In this case ICAI has started the Disciplinary proceeding against a CA . It was alleged that he has got published an advertisement in ‘Accountancy Journal’ published by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, in United Kingdom to solicit any business or to advertise his personal attainment, which is a Professional Misconduct as per ICAI Regulations. The offending advertisement was published in August 1996, the disciplinary proceedings were effectively commenced in 1997 and the report of the Disciplinary Committee was finalized almost four years later in 2001. The proceedings are now sought to be revived, 12 years later. There is also no explanation offered for this delay and in view of that this delay cannot but be termed as inexcusable.
Court further held that
The right for a speedy adjudication is equally applicable as the same is a facet of fairness which has been read into Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Indisputably, the petitioner would have the right for the speedy conclusion of proceedings initiated against him which by their nature are prejudicial to him.”
“Secondly, the delay has to be viewed in the context of other factors that may have resulted in the delay such as the workload, number of witnesses/accused, the complex nature of the offence or evidence required etc. The charge in the present case is neither complex nor required any extensive evidence…………..the inexcusable delay of over 11 years clearly violates the right of the petitioner for a speedy disposal.”
“There is yet another aspect that needs to be considered. The purpose of disciplinary proceedings is to ensure that the members conform to the code of conduct as prescribed during the member’s professional working life. This object would be completely defeated and would lose its relevance”
“if disciplinary proceedings were to span decades. In the present case, the petitioner has continued to practice as a Chartered Accountant and as a member of ICAI for over 17 years after the alleged misconduct. In the circumstances to now proceed further to take a punitive action for an alleged misconduct done 18 years ago would hardly be meaningful.”