New Delhi: Recently, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), the professional audit services giant moved the Supreme Court in appeal in relation to the ongoing fight between PWC and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
According to sources, Price Waterhouse filed a special leave petition before the apex court on Friday, after its second appeal was dismissed by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT).
Through the appeal, the audit firm seeks permission of the Court to continue auditing its existing clients till March 2020. The firm also mentioned that it did not fall under the while regulatory purview of SEBI in the matter related to the erstwhile Satyam Computer Services.
The matter dates back to January, when the capital market regulator prohibited PWC from conducting the audit of listed companies for two years. The decision to impose the ban was taken pursuant to the firm’s alleged role in the Satyam matter. Moreover, SEBI also prohibited PW from accepting new clients beyond the period of March 31, 2018.
Pursuantly, in February, PW filed an appeal before the SAT, wherein it was granted partly relief by allowing the firm to provide its services to existing clients till the end of March 2019. Subsequently, the audit giant filed another appeal, seeking further extension of services. However, due to the present non-availability of bench of the Tribunal, the firm thought it stood a better chance of being heard before the top Court. PWC claimed that a few of its clients have their financial year ending in December and therefore, it was imperative for them to ascertain whether it could continue with the audit or else the clients would have to appoint a new statutory auditor.
In its submissions during the first appeal before the Tribunal, PWC submitted that appointment or change of auditing body of listed entities was a lengthy and time consuming process.
It is pertinent to note that previously as well, the firm had approached the apex court pertaining to this matter. Thereafter, on the basis of the petition filed, the Supreme Court in January last year, directed the capital market regulator to expedite the probe against Price Waterhouse and conclude the probe by July.