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Have started inquiry against Reebok's key officers: ICAI
June, 05th 2013

Accounting regulator ICAI today said it has begun an inquiry against 'key management persons' of global sportswear major Reebok with regard to a fraud unearthed last year, but is yet to initiate the inquiry against the company's auditor at that time.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has asked the auditing firm, Narsimhan & Co, to give their version and clarification on allegations about their role in the case and are still awaiting those details. "We are awaiting information from audit firm of Reebok...we have not started the inquiry," ICAI President Subodh Kumar Agrawal told reporters here.

However, he said it has initiated inquiry against the "key managerial persons" of the company. In February, ICAI had said it had issued show-cause notice to Reebok India's former Chief Financial Officer Vishnu Bhagat regarding his role in the alleged Rs 870 crore fraud at the company last year.

The regulator had asked Bhagat to submit the information by March 31, 2013. The case relates to an FIR by Reebok India alleging fraud by its former Managing Director Subhinder Singh Prem and Bhagat. Both of them have denied the charges. In addition, Agrawal said that ICAI has disposed of all cases related to the Satyam fraud.

He said several senior officials of the company including S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri have been found guilty by the regulator's disciplinary committee which has also recommended permanent ban on these officers.

Meanwhile, ICAI said it has heard all the cases regarding violations of chartered accountant norms pending up to 2006. Briefing media on ICAI's recently concluded council meeting, Agrawal said the regulator has heard almost all the cases pending up to 2006.

According to Agrawal there were 83 cases pending as on February, this year, of which hearing as been completed in almost all the cases barring 4-5 matters. ICAI said it has disposed of 19 reports of the disciplinary committee and awarded punishment wherever guilt was established.

The regulator has also approved the revised edition of "guidance note on tax audit" that includes amendments made in the income tax act. The revised edition would be released on Chartered Accountant Day on July 1, 2013, it added.

Besides, the regulator in its latest meeting has decided to set up a "Center of Excellence for Quality and Ethics", an accountancy museum, grant of fellowship to members practising outside India, among others.

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