It may be recalled that in Vijay V Meghani vs. DCIT, the ITAT Mumbai has passed severe strictures and lamented the alleged fall in standards in the CA profession. The Tribunal pointed out several factors which, according to it, show “signs of deteriorating standards” amongst Chartered Accountants. The Tribunal also expressed the fear that the CA profession is “losing its grip over the Income tax matters”. The ITAT advised the ICAI to tackle the issues on a war footing so as to bring back the high standards, confidence, quality, prestige, reputation etc. enjoyed by the C.A. profession.
In response to the said order, the Council of the ICAI has issued a statement that the comments made by the ITAT on the profession and functions of the ICAI are not warranted. It is also stated that the “sweeping observations” made by ITAT about the Institute and the profession of Chartered Accountancy in a matter relating to a particular tax payer, are out of context.
The Council has stated that it has decided to take steps for expunging the aforesaid remarks made by the ITAT against the CA profession.
Text of statement issued by the ICAI:
ICAI initiative on order dated 20th August, 2014 pronounced by a Bench of
Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Mumbai
Members are aware of the general remarks against ICAI made by Hon ‘ble ITAT Mumbai Bench in respect of its order dated 20th August, 2014 wherein the tax advice given by a member of the Institute had been dealt with.
The above matter was considered by the Council at its meeting held on 15th September, 2014.
The Council unanimously felt that the comments made by the Hon’ble Bench on the profession and functions of the ICAI were neither warranted as no facts relating to the profession were before the Hon’ble ITAT nor was any opportunity given to ICAI in the said matter. The Council felt concerned that based on the opinion given by one of the members, general comments have been made in respect of the standards of the entire profession. The Council is of the view that the sweeping observations made by ITAT in the order about the Institute and the profession of Chartered Accountancy in a matter relating to a particular tax payer, are out of context.
The Council is conscious of its responsibility to regulate the conduct of its members. Whenever the Institute come across with any lapse(s) with regard to the conduct of any member, the same is appropriately dealt with under the disciplinary mechanism of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Rules framed.
The Council reiterates its respect for the judicial system in the country including the Income Tax Appellate Tribunals. However, the Council has decided to take up the instant matter with appropriate/respective authorities, for expunging the aforesaid remarks made against the profession.
The outcome of the steps taken by the Council will be apprised to the members from time to time.