Auditors ask Dewan Housing additional queries on fund deployment

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Deloitte Haskins and Sells, the auditor of embattled Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL), has raised additional queries to the company on its annual accounts. The queries are related to fund deployment by the housing finance company, said sources.

A DHFL official said the company had informed the stock exchanges on May 29 that it had sought additional time till June 30 to submit FY19 accounts. The company had said the results are delayed due to the requirement of submission of the IndAS compliant audited standalone and consolidated financial results for the first time which requires additional resources, time and effort as also full time engagement of accounts and finance team in various non-routine audits and due diligence by various parties.   

Deloitte is the joint auditor of DHFL along with Chaturvedi & Shah. While Deloitte declined to comment, an email sent to Chaturvedi & Shah did not elicit a response. Deloitte was appointed as an auditor for fiscal 2019 onwards along with Chaturvedi and Shah.

DHFL is facing a Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) probe on the allegations made by website Cobrapost which has alleged fund diversion of Rs 31,000 crore from the company early this year. Responding to these allegations, the company appointed TP Ostwal & Associates LLP, a chartered accountant firm, to investigate the allegations. In a notice to the stock exchanges, DHFL informed that TP Ostwal has given a clean chit to the company on these allegations.

However, the accounting firm pointed out a few discrepancies in the accounts. The report said DHFL had sanctioned and disbursed loans aggregating to Rs 2,000 crore to Notion Real Estate Pvt Ltd, Earleen Real Estate Developers Pvt Ltd, Prashul Real Estate Pvt Ltd, and Edweena Real Estate Pvt Ltd as project loans for development under Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA). “Further, on examination of available financial statements of Darshan Developers indicates that the shareholding has indeed undergone a change during the period under review and it is highly probable that certain amounts lent to the four companies may have been used to purchase shares of Darshan Developers aggregating to Rs 1,424.16 crore from Kyta Advisors and other instruments worth Rs 299.28 crore (total Rs 1,723.44 crore),” it said. 

While rejecting any claims that DHFL floated shell companies, the report said though DHFL is required to monitor post disbursal end use of funds by the borrowers, its examination indicates the monitoring in respect of 15 borrowers (loans amounting to Rs 7,485 crore) is significantly inadequate.

In this backdrop, a source said the auditor will take additional steps to make sure that there are no discrepancies in the annual report. Deloitte is already facing an SFIO probe for its role in the IL&FS scam in which banks/mutual funds and insurance companies have sunk close to Rs 94,000 crore and are not getting any repayment since September last year.  The SFIO has charge sheeted top officials of the firm along with the firm for the IL&FS scam.

Fresh examination 
* DHFL facing additional queries from auditors on annual accounts
* Queries related to fund deployment by the company
* DHFL received clean chit from independent audit firm in March on Cobrapost allegations on fund diversion


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