Mohit Bansal Vs The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (Delhi High Court)

Court: Delhi High Court
Head Notes:

*Mohit Bansal Vs The Institute of Chartered accountants of India*
*Forum-Delhi High Court*
*Date- 21st January 2022*

*Sub-Whether a Chartered accountant who has committed an offence under IPC 354 , 506-II relating to outraging modesty of a woman prior to his being enrolled as a member of the Institute can be disqualified by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India u/s 8 of the Chartered Accountants of India, 1949 and that too after a long period of time?*

An interesting question arose in this case where the appellant being a chartered accountant committed offences under *IPC 354 and 506-II dealing with outraging modesty of a woman during his college days amounting to moral turpitude* and was issued show cause notice by ICAI for removal of his name under various provisions of the Act.

The petitioner in this case interalia argued that the offence was committed at a time when he had not acquired the CA qualification and as such he could not be held guilty as per the provisions of the CA Act. However, the Court relying on catena of judicial decisions both from India and UK law deriving the meaning of moral turpitude, dismissed the writ petition on the basis of the language of Section 8 of the CA Act which read “entered in or borne on the register” and thus conviction even prior to the petitioner becoming member of the Institute were covered.

The fact that his name was entered in the membership register even though he was already convicted led the court to direct ICAI to create a framework wherein there is proper disclosure by candidates who apply to become Chartered Accountants, at the inception itself and also a need for a continuing disclosure, may be on an annual basis for members to inform the ICAI if there are any criminal cases / conviction etc., against them, so that the ICAI is not kept in the dark.

This is a very important judgement for all chartered accountants and even other professionals.

Ramesh Patodia

Section(s): Section 354/506-II of Indian Penal code, 1860 and Section 8 of the Chartered Accountants Act 1949
Counsel(s): Counsels
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Uploaded By CA Ramesh Patodia
Date of upload: January 22, 2022

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