The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has slapped notices on four CAs for their “alleged acts of professional misconduct” following demonetisation of Rs.500 and 1,000 notes, a top official said on Saturday.
ICAI President M. Devaraja Reddy said these CAs — whose identity has not been revealed — have been served notice under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and Chartered Accountants (Procedure of Investigations of Professional and Other Misconduct and Conduct of Cases) Rules 2007.
ICAI also advised its members not to criticise the demonetisation move in their writings.
Apart from the three CAs served notice, two more cases are also in process for initiating similar disciplinary action by the ICAI, Reddy said.
In one case, the ICAI has sought information from Principal Commissioner of the Income Tax Department in Pune.
In another case, the details have been solicited from the Income Tax Department in Ahmedabad while the ICAI has sought information from a private television channel, News18 India, in a third case.
“It is a matter of grave concern and distress to our profession when certain news reports/video clippings have come in the public eye depicting certain CAs indulging in such acts of illegality which go against the efforts of the government in eradicating corruption and black money from business and commercial transactions,” Reddy said in a sharp advisory to the ICAI members.
Virtually issuing a gag order on the ICAI website on Friday, Reddy said all members were cautioned “to watch the national interest as the uppermost while advising their clients”.
“The members are strictly advised not to indulge in any nefarious act to subvert the intentions of the government in any remote possible way. The members are also advised not to share/write any negative personal views by way of an article or interview on any platform regarding demonetisation,” he said.
Reddy urged the CAs to work towards the best interest of the nation in keeping with true spirit of the principle of ICAI i.e. 'Partner in Nation Building'.
ICAI, a statutory body set up by an act of parliament, has over 250,000 members as fellows or associates with more than half in fulltime practice.
The maximum members hail from western India while eastern India accounts for the lowest membership of ICAI.