The Disciplinary Committee of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has found a Company Secretary guilty for professional misconduct since he suppressed the details of his enrollment as Advocate with the Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana.
The allegations against the Company Secretary were that he simultaneously being enrolled as an Advocate on the Rolls of the Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana while holding Certificate of Practice of the ICSI. It was alleged that he furnished false declaration to the institute in Form D for obtaining the Certificate of Practice of the institute by suppressing the material fact of his having been enrolled as an Advocate on the Rolls of any Bar Council, and wrongfully obtaining Certificate of Practice on the basis of false declaration, and thereby committing the fraud.
The respondent admitted that he was enrolled as an Advocate with the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana. However, he contended that he had never been in practice as an Advocate during his entire career so far. He has further contended that the membership of the Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana was for the purpose of accessing the library and basic facilities and then he applied for suspension before seeking the aforesaid certificate does not mean that the person is in active practice. The Respondent stated that he has made an application dated 05-08-1997 for suspension of his name from the rolls of Advocates to the Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana.
The Disciplinary Committee, after hearing both the sides, found that a false declaration was made by the Respondent in Form-D for the purpose of obtaining the Certificate of Practice of the ICSI and the Respondent evidently had made a false declaration in the said Form D.
The order further said that “the provisions of the Company Secretaries Act, 1980, the Regulations and Rules made thereunder; the legal opinions sought in the after, the prima-facie opinion, Further investigation reports of the Director (Discipline) and totality of the facts and circumstances of the matter, held that Respondent has failed to establish that he was not enrolled as an Advocate on the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana on 26th August, 1997 i.e. the date on which he made the declaration in Form D. Further, the Respondent has failed to establish that his declaration in Form D about non-enrolment as an Advocate is true and correct.”
Accordingly, the Disciplinary Committee held that the Respondent is guilty of Professional Misconduct under clause (1) and clause (3) of Part II of the Second Schedule to the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 for making false declaration in his application in Form ‘D’ and violation of the Regulation 168 of the Company Secretaries Regulations, l982.To Read the full text of the Order CLICK HERE