Price Waterhouse (PW), an Indian arm of the global consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, whose partners got embroiled in the Satyam accounting fraud, failed to get a reprieve from the stock market regulator, the Securities and Exchanges Board of India (Sebi).
The market regulator rejected a PW appeal for early winding up of the enquiry instituted against it on the Satyam issue. PW said it might renew its appeal to Sebi.
The latter’s move strengthens the position taken by the country’s auditing standard setting body and regulator, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
It was the ICAI’s board of discipline that had decided last month that there was enough evidence for an indictment against the PW auditors concerned.
“It (Sebi decision) strengthens our view. Our (ICAI) board of discipline had informed our disciplinary committee that the auditors are prima facie guilty,” said Amarjit Chopra, president, ICAI. The next step is for ICAI’s disciplinary committee to send notices to the PW auditors charged by law enforcement agencies in the fraud case.
Chopra said this could happen only after the auditors, under judicial remand, are in a position to argue their case before the committee.