High Court (India)

March 06, 2019

Chartered Accountant can be proceeded against for sexual harassment though unrelated to professional work: Delhi HC


sexual-harassment-at-workplace

A Chartered Accountant can be proceeded against for acts of sexual harassment committed by him outside his professional capacity by the Board of Discipline under the Chartered Accountants Act 1949.

The ruling came in the Lalit Agrawal versus Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and other case.

The professional body could not start proceedings against the petitioner for the alleged crime which was committed beyond his professional capacity, he argued.

However, Justice Vibhu Bakhru disagreed with the petitioner and said, “Clause (2) of Part-IV of the First Schedule to the Act is wide, and would include within its scope, any conduct that would tend to bring disrepute to the profession or the Institute.”

“If a Chartered Accountant is found to have been guilty in outraging the modesty of a woman and/or other offences involving moral turpitude, it would not be inapposite for the Board of Discipline to also conclude that the conduct did, in fact, lower the dignity of the profession,” the Judge ruled.

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