Centre orders inspection of Byju's account books

Byju's logo is seen in this illustration taken, June 22, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

India's Ministry of Corporate Affairs has ordered an inspection into the account books of embattled edtech startup Byju's, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.

The ministry has sought a report in six weeks, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Based on the findings of the inspection, the ministry will decide if the matter needs to be escalated to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), the report added. Byju's is currently not facing an investigation by the SFIO, CNBC-TV18 had reported on Monday, citing ministry sources.

Byju's and the ministry did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comments.

The company, once India's most valued startup at $22 billion, attracted billions of dollars from investors across the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic that boosted demand for online education services.

However, troubles have been mounting for the edtech company, with its auditor resigning, board members cutting ties and the company falling behind in payments to a national pension fund. Late last month, a lawyer representing the company said it has made up the shortfall in payments to the fund.

Byju's, which has yet to submit its financial statements for 2022, has told investors that it would file them by this September, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The firm has also been raided by the financial crime-fighting agency over suspected violations of foreign exchange laws and is locked in a legal spat with lenders over restructuring a $1.2 billion term loan.

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