Plea in HC against appointment of auditors by Indian Bank

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New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) An association of chartered accountants has urged the Delhi High Court to issue directions to the Indian Bank to quash the appointment of auditors by it for the financial year 2020-21, claiming their members who were eligible to be appointed to that position till 2021-22 have been left out.

Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Bank seeking their stand on the plea by the Chartered Accountants Association (CAA).

The CAA, represented by advocates Avinash Poddar and Ruchir Bhatia, has also sought a direction to RBI to withdraw the list of statutory branch auditors (SBAs) appointed by Indian Bank for 2020-21 and instead share another list in which members of the petitioner association are named as continuing auditors.

Members of CAA were the SBAs of Allahabad Bank prior to its merger with Indian Bank and are aggrieved that they were not appointed as SBAs for the financial year (FY) 2020-21.

The association has claimed in its petition that according to the guidelines laid down by RBI, SBAs will have a tenure of four years and cannot be removed before that without prior approval of the top bank of the country.

CAA's members were appointed as SBAs for Allahabad Bank in 2018-19 and were eligible to continue in that position till FY 2021-22, the petition has claimed.

It has also contended that its members were on Indian Bank's panel of SBAs for the FY 2019-20 also and therefore, they were eligible to continue as auditors for FYs 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Allahabad Bank was amalgamated with Indian Bank with effect from April 1, 2020, the petition has said.

On March 17, 2021, CAA's members who were SBAs in the Indian Bank got an email saying that new SBAs have been appointed for FY 2020-21.

Hence, they moved the high court seeking directions to Indian Bank to 'redo the entire process of appointment of SBAs for FY 2020-21, in accordance with the norms and guidelines', the plea has said. PTI HMP RKS RKS