One more controversy has erupted in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). The premier body of financial watchdogs had been in the news over a land purchase scandal at Nagpur a couple of years ago.
A member of the institute's disciplinary committee has formally registered a complaint before ICAI's central council, alleging that many orders in cases of professional misconduct by chartered accountants were issued without his signature. Not only that, his findings and remarks in the cases were tampered with, which could have led to the watering down of verdicts of the committee.
The allegations cast doubt on ICAI's role as a regulator of the profession. If found to be true, there are chances that the power of adjudicating in disciplinary cases may go out of ICAI's hands, said a senior chartered accountant requesting anonymity.
ICAI is managed by a central council headed by the president and other elected members. The disciplinary committee takes up cases of professional misconduct by chartered accountants, such as the one related to auditors' role in Satyam's debacle. The committee is headed by the president, with the vice-president and one or two council members.
As the central council met last week, one of the members, Tarun Ghia, alleged that during the tenure of previous ICAI president Sudhodh Agrawal over 25 orders were issued without his signature, though he is a part of the committee. Not only that, findings and orders were tampered with, which hints at massive corruption in the institute. It is learnt that the issue raised by him has been finally referred to ICAI's legal department.
Even as Ghia refused to comment, current ICAI president K Raghu replied to an SMS, saying that the council is aware of the issue and will take an appropriate decision on the matter.
Sources say that in this meeting Ghia was also asked to hear audio recordings of the proceedings, and sign the orders post-facto only if he was satisfied, but he refused.