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The Hon’ble Madras High Court in V. Venkata Siva Kumar v. Union of India & Ors. [W.P. No. 32279 of 2013 dated January 21, 2022] quashed the decision of Disciplinary Board of the ICAI against the Chartered Accountant alleged of committing of misconduct. Held that, the complaint filed is undoubtedly incomplete and cannot be relied upon and was not enquired properly and by following the established principles of law. Further, held that complaints made to the Disciplinary Authority shall be enquired in all aspects with an unbiased behaviour before passing an order and the reasons for forming any opinion is of paramount importance in an enquiry proceedings.
V. Venkata Siva Kumar (“the Petitioner”) is a Chartered Accountant and lawyer by qualification and has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (“ICAI”) and working as a professor for students pursuing professional courses and in this capacity, the Petitioner has been a member of faculty of leading management and professional institutions.
A leading newspaper published an article alleging that the President of ICAI, is running a coaching centre and the students linked to the President have been placed consistently high in exams conducted by ICAI, thereby, insinuating a lack of integrity.
Subsequently, a complaint was filed by Mr. N.S. Srinivasan (“the Respondent No. 4”) against the Petitioner alleging publishing of such article in the newspaper, and action was initiated and the disciplinary committee of the ICAI conducted an enquiry, where the Board of Discipline accepted the report of the enquiry committee and passed a resolution based on the findings that the Petitioner was guilty of misconduct. Further, a civil defamation case at Chennai and a criminal case was filed against the Petitioner at New Delhi.
The Petitioner filed also a disciplinary complaint against the Respondent No. 4 for making malicious and frivolous allegations that resulted in the Petitioner being removed from the faculty position, wherein, the Disciplinary Directorate (“the Respondent No. 3”) accepted the conclusions made by the Board of Discipline and the complaint filed by the Petitioner was rejected.
Being aggrieved, the Petitioner has filed this petition.
The Petitioner contended that the documents, evidences and precedents furnished to the Respondent No. 3 were neither considered nor have been given by the disciplinary committee.
Whether the Respondents was correct in rejecting the complaint filed by the Petitioner without considering all the allegations as well as the documents and evidences produced?
The Hon’ble Madras High Court in W.P.No.32279 of 2013 dated January 21, 2022 held as under:
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