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ICAI team probing land purchase in city on December 20
December, 17th 2012

A fact finding team of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) will visit the 9 acre property at Luxora Township in Pipla on December 20 to probe its purchase for Rs99 crore. The final report is expected to be submitted on December 31.

Jaideep Shah, a city-based chartered accountant, heads ICAI, the governing body of the country's premium accounting profession. Shah has drawn flak for going ahead with the rather costly purchase, leading to misuse of funds received from students as fees. The property was purchased to build a centre of excellence for ICAI.

Other CAs contend that the property located on the outskirts should not have been bought for such a price in the normal course. They said cheaper land could have been purchased within the city for the centre, which is just a soft skills training agency.

The discontentment led to the committee being formed in October. "The committee will visit the site and examine various aspects. Though it will not involve direct valuation of the land, any visible deviation from the market rates will be probed further," said a source in the six-member committee.

"We are all chartered accountants and deal with clients in the real estate sector and so have a fair knowledge of pricing too. However, our job is to mainly submit a report saying whether all due procedures were followed or not," said the source.

In the meanwhile, a write-up has been posted on the ICAI website, which appears to be Shah's clarification and request not to go by distorted version of facts. Sources in the profession said this can be misleading, especially when a probe is under way.

The decision to post the matter on the website was taken by the council, said one of the committee members, but another denied this was the case.

Members of the six-person fact finding committee are also part of the ICAI's central council. With the central council elections concluding this month and results due in a week, they will have to finish the probe within February.

They are part of the committee in their capacity as central council members, so any person losing the elections will have to quit after February. This will lead to changes in the fact finding committee too. The members are hopeful of submitting a report within this time frame.

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