No immunity for ICAI members: SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that no immunity from prosecution can be granted to the members or nonmembers of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India for their professional misconduct under the provisions of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949.

Such provisions cannot override the penal laws, said apex court setting aside the order of the Madhya Pradesh HC.

“The object underlying the prohibition contained in section 28 (Chartered Accountants Act) is to protect the persons engaged in profession of chartered accountants against false and untenable complaints from dissatisfied litigants and others. However, there is nothing in the language of the provisions contained in chapter VII from which it can be inferred that Parliament wanted to confer immunity upon the members and nonmembers from prosecution and punishment if the action of such member or nonmember amounts to an offence under the IPC or any other law” , said a bench comprising Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly.

‘316 cos,73 audit firms guilty of violating accounting norms’

NEW DELHI: The government today said 316 companies and 73 audit firms have been found guilty for violating accounting principles and other financial irregularities in the last three years.

“During the last three years, 316 companies and 73 audit firms were found guilty of violation of accounting principles and other financial irregularties for non-compliance of disclosure norms,” Minister of State in Corporate Affairs R P N Singh informed the Lok Sabha.

He further said prosecutions have been filed against such companies and audit firms under the provisions of the Companies Act 1956 for such violations.

In a separate reply, Singh said as many as 36 Chartered Accountant (CA) firms have submitted ‘partial’ information to ICAI regarding their arrangements with the multi-national accounting firms.

A High Powered Committee (HPC) was set-up by accounting regulator Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to examine the operation of Multinational Network Accounting Firms (MNAFs) in the country.

Out of the 171 Indian CA firms who have reported to the the HPC, 36 have submitted only partial information, the Minister said.

However, he said the High Powered Committee’s report does not mention the names of the CA firms who have supplied complete information to ICAI.

The Minister further said the report of HPC has been submitted to the council of ICAI which is yet to communicate its decision to the government.