Under fire from some of its members, the chartered accountant organisation has deleted its earlier ‘don’t question the government’ fatwa.
Update: After the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) statement was made public and circulated widely on social media, it appears as if the organisation has quietly edited the overall message. The new statement has removed the part asking members to not share any “negative personal views” on demonetisation.
According to IANS, it was removed after “some objections” by ICAI members. We have preserved the original advisory here, along with our original story below.
New Delhi: The president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), M. Devaraja Reddy, on Friday issued a statement advising the organisation’s members “not to share /write any negative personal views by way of an article or interview on any platform regarding demonetisation”.
In the public statement released on ICAI’s website, Reddy expressed his firm support for demonetisation, saying it will give a “definitive boost” to India’s economic growth. He further echoed the government’s rhetoric, saying that the move will “not only eliminate black money, but will also choke the activities of anti-nationals from across the border financed by fake currency, ensuring inclusive growth and national security in one go.”
The statement was issued to announce that the ICAI will be taking disciplinary measures against four members for “indulging in such acts of illegality which goes against the efforts of the Government in eradicating the corruption and black money from business and commercial transactions”.
Reddy failed to elaborate on what exactly these chartered accountants were being investigated for. Instead, the statement simply said that the organisation has sought information from the Principle Commissioner Income Tax, Pune; the income tax department in Ahmedabad and from the news channel News 18 India.
The statement then went on to again advise members to refrain from any “nefarious” activity that would “subvert” the government’s plans.
On Thursday, while speaking in Indore at a national conference of the ICAI, vice-president Nilesh S. Vikamsey too sounded a similar warning, “We are not going to spare anyone guilty… we will take action,” the Times of India reported.
Vikamsey’s comments came in the context of the income tax department stepping up efforts to crack down on black money hoarders and tax evaders.
Reddy invoked the ICAI’s principle ‘Partner in Nation Building’ encouraging ICAI’s members to work in the nation’s interest.