The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India ( ICAI ) has constituted one more bench of the board of discipline to fast track all pending cases for inquiry, a senior official said.
Chartered accountants’ apex body noted that the long-pending residual cases under old disciplinary mechanism (section 21D of the Chartered Accountants Act 1949) were concluded by fast-tracking the hearings.
ICAI Chief Naveen Gupta on Monday said that “During the current year, one more bench of the board of discipline was constituted so as to fast track all pending cases for inquiry and dispose of cases at Prima facie stage,” ICAI president Naveen Gupta told reporters Monday.
While around 1,300 cases were currently pending disciplinary action, including 135 complaints filed by government agencies, Gupta said the speed has picked up in recent years. “We have been fastest in taking action, acknowledging what’s happening and most of the times, acting suo motu,” he said, adding that cases, that were pending for nearly 15 years, have also been decided. The government is, however, not fully satisfied with the agency’s response and is cut up with it for trying to scuttle the establishment of NFRA.
Giving details, he noted that during 2014-15, a total of 185 cases were executed under the disciplinary directorate of ICAI. In 2015-16, the number rose to 402, in 2016-17 (284) and in 2017-18 (875).
During 2018-19 (till October 17), 365 cases were executed under the disciplinary directorate of ICAI.
Moreover, the council of ICAI gave its approval for having disciplinary hearings through video-conferencing (e-hearing) and the relevant amendments required to be made in the disciplinary rules have been sent to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs for its consideration and approval, he said.
He also made an opinion that the new regulator for auditors, i.e, the National Financial Reporting Authority ( NFRA ) is not legally valid.