ICAI Suspends CA for Incorrect INC-22 Certification

CA Fails to Visit Registered Office of Company and Certifies Incorrect Details in INC-22: ICAI Removes Name for 2 Months with Fine

In a significant disciplinary action, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has taken stern measures against a Chartered Accountant (CA) for professional misconduct. The CA, Karthik Mohan, has been penalized with a two-month suspension and a fine of Rs. 20,000 for certifying incorrect details in the INC-22 form without personally verifying the registered office of the company.

The Background

The issue arose when Karthik Mohan submitted an INC-22 form, which is used for intimating the Registrar of Companies (RoC) about the address of a company’s registered office. In his declaration, Mohan claimed to have personally verified the location. However, it was later revealed that he had conducted the verification via a video call, rather than an in-person visit. This discrepancy between his declaration and actual practice led to the charge of professional misconduct.

The Investigation and Findings

Upon investigation, the ICAI found that Mohan’s declaration was not only misleading but also lacked concrete evidence to support the virtual verification method he claimed to have used. The professional standards for Chartered Accountants demand thorough due diligence, especially when certifying official documents. By relying on a video call without physically visiting the registered office, Mohan failed to meet these standards.

The ICAI’s Decision

The ICAI, upholding its commitment to maintaining high ethical and professional standards, decided to suspend Mohan’s membership for two months. Additionally, a fine of Rs. 20,000 was imposed. The decision highlights the institute’s zero-tolerance policy towards any form of negligence or misconduct by its members.

Implications for Chartered Accountants

This case serves as a cautionary tale for all Chartered Accountants. It underscores the importance of adhering to professional guidelines and ensuring the accuracy of certifications. The ICAI’s decision sends a clear message that any deviation from established protocols, especially those involving false declarations, will be met with strict consequences.

The role of a Chartered Accountant is pivotal in maintaining the integrity and transparency of financial reporting and compliance. The action taken against Karthik Mohan by the ICAI reiterates the importance of diligence, honesty, and adherence to professional standards. For the accounting community, it is a reminder of the ethical responsibilities that come with the profession and the serious repercussions of failing to meet these obligations.

By enforcing such disciplinary measures, the ICAI continues to uphold the trust and confidence placed in Chartered Accountants by businesses, regulators, and the public.

G Akshay Associates