The Supreme Court 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.
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 the 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.
Challenging the October 17 order of the SAT, Mumbai, the audit firm contended the decision was unsustainable in law and deserved to be set aside.
The plea claimed that the tribunal has erred in appreciating that in the absence of extension of the interim relief, the existing clients of the firm would have to avail services of other auditors and it would lose its clients.
The tribunal had held that the audit firm was not entitled to extension of the interim reliefs because there was no fresh grounds mentioned in the application.
In January, Sebi had passed an order against PW alleging that the audit firm colluded with the management of the scam-tainted Satyam in fudging the accounts of the software firm.
The capital market regulator had passed an order against PW barring it from offering auditing services to any listed companies or Securities Market intermediaries for two years.
SAT had then temporarily allowed PW to carry on its business until March 2019.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)