Satyam scam: CA Institute 'doing its best to act against errant members'

Took action on members in Satyam case ICAI

ICAI’s statement comes days after market regulator Sebi barred Price Waterhouse Network of firms from auditing listed companies for two years

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has finally broken its silence on the regulatory turf war that has erupted since market regulator Sebi's order on Wednesday that barred Pricewaterhouse Coopers and its 11 affiliates from auditing listed companies for a period of two years because of its involvement in the Satyam scam.

Sources said though the the ICAI was unhappy with Sebi's action against Pricewaterhouse as it felt the regulator had infringed on its powers to discipline auditors even as it decided not to directly comment on the order.

Asserting that it had done its maximum bit under the CA Act and rules in taking action against errant members in Satyam matter, the CA Institute statement said that "no powers are presently vested with ICAI for taking action against firms". ".except that while the ICAI had punished the concerned member, however the SEBI has imposed this punishment on the audit firm concerned".

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However, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), in an e-mailed statement, told PTI that it has no powers to take disciplinary action against chartered accountant firms and that a request was sent to the government in this regard in 2010.

On Friday, ICAI sought to take credit for acting against auditors of Satyam, saying it was first off the blocks when the matter came to the fore in January 2009.

The ICAI had awarded the maximum penalty of removal from membership permanently and imposition of monetary penalty on members of ICAI involved in the matter, it added.

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Further, the statement said the institute concluded its disciplinary enquiry at the earliest amongst "domestic/ worldwide agencies/ bodies within 3 years by the year 2012 and disposed of the matter by award of punishment by the year 2013".

As per Sebi's 108-page order, the two erstwhile members have also been restrained from issuing any certificate of audit of listed companies, among others, for three years.

On its part, Price Waterhouse Network of firms in India said: "We are disappointed with the findings of the SEBI investigations and the adjudication order".

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