulator said. Pending audit, Sebi said trading in securities of IML would be reverted to the XT group of BSE with applicable price band in trade to trade category. Besides, the company's promoters and directors have been permitted only to buy the securities of IML. The shares held by the promoters and directors in IML will not be allowed to be transferred for sale by depositories. "In view of the prima facie observations on the misrepresentation by the company and misusing of books/funds, the persons who are in control of the company and the directors...
Are prima facie liable for action by Sebi and should not be permitted to exit the company at the cost of innocent shareholders," Sebi said. These directions will take effect immediately and be in force until further orders. IRIS Mediaworks is among the firms against whom Sebi initiated action on August 7 by ordering trading restrictions, following receipt of a list of 331 "suspected shell companies" from the government. Continuing with its probe, Sebi has now passed interim directions in the case of four firms while more such orders are expected for several others. Sebi received the list from the government on June 9, in which it was asked to initiate necessary action under its regulations. The regulator found that the firms identified as shell companies were potentially involved in misrepresentation, including of their financials and business, in violation of listing regulations.
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