Despite the onslaught of the global pandemic and nationwide lockdowns, enforcement and investigative agencies were aggressively active in 2020. The year also witnessed increased online forensic and internal investigations. This update summarises some of these developments along with our expectations for the year ahead.

THE YEAR THAT WASM

The year 2020 commenced with India being ranked 86th in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International (a leading not-for-profit organisation) - a six-rank drop compared to the previous year. The banking sector was severely hit by fraud and corruption-related issues, involving alleged misappropriation of approximately INR 600 billion. Consequently, enforcement and investigative agencies remained busy through the year along with a deeper scrutiny by the regulators.

Given the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and various nationwide lockdowns, the year witnessed a shift in the approach and methodology of conducting forensic and internal investigations. Investigators adapted quickly to online methods of collecting data, conducting interviews etc. On the legislative front, much movement was seen, with major developments such as the notification of the Lokpal (Complaint) Rules 2020; enactment of the Companies (Auditor's Report) Order, 2020 (CARO, 2020) and amendment of SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (SEBI LODR).

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