ICAI office bearer seeks authorisation to complain against the Vice Chairman of a crucial SRSB committee

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’s (ICAI) Technical Directorate, represented by SN Gupta, has sought approval to file a complaint against Sanjeev Singhal, who serves as Vice Chairman of the Sustainability Reporting Standards Board (SRSB) at ICAI and holds the position of Audit Chairman at XBRL India, a not-for-profit entity supported by ICAI. Singhal is also a Partner at EY’s audit arm, S.R. Batliboi & Co LLP.

Gupta, Head of the Technical Directorate, has alleged several issues in an email to the ICAI’s secretary, including disregarding office procedures, breaching the terms of reference of SRSB, causing severe mental distress, misusing ICAI funds, engaging in unethical practices during Expression of Interest and work allocation, and pressuring for incorrect payments.

ICAI’s response indicates the formation of a group to investigate the matter, following their established grievance handling process. Singhal, on the other hand, has refrained from commenting due to the ongoing ICAI consideration, as reported by The Economic Times.

SRSB, one of ICAI’s committees, was established in February 2020 to assess global trends and the need for standards in India, particularly social audit standards. XBRL India, initiated by ICAI, focuses on international reporting practices for financial information.

Singhal holds multiple positions, including Vice-Chairman of SRSB, Audit Chairman of XBRL India, Central Council Member, Chairman of ICAI’s Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, and Chairman of its Public Relations Committee. He is also a part-time member of the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), the country’s independent audit regulator.

ICAI, operating under the Corporate Affairs Ministry, posted a net surplus of Rs 291 crore in the fiscal year 2021-22. The Technical Directorate plays a crucial role in issuing technical pronouncements used by businesses and Chartered Accountants across India. The matter remains under investigation, as reported by The Economic Times.



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