Non Members not “aggrieved person” so as to have right to challenge Disciplinary order of ICAI

Non Members not aggrieved person so as to have a right to challenge the Disciplinary order of ICAI. Supreme Court dismissed SLP against High Court Order

ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 2856 (2019) (04) SC

The Hon’ble Supreme Court had dismissed a special leave petition (SLP) against the order of the Hon’ble High Court in holding that non members do not have a right to challenge the order passed by the Board of Discipline or the Disciplinary Committee of ICAI.

There was a dispute between the Petitioner and his brother. The Petitioner lodged a complaint for misconduct against the Respondent CA for giving an adverse report against him in the litigation between him and his brother.

The Petitioner therefore lodged a complaint with the Disciplinary Directorate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants   of   India.    

This complaint was investigated by ICAI and prima facie an opinion was recorded that the respondent chartered accountant was not guilty of professional misconduct falling within the meaning of clauses 6, 7, 8 and 9 of Part-I­ of the Second Schedule to the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (the Act).

Aggrieved, by the order of the Disciplinary Directorate of ICAI, the Petitioner filed a Writ Petition before the Hon’ble High Court.

The Petitioner sought a declaration that Section 22G of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 in so far as it denies a Non ­member a right to appeal against the decision of ICAI dismissing complaint, is ultra vires and contrary to Articles 14, 19 and 21 of Constitution of India and is consequently illegal.

The Hon’ble High Court observed that Section 22G of the Act enables any member of the ICAI to institute an appeal to the Authorities in case he is aggrieved by the order of the Disciplinary Committee imposing any of the penalties referred to in sub­section (3) of Section 21A and sub­section (3) of Section 21B may within 90 days from the date on which the order is communicated to him.

It was also noted that the proviso to Section 22G also enables the Director (Discipline) to file an appeal against the decision of the Board of Discipline or the Disciplinary Committee to the Authority within a period of 90 days.  

Thus, the Hon’ble High Court opined that a person aggrieved by the order or decision of the Board of Discipline or the Disciplinary Committee can challenge the order of the Board or  the  Disciplinary Committee and such provision is  not  arbitrary, unreasonable  or  discriminatory.

The Hon’ble High Court opined that the Petitioner who had no personal or individual right in the subject matter, cannot be said to be an “aggrieved” person so as to have a right to challenge the order passed by the Board of Discipline or the Disciplinary Committee.

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