SC Al­lows PW to Run In­dia Ops till March 31

The Economic Times - - Companies & Economy - Press Trust of In­dia

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Fri­day granted re­lief to the global au­dit firm Price Water­house, al­low­ing it to carry out busi­ness in In­dia till March 31, or till the dis­posal of its ap­peal by SAT, which­ever is later.

It also granted lib­erty to the au­dit firm to raise con­tention for fur­ther ex­ten­sion of time be­fore the Se­cu­ri­ties Ap­pel­late Tri­bunal (SAT). A bench of Jus­tices R F Na­ri­man and K M Joseph said that the only pos­si­ble re­lief for the au­dit firm is that the in­terim or­der is ex­tended till March 2019 or till the dis­posal of ap­peals by the tri­bunal, which­ever is later.

“Hav­ing heard the par­ties, we are of the view that in­terim or­der to con­tinue till March 31, 2019 or till the tri­bunal de­cides the ap­peal, which­ever is later. It will be open to the pe­ti­tioner to raise its con­tention be­fore the tri­bunal for fur­ther ex­ten­sion of time,” the bench said.

At the out­set, se­nior ad­vo­cate Mukul Ro­hatgi, ap­pear­ing for PW stated the tri­bunal has said that the au­dit firm can­not take any new clients and in the ab­sence of an ex­ten­sion of the dead­line, the ex­ist­ing clients would com­mence the process of chang­ing their au­di­tors. The bench said that this is the only re­lief it can give and dis­posed of the ap­pli­ca­tion filed by the au­dit firm against the SAT or­der dated of Oc­to­ber 17.

The Price Water­house has ap­proached the apex court against the in­terim or­der of the tri­bunal by which it had re­fused to grant fur­ther ex­ten­sion of time be­yond March 2019.

The SAT had up­held the Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Board of In­dia’s (Sebi) two-year ban on the au­dit firm’s busi­ness in the coun­try be­yond March 2019.

Chal­leng­ing the Oc­to­ber 17 or­der of the SAT, the au­dit firm con­tended the de­ci­sion was un­sus­tain­able in law and de­served to be set aside. It said the tri­bunal erred in not ex­tend­ing the cut-off pe­riod from March 31, 2019 to March 31, 2020 as the tri­bunal it­self had pre­vi­ously ex­tended the pe­riod in favour of PW.

Court also granted lib­erty to PW to raise con­tention for fur­ther ex­ten­sion of time be­fore SAT

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