The time frame for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to reply to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Indias (ICAI) showcause notice has come to an end.
But instead of a reply, there is a request from the tainted auditor to extend the notice as the partners questioned in the case are in police custody.
Although ICAI has agreed to consider the extension, questions are being raised as to why is ICAI going slow on taking actions.
When will ICAI crack the whip? That's the big question. ICAI had sent a showcause notice to PwC on January 10, seeking a reply in 21 days. But what has happened since then?
Ved Jain, president of ICAI, said, A letter has been received from PwC seeking time with the fact that accountable persons are not in the position to answer the showcause notice."
So, PwC has now gained 30 days and there's no concrete action taken by accountants institute yet. However, the are a number of questions being raisedWhy didn't ICAI question Satyam-linked partners at PwC? Why didn't ICAI question S Gopolakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri before they were taken to the police custody on January 24? Why hasn't ICAI approached courts to contact arrested PwC partners?
Ved Jain, president of ICAI, said, "Now if you ask me, simply because he is a chartered accountant and he is a member and there is a case registered for criminal, I should also step into other agencies steps? That may not be correct."
Meanwhile, the delay in response from PwC on its showcasue notice could also mean delay in ICAI's own investigation report on the role of the auditors in the Satyam fruad.
The institute also says there is a possibility for further extending the reply period for PwC beyond 30 days if the partners continue to be in custody, being unavailable for questioning.
Now, these delays and extensions clearly show ICAI is taking very slow steps to take actions against PwC.