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Tainted Price Waterhouse auditor in ICAI committees
February, 16th 2009

While Price Waterhouse partner S Gopalakrishnan continues to be in jail for his alleged involvement in the Satyam fraud, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has appointed him member of 11 of its 41 non-standing committees for the year 2009-10 .

The appointments were made in the last week after a new presidentUttam Agarwal took over at the ICAI on February 5.

The committees that Gopalakrishnan has been made member of includes one on internal audit standardswhich is expected to review the internal audit practices in the country, the expert advisory committee, assurance and auditing standards boardthat reviews existing and emerging auditing practices worldwideamong others.

When quizzed Agarwal confirmed to TOI that he had indeed appointed Gopalakrishnan to the committees but argued that until the charges against Gopalakrishnan are established in the court of law and as long as he continues to be member of ICAIs , he has to be included in some committees.

He asserted that the jailed auditor had not been given the chairmanship of any committee. Several CAs told TOI that Gopalakrishnans appointment was not just disappointing but also unethical .

A senior CA not willing to be named said: Apart from being under scrutiny for the Satyam fiasco, ICAI itself has pointed fingers of suspicion towards Gopalakrishnans involvement in the Global Trust Bank case. At such a time to appoint him member of so many important committees is rather disgraceful. Interestingly the new ICAI chief, who was on Hyderabad on Febraury 6the day after he was annointed , wanted to visit Chanchalguda jail to call on Gopalkrishnan and Talluri.

The jail authorities had given me permission but I could not make it eventually , Agarwal told TOI.

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