Sebi right body to probe Pricewater, says CA institute

“ICAI, as institute, cannot proceed against any firm. Sebi has the authority to do it, in the interest of shareholders,” Institute of Chartered Accountants in India (ICAI) President Amarjit Chopra told PTI while commenting on the Bombay High Court ruling that dismissed the petition of PriceWaterhouse.

The Bombay High Court, on Friday, ruled that Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi) can proceed with its inquiry against audit firm PriceWaterhouse for its alleged role in Satyam scam.

PriceWaterhouse had moved the High Court challenging Sebi’s jurisdiction over the audit firm as it has nothing to do with the securities market. “Price Waterhouse is caught in its own web. They wanted to wriggle out, but they are caught...We welcome the ruling,” Chopra said.

PWC, which had been associated with Satyam for several years as auditors, had contended that only Institute of Chartered Accountants of India can hold enquiry with regard to its professional conduct.

PriceWaterhouse had said that it would consider various options, including filing an appeal in the Supreme Court, against the order of the High Court.“...further proceedings of Sebi have been stayed by the HC for four weeks. We await receipt of the HC written order, to decide our next course of action, including the option of filing an appeal in the Supreme Court,” it said.

Sebi had issued a showcause notice to PriceWaterhouse asking it to explain why it had kept quiet about murky financial dealings of Satyam, although it was associated with the company for several years.

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