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Students pursuing CA and CS will study the subject of law too as part of their syllabus and the ICAI and ICSI do lay due emphasis on conceptual issues and many fundamental legal concepts.  But, what I observe is that the students pursuing CA and CS will study law only from examination point of view and they will concentrate more on their core subjects like Accountancy and Taxation in case of CA course and Secretarial issues in the case of CS course.  I know many fresh CA and CS and they will be good to a great extent in their core areas, but, they hesitate to concentrate on legal issues. The fresh CA and CS may have to look at legal issues when they work in some firm or under some Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary. In my opinion, we can not separate the core subjects of CA and CS from the subject of Law. Students very often forget the fact that they are in fact studying the rules and regulations in CA and CS course too to a great extent and whatever they do and practice in future is to be viewed from some particular regulation. Regarding the maintenance of books by the Company, the students may have to lay emphasis on the provisions of Companies Act, 1956 apart from Accounting Standards and other regulations.  It is not enough to focus only on certain provisions of Companies Act dealing with the essential requirements of conducting meetings, giving due notice, statutory requirements, filing of certain financial statements with the Registrar of Companies, Compliance Certificates  and getting delay condoned by the authority on certain lapses or delays in filing the documents with the Registrar of Companies (ROC). A Chartered Accountant or a Company Secretary may not choose to represent matters before various forums like Tax Tribunals and Company Law Board though many represent before such special forum or Tribunals. 

When a student or a fresh Chartered Accountant or Company Secretary focuses even on legal issues and when he is confident of certain basic legal issues and procedures, then, it will definitely be an additional advantage for them and their profession may actually demand those qualities. Clients may not always use the services of Chartered Accountant for audit of accounts, submitting statements with Financial Institutions and advising on Tax issues etc. Clients or the business people repose so much confidence on their Chartered Accountants and Company Secretaries than believing their lawyers and as such even on legal issues; clients may expect advice from Chartered Accountants and Company Secretaries. As such, in my opinion, it is imperative for the students pursuing CA and CS to concentrate even on certain fundamental legal concepts and it is not good to think that experience in future will teach a lot. Experience may not count much today with the tremendous growth and competition and one has to proceed with the fact that ‘human being can imagine even the things not seen; and he can experience things with imagination though he is not actually experienced the things’. 

I know that the students pursuing CA and CS will be studying many judgments of various High Courts and Supreme Court on certain issues. They read judgments, but, they do not concentrate as to why they should read judgments and as to how to look into and understand those judgments. This is the problem with some of my friends. They will be studying and remembering many judgments of Supreme Courts on Tax subjects like as to how to look into the issue of ‘revenue gain’ and ‘capital gain’. Many such issues are there. But, they will not think logically at all these issues and it would be beneficial for them if they really look at certain fundamental legal issues and concepts. 

According to me, it would be beneficial for students if they understand and focus on certain legal issues as follows: 

  1. About the law making authority in the light of constitutional provisions. On certain subjects only parliament can enact laws and on certain subjects states will make laws. Again on certain issues, both parliament and states can have concurrent jurisdiction to enact laws. This basic concept is to be kept in mind. 
  1. It would be beneficial for students if they focus on knowing the difference between ‘Tribunal’ and ‘Court’ in the light of land-mark judgment given by the Supreme Court on Constitution of National Company Law Tribunal. 
  1. The students can focus as to why they should read judgments. They should understand the issues of constant overruling on certain issues and they should practice as to how to understand the judgments.  They should learn thinking logically too. 
  1. Students should know the difference between a ‘civil wrong’ and an ‘offence’. They can focus on the basic concepts like a ‘civil wrong’ can be proved by the principle of preponderance of possibility and an ‘offence’ is to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. They should understand that the police or the investigating authority acts as a prosecuting agency to prosecute the accused in criminal cases normally though in cases like an offence under section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, the procedure will be different. 
  1. They should know as to why there was so much delay in Civil Courts in getting justice which is the main reason behind constitution of special tribunals like Company Law Board or the National Company Law Tribunal. 
  1. They must know the concept of fundamental rights and rights guaranteed to the citizens under Part-III of constitution of India and they can know the difference between Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles. 
  1. Students can also know various writs entertained by the High Court and Supreme Courts and they should know as to how the writ petitions are filed even in Tax matters and concepts. 
  1. Students can also know as to how a citizen can approach a High Court under Article 226 and Supreme Court under Article 32 asking for enforcement of fundamental rights by the State. 
  1. They must know as to how the ‘Deeds’ and etc. are drafted and they should think logically in this regard. Students can also concentrate on the pleadings in court and there was a fine tradition when it comes to pleadings. 
  1. If one looks at the pleading of a Chartered Accountant or a Company Secretary and compare the same with the pleading prepared by an Advocate, then, you can find lot of difference. Advocates normally think too much logically on the consequences of putting something on record and will also concentrate on the things that can be omitted in pleadings. 

The problem with few students pursuing CA and CS is that they think that subject of law is completely alien to them and they need to have expert legal knowledge.  They may also think that they can not possess legal knowledge as the advocates possess as the law students will have the privilege of attending classes in Law College regularly. This is a baseless notion and the students pursuing CA and CS can get all the required knowledge in the subject of law and they can put some minimal effort to know the practical things in the legal proceedings. It will help them too in giving better service to their clients and these people can improve their clientele too when they start their own independent practice.  A true lawyer, even if he has not completed the courses like CA and CS, will talk about the minute accounting issues and limitations when he has to argue a case touching the issues of accountancy and secretarial issues etc. That will be the attitude of a true lawyer when he handles a case. This quality makes the lawyers to possess abundant knowledge on many issues and subjects in the society. Likewise, even the students pursuing CA and CS can learn all they can learn as a habit and they should manage their time well in this regard. By having an habit of probing and by having an habit of reading News Paper constantly, anyone can gain vast amount of knowledge on many areas and it will help the students.  Students very often say that they do not have sufficient time to focus on their syllabus and as such they can not look at other issues.  The courses are to be pursued not with the intention of clearing exams, but, to know the subject first and that will make them conceptually sound and will help them to grow in profession in a short span of time. 

Note: I have just highlighted few issues and I may wrong in my opinion too. I have expressed my feelings on the issue based on my own experience of meeting many people and knowing them and their style of functioning. 

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Durga Rao
Category Students   Report

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