Mumbai, June 8: Sachin Tendulkar’s petition against his former chartered accountant has been dismissed by the apex body of chartered accountants of India.
The disciplinary committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) cleared Madhav S. Bhatkhande of all charges levelled by the cricketer. However, a case is still going on in Bombay High Court and the ICAI ruling will have no bearing on the legal proceedings.
Seeking cancellation of Bhatkhande’s licence, Sachin had alleged before the ICAI that the chartered accountant had swindled Rs 27 lakh. But the chartered accountant, who had been Sachin’s tax adviser since 1989, had claimed that the cricketer owed him Rs 15.5 lakh.
In 1996, Bhatkhande had taken a loan of Rs 27 lakh from the cricketer. Later, Sachin was given a bill of Rs 42.5 lakh for services provided by Bhatkhande’s firm.
The chartered accountant said the loan should be deducted from the bill amount and the cricketer should pay him the balance Rs 15.5 lakh.
But Sachin felt that the bill was bloated and the chartered accountant should first return the loan and then settle the business account. Bhatkhande’s firm, MSB & Co., filed a suit in Bombay High Court, following which Sachin approached the ICAI.
In April 2003, the ICAI called both Tendulkar and Bhatkhande and the hearing before the disciplinary committee continued till late in the evening. Sachin was represented by his elder brother Ajit.
The ICAI report has exonerated the chartered accountant of all four charges — refusal to audit a client’s accounts, unprofessional activities, deliberate intention to cheat and inflation of bills. Sachin had dropped the first two charges but the ICAI went into all allegations.
The report will now go to a special council of the ICAI, which will formally release copies of the order to both Tendulkar and Bhatkhande.