The Board of Discipline of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India ( ICSI ) has dismissed a complaint filed against the former President CS Makarand Lele alleging several misconduct charges.
A complaint was lodged against CS Makarand Lele alleging that by his influence as a member of the Western India Regional Council, he charged a fee of Rs. 11,000/- per student as against the prescribed fee of Rs. 5,000/- per Student even after the violation was pointed out by the Complainant in one of the meetings of the Management Committee of Pune Chapter. It was further alleged that the respondent, being an editor of monthly News Letter of WIRC named as “Focus”, violated the Guidelines for News Letter/E-News Letter of the Councils and Chapters. According to the complainant, he used “Focus” for creating his own visibility keeping an eye on the then forthcoming Central Council elections and for free promotion and free publicity of self and his Firms at the cost of WIRC. There were several other allegations against the respondent.
Before the board, the respondent submitted that the complaint was a vindictive and desperate act arising out of the loss in the Central Council Election of ICSI held in 2014. The Complainant filed a complaint under Section 10A of the Company Secretaries Act, 1980, challenging the election of the Respondent. The Appeal of the Complainant to the Election Tribunal was rejected.
The respondent further pointed out that the timing of the present complaint which was filed in January 2018, makes it amply clear that the Complainant had only been waiting to abuse the process for a political/personal vendetta against the Respondent. While the allegations in the complaint relate to the year 2013, the Complainant chose to file a complaint on the eve of the forthcoming election to the Central Council of the ICSI.
After hearing both the sides, the Board of Discipline held that the matter relating to the abatement for violation of Guidelines for conducting Management Skill Orientation Programme (MSOP) for the Professional Examination Passed Students by the Chapters/ Regional Councils, has already been dealt with by the concerned Committee and the Council and necessary instructions were issued to be concerned Regions/Chapters on the matter.
“As regards the violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethics for Council Members and Senior Management of the Institute, there are no documents on record to substantiate the allegations made in the complaint,” the Board said.
It was further observed that the Newsletter ‘Focus’ published prior to the Respondent being appointed as an Editor by the WIRC. The previous publications also show the same pattern and the publications made under the Respondent’s editorship was duly approved by the WIRC before publication.
“Allegation relating to charging of higher fees than prescribed by the ICSI for Management Skill Orientation Programme (MSOP) by the Chapters and the Regional Council, the Respondent cannot be held guilty of professional misconduct as the decision was not taken by the Respondent but the elected body of the Chapter. There is no evidence to show that the Respondent influenced the decision in any manner. The allegation that the Respondent was able to influence the functioning of Managing Committee of Pune Chapter which was alleged to be run by the Respondent de-facto is also not borne out from the facts or material on record,” it said.To Read the full text of the Order CLICK HERE