The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has come across few news-items wherein it was stated that “A Chartered Accountant and an Excise and Taxation department officer (ETO) have been arrested for an alleged fraud of Rs 52 crores. The said news was published in a couple of eminent publications dated April 17, 2018.
ICAI, being the regulator of the profession of Chartered Accountants took up the matter with concerned authorities. The representatives of ICAI immediately contacted ACP Shri Sandeep Malik & SHO Shri Vikas Kaushik seeking details in the aforesaid matter & also requested VAT Department, Haryana to share information about the accused i.e. Rakesh Arora.
On its part, the Institute also verified its records and found that accused Rakesh Arora is not a Chartered Accountant as his name does not appear in the Register of members maintained by the ICAI. In view of the above, it is a matter of grave concern for ICAI that in the aforesaid matter neither the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Police verified the credentials of the person in question with ICAI before issuing a statement to the media, nor the Publications cross-checked the validity of the statement with ICAI before publishing the story.
The Institute has already taken up the matter with SIT, Gurugram and has pointed out that such statement should not be issued to media before verifying the facts with ICAI. It would also be requested that in future if any such case comes for their investigation wherein there is an alleged involvement of an individual claiming to be a Chartered Accountant, the matter be first referred to ICAI for cross verifying the credentials from its records.
The news which has appeared in a section of media certainly has maligned the reputation of Chartered Accountants in the eyes of public and has thus lowered the image and credentials of CA profession.
The ICAI takes a strong exception to the contents of the news item published in the newspaper which is incorrect and misleading in so far as the reference to a ‘Chartered Accountant’ was made. In such sensitive cases, the concerned Department and Publications ought to have verified the facts with the Institute before issuing any statement wherein the involvement of a Chartered Accountant is suspected.