Two chartered accountants associated with Lovelock & Lewes, a network firm of Price Waterhouse, has been banned by the regulator, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, for professional misconduct with regard to their audit of now-collapsed Global Trust Bank.
ICAI's central committee is understood to have upheld the findings of its disciplinary committee that had found the auditors guilty of "professional misconduct" in its report submitted in February last year. The two CAs are P Ramakrishna and Manish Aggarwal.
However, the ICAI's central council verdict is not final and will have to be validated by the high court that will give the CAs an opportunity to present their defence. "Only when the high court validates the order can any action happen," officials said.
The action comes just as Price Waterhouse faces regulatory action and government investigation with regard to the multi-crore Satyam scam. The ICAI central committee recommended barring Ramakrishna for five years and Aggarwal for three years. While Ramakrishna still works with Lovelock & Lewes as a partner, Aggarwal has moved on.
TOI could not reach them for their comments. It is understood that the ICAI's central council did not make any recommendation regarding S Gopalakrishnan, the third auditor found guilty by its disciplinary committee on the GTB scandal. Gopalakrishnan incidentally was also involved in the audit of Satyam Computers and is facing legal action.
Lovelock & Lewes refused to make any direct comment on the ICAI action, but said the matter needs to be validated by the high court.
"The partner concerned is still to receive a copy of the ICAI's central council recommendation. It would not be appropriate for us to comment on it. Also, it is our understanding that the high court will give the partner concerned an opportunity to present his case before deciding on the recommendation of the council."