Only appeal before Appellate Authority can be filed by ICAI members

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Judgement:

The Appellate Authority ( AA) has ruled that only ICAI Member can file an appeal before the Appellate Authority.

The appellate authority also said that only ICAI authority has power on disciplinary proceedings against the chartered accountant.

Facts of the case:

The appeal has been preferred by Neville Nadir Mistry to challenge the legality and correctness of Order of the Board of Discipline of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India whereby the complaint filed by him was dismissed.

The notice of the appeal was issued to the Respondents. The Institute was directed to file its response to the appeal as well as the allegations levelled by the complainant. The Institute, however, did not file any response.

The Appellant alleged that he was not given any opportunity of being heard as the complaint filed by him was dismissed ex-parte under Rule 12. The Minutes of the Meeting dated 28th June 2018 was provided to him on 26th June 2019 and were backdated.

The appellant had sent an e-mail seeking the status of the complaint filed by him. A prompt reply was stating “the complaint is under consideration of the appropriate committee1′. Again when he enquired about the status of the complaint, the reply of the Institute was “under consideration of the appropriate authority”. His e-mails went unanswered.

Interpretation of Law and Conclusion:

The coram constituting of Chairman, Justice S.P. Garg and Members, Praveen Garg, Anand Mohan Bajaj, Pankaj Tyagee on an appeal filed by Neville Nadir Mistry.

While relying upon the observations of the High Court of Delhi in Wholesale Trading Services Private Limited vs The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Others the appellate tribunal came into conclusion that the It is also relevant to note that the proceedings before the Disciplinary Committee/Board of Discipline are in nature of Disciplinary proceedings to ensure that members of ICAI maintain professional standards.

The authority said that the disciplinary proceeding is principally between ICAI and its members. A complainant merely acts as a relater party that provides information relating to any misconduct on the part of a Chartered Accountant although a complainant has a right to participate in the proceedings.

The authority further said that the disciplinary proceedings cannot be viewed as a private dispute between the complainant and the Chartered Accountant even if the complainant may also have suffered on account of professional or other misconduct on the part of a Chartered Accountant,’ however that does not change the nature of the disciplinary proceedings.

While dismissing the appeal authority said that the conduct of ICAI’s member a Chartered Accountant, is to be evaluated by the concerned authorities of ICAI. The object is to ensure that its members measure up to the standards as set by ICAI for continuing as its members.

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