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Cases of (1) alleged forged use of signatures and seal of members of the Institute / Proprietary concerns / firms of Chartered Accountants on various documents; (2) alleged false representation/practice as Chartered Accountants by non-Chartered Accountant
(1) The Institute has been receiving complaints from members of the Institute, proprietary concerns and firms of Chartered Accountants alleging that they have come across audit reports, balance sheets, certificates etc. of different entities submitted by the said entities/someone with Banks, Financial Institutions, Income-Tax Department, etc. wherein they find that their signatures, seal/stamp have been forged and /or such documents have been prepared on their forged letterhead etc. The members of the Institute, proprietary concerns and firms of chartered Accountants have been requesting the Institute to take necessary legal action in such matters.
(2) The Institute has also been receiving complaints from members of the Institute, other persons or entities alleging that non-members are practicing/representing as Chartered Accountants /signing documents on behalf of a Chartered Accountant in practice or firm of such CAs.
The above issues have been legally examined, in generality, and it is observed that as regards cases at sl. no. 1 above i.e. acts of forgery of signature and seal of the members of the Institute, proprietary concerns and firms of Chartered Accountants on documents by the culprit(s), such acts, if proved, may constitute the offences of cheating and forgery punishable under Sections 419, 420, 468, 469, 471 and 472 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 which may extend upto imprisonment for life.
Since the above offences are directly against the members of the Institute, proprietary concerns and firms of Chartered Accountants, for having effective legal remedy in such cases, the members of the Institute or Proprietary concerns or firms of Chartered Accountants concerned whose signature and /or stamp have been forged on the documents by the culprit (s) are requested that immediately on coming to the notice of the alleged offence, they should file FIR/Complaint with the Police/ Criminal court having jurisdiction for violation of applicable provisions of IPC by the culprit(s). After filing the FIR, the Institute may also be informed of the same for its records. Filing FIR by the members of the Institute or proprietary concern or firms of Chartered Accountants is necessary as the offence is directly against them as they are in possession of full facts, details, witness and evidence which the police and criminal court would be requiring for investigating the case and punishing the guilty in accordance with law. By sending such complaints to the Institute and the Institute in turn forwarding such complaints to the police results in inordinate delay in initiating necessary criminal actions by the police/ court in accordance with law.
As regards cases at sl. no. 2 above i.e. non-members practicing/representing as Chartered Accountants or non-members signing documents on behalf of a Chartered Accountant in practice or a firm of such chartered accountants, such acts if proved, may constitute violation of (i) Section 24 (false claim as a member-fine upto Rs. 1,000/-) and (ii) Section 26 (unqualified persons signing documents on behalf of a member or his firm – minimum fine Rs. 5,000/- maximum Rs. 1,00,000/-) of The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949. Cases of alleged violation of Sections 24 and 26 are directly against the Institute for which the Institute initiates necessary criminal actions.