AUDITORS OWE A DUTY TO ALL SHAREHOLDERS - BOMBAY HIGH COURT
The SEBI Act (Section 11) has wide amplitude and empowers the regulator SEBI to take within its sweep a CA, if his activities are detrimental to the investors or the securities market, the Bombay High Court observed in its order on the Price Water house vs. SEBI case. The Court had ruled that SEBI can regulate the securities market but cannot regulate the profession of Chartered Accountants. SEBI has the powers to issue show cause notices to CA firms and individual CAs. The auditors on their part have been appointed by shareholders by majority and they owe a duty to all shareholders and are required to give a correct picture of the financial affairs of the company, observed the High Court. While SEBI had no powers to debar a CA firm or a CA from practicing, it could safeguard investor interest by taking appropriate remedial steps including keeping a person (including a CA) at a safe distance from the securities market.