JOINT SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY Vs. A C KAHER
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
JOINT SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
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Falshaw, J. -
(1.) This case has been forwarded to the High Court by the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India under Section 21 (1) of the Chartered Accountants Act No. XXXVIII of 1949, which requires the Council to refer to this Court any complaint in which it is of the opinion that any member of the Institute has been guilty of conduct which if proved would render him unfit to be a member of the Institute, or where a complaint has been made by or on behalf of the Central Government, in which case whatever the nature of the finding of the Council is it has to be forwarded.
(2.) Briefly the facts are that the respondent, A. C. Kaher, had applied to the Institute for registration as an associate on 28-1-1950, his application being accompanied by the necessary fees, and, apparently after an investigation of his qualifications, he was found to be properly qualified and by a letter dated 31-71950 the Institute conveyed to him that he had been enrolled on the register of members at No. 1783 on 6-7-1950, from which date he was granted a certificate of practice.
(3.) It seems, however, that in the meantime the respondent had as a Chartered Accountant signed five certificates which were sumitted to the Joint Chief Controller of Imports at Calcutta by a firm named Messrs. Bishamber Nath Balkishan of Bombay in connection with applications for certain, import licences. Some person who preferred to remain anonymous somehow became aware that something of this kind had happened and he sent a letter under the name 'Pro Bono Publico' to the Secretary of the Institute dated 26-6-1950, pointing out that one Amir Chand Kehr signing himself as A. C. Kher was practising as Chartered Accountant at Amritsar although his name did not appear in the register, and that he had signed some certificates on behalf of a firm named Bashi Mal Sohan Lal, Hardware Merchants of Amritsar. In the end after the matter had been investigated and it had been found that the respondent had issued certificates to a different firm from that mentioned in the anonymous letter some months before he actually became a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a com-plaint was lodged by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry with the Institute under Section 21 of the Act with a certificate that it was to be treated as one on behalf of the Government of India. This was on 16-3-1953, and after a copy of the complaint had been sent to the respondent he submitted a written reply dated 20-4-1953, in which he simply adopted the line of defence that since he was not a Chartered Accountant on 17-41950, when he signed the certificates in question, he could no be proceeded against by the Institute under Section 21 of the Act, which is only applicable to members of the Institute.;
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