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The Corporate Affairs Ministry has asked the Registar of Companies to inspect the books of accounts of the controversial multi-level marketing company Speak Asia and submit its report to the government by July 10. The Singapore-based company Speak Asia, which is yet to be incorporated as a company in India, would be inspected under section 591 of the Companies Act, which is applicable on companies incorporated outside India and has established a place of business within the country, sources said.

“We will scrutinise the affairs of Speak Asia under Section 591 of the Companies Act which deals with the companies which are incorporated abroad,” Corporate Affairs Secretary D K Mittal told PTI.

The RoC Delhi, he added, “has been asked to submit its report on the findings by the July 10, 2011”.

The company charges a membership fee is Rs 11,000 for a year. The members are expected to conduct online surveys for clients of the firm.

Members are paid for conducting the surveys. The company said that it pays Rs 500 for every survey to its member.

Speak Asia, however, had refused to disclose the names of clients to whom it sells the surveys citing confidentiality reasons.

After controversy erupted in May this year about the company’s operations, an investors protection group filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in Bombay High Court. The Court issued summons to five top officials of Speak Asia.

The company, which claims that it has 19 lakh members or panelist in the country, has announced its plans to set up three subsidiaries mainly for content development, survey and marketing in India by the end of August.

The company was in the process of seeking approval from Registrar of Companies, Reserve Bank of India and Foreign Investment Promotion Board.


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June 2024