Section 144 of the New Companies Act contains specific provisions that prohibit auditors of a company to render non-audit services to an audit client directly or indirectly or its holding company or subsidiary company. Prohibited services include:
• Accounting and book keeping services;
• Internal audit;
• Design and implementation of any financial information system;
• Actuarial services;
• Investment advisory services;
• Investment banking services;
• rendering of outsourced financial services; and
• Management services.
Section 147. (1) If any of the provisions of sections 139 to 146 (both inclusive) is contravened, the company shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which shall not be less than ten thousand rupees but which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.
(2) If an auditor of a company contravenes any of the provisions of section 139, section 143, section 144 or section 145, the auditor shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees: Provided that if an auditor has contravened such provisions knowingly or willfully with the intention to deceive the company or its shareholders or creditors or tax authorities, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to twenty-five lakh rupees.
(3) Where an auditor has been convicted under sub-section (2), he shall be liable to— (i) refund the remuneration received by him to the company; and (ii) pay for damages to the company, statutory bodies or authorities or to any other persons for loss arising out of incorrect or misleading statements of particulars made in his audit report.