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ICAI Withdraws Diktat Restraining CAs from Speaking Against Demonetisation

Image for representative purposes (Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)

Image for representative purposes (Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has withdrawn a controversial advisory asking its members to not give “negative personal views on demonetisation”, saying it was an “inadvertent mistake.”

New Delhi: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has withdrawn a controversial advisory asking its members to not give "negative personal views on demonetization", saying it was an "inadvertent mistake."

The advisory was issued on Friday by the ICAI by President M Devaraja Reddy and says, "It has been decided that an advisory be issued to the members cautioning them to watch the national interest as the upper most while advising their clients. Members are strictly advised not to indulge in any nefarious act as to subvert the intentions of the government in any remote possible way. The members are also advised not to share/write any negative personal views by way of an article or interview on any platform regarding demonetization."

ICAI secretary V Sagar told News18 that the advisory was withdrawn on Saturday and is no longer available on the institute's website. "It was an inadvertent mistake on our part," he said.

Sagar said the matter was now closed and refused to answer any questions on why it was issued in the first place.

However, sources in the ICAI suggest that the reason the advisory may have been issued could be criticism of auditors by the government.

Power Minister Piyush Goyal, himself a Chartered Accountant, said a few days back that the government would take "stern action" against those misusing the concessions given to honest people. He was quoted by PTI saying that CAs were colluding with bankers to prevent honest people from carrying out transactions.

The source also said that advisories from the president of ICAI are not binding on members and if not adhered to will not be regarded as a breach of the code of conduct because everyone is entitled to their opinion.

ICAI president Devaraja Reddy who had issued the circular was not available for comment.

first published:December 10, 2016, 16:54 IST