Jan 27, 2009

Business - Price Waterhouse may be barred if partners found guilty

A. Saye Sekhar

Global Trust Bank case will conclude soon, says ICAI chief

HYDERABAD: Price Waterhouse may not be able to practice in India, if either or both of its partners — S. Gopalakrishnan and Talluri Srinivas — are found guilty in the Satyam Computer Services fraud case. If the regulators concerned agree to the suggestion made by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), this kind of penal action is imminent.

Amendment to ICAI Act

Ved Jain, Chairman of the ICAI, told this correspondent that the Satyam case would come under a new Amendment to the ICAI Act which would facilitate its quick disposal.

He said the institute had requested all regulatory bodies, lately the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), to ensure that no company/firm of auditors should be engaged by anybody in case any of its partners was found guilty of professional misconduct.

However, the individuals, whose licences would be revoked on being found guilty, would not be able to practice at all.

In fact, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and the Reserve Bank of India also would not approve of the appointment of auditing firms whose any or many of the partners were found guilty.

Asked about the action initiated against Price Waterhouse and Mr. Gopalakrishnan in respect of the charges against them in the four-year-old Global Trust Bank case, Mr. Jain said the case was going on and hoped that it would “conclude very soon.”

Incidentally, Mr. Gopalakrishnan is a member of the ICAI national council

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