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ICAI demands more legal powers to rap erring CAs
March, 23rd 2010

Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), the statutory body regulating chartered accountants in India, has now demanded amendment of some section of the law, which guides them.

The whole idea is to seek more legal power to initiate stringent disciplinary measures against erring auditors/CAs on a fast track basis, G Ramaswamy, the newly elected vice-president of ICAI told.

We have already taken it up with the centre and the latter on its parts has also initiated processes in this direction, we were told. But I wont be able to tell you exactly when these amendments would come through. Everything takes time, Ramaswamy said.

Referring to some of the recent accounting frauds (DSQ Software, Global Trust Bank and Satyam accounting fraud being the latest) on which the institute is conducting probes, the ICAI vice-president said, We do everything possible to bring the erring CAs to book and take disciplinary measures, but more often than not the concerned parties go to the court, which in turn delays the whole process. Thats why some laws need to be amended and more legal powers be given to us.

ICAIs disciplinary committee had decided in February that there was enough evidence for an indictment against the PW auditors concerned and the subsequent Sebi decision only strengthened ICAIs position. The next step is for ICAIs disciplinary committee to send notices to the PW auditors charged by law enforcement agencies in the fraud case.

However, that can only happen after the auditors, under judicial remand, are in a position to argue their case before the committee. Therefore, the institute is not always to be blamed for delays, he said.

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