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Though it is unrelated to the professional work but the board of discipline can proceed against a Charted Accountant for sexual Assault: Delhi HC

Team SoOLEGAL 12 Feb 2019 12:00pm

Though it is unrelated to the professional work but the board of discipline can proceed against a Charted Accountant for sexual Assault: Delhi HC

It has been recently held by the Delhi High Court that under the Chartered Accountants Act 1949, the Board of Discipline can advance against a Chartered Accountant for acts of sexual harassment committed by him outside his professional capacity.

In the case of Lalit Agrawal vs Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and other, this conclusion was given by the court. In this case a writ petition was filed by a CA, against whom disciplinary proceedings were initiated after observing in relation to a crime of sexual assault a police charge-sheet has been filed against him.
The petitioner filled the petition and stated that the professional body does not have a right to start proceedings in respect of the alleged crime which was committed outside of his professional capacity. Part IV of the First Schedule to the Act lists out other misconduct and this misconduct was pointed out by the ICAI, which states that if any CA does an act which brings disrespect and dishonor to the profession or the Institute as a result of his action even if it is not related to his/her professional work.

Without agreeing to the petitioner's contention, Justice Vibhu Bakhru said:

“Clause (2) of Part-IV of the First Schedule to the Act is wide, and would include within its scope, any conduct that would tend to bring disrepute to the profession or the Institute.”

Justice Vibhu Bakhru also observed that:

If it has been found that the modesty of a woman and/or other moral turpitude offences have been committed by the Charted Accountant, it would not be inappropriate for the Board of Discipline to state that that his conduct has lowered the dignity of the profession.

 The Court took the example of a case that in which SC delivered a decision last November, which upheld disciplinary action against a CA, who had committed irregularities in respect of transfer of shares of a company. Therefore, the SC did not accept the contention of the CA that the alleged misconduct cannot be a ground for disciplinary action under the CA Ac as it was not related to professional work. The SC upheld the finding of the Board of Discipline that the act made him unworthy of being a CA.


Tagged: Delhi high Court   Supreme Court   Charted Accountant   sexual Assault  
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