In a sizzling controversy surrounding an advertisement for a CA course, the coaching institute ‘Lakshya’ has found itself in scorching trouble. A practicing Chartered Accountant from Kerala has slapped the institute with a legal notice, urging them to swiftly withdraw their misleading advertisement after the esteemed Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) intervened.
Representing CA John Lukose, an astute Advocate of the Kerala High Court named Boby Thomas penned a stern notice, highlighting the fraudulent claims made by the coaching institute in their brochures, booklets, and hoardings. The audacious advertisement boasted about guaranteeing students the prestigious title of ‘Chartered Accountant’ at the tender age of 21.
The legal notice categorically stated that the institute’s advertisement falsely suggested that ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is equivalent to a Chartered Accountancy Course—an act that is both blatantly illegal and egregiously misleading. The notice emphasized that ACCA has no affiliation with the Chartered Accountancy Course, and any student who misrepresents themselves as a Chartered Accountant by passing the ACCA exam could face hefty fines and even imprisonment under the Chartered Accountants Act of 1949.
“The audacious advertisement of your product, which deceitfully employs the endorsement of a prominent actor to the general public, is both illegal and unwarranted. This wrongful action has tarnished the image of Chartered Accountants at large and, more specifically, my client within his professional circle and society. Your deceptive tactics have led ordinary individuals in society to mistakenly believe that the chartered accountancy courses and the course you offer (ACCA) hold equal value,” asserted the notice.
Furthermore, the notice brought attention to the detrimental impact of the misleading statement on the reputation and goodwill of Chartered Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). It alleged that the institute deliberately chose to propagate deceptive information through a well-known actor, thus intentionally misleading aspiring students.
The legal notice sternly demanded that the institute promptly retract the deceptive statements from all their brochures, booklets, hoardings, and any other form of advertisement produced by the ‘Indian Institute of Commerce, Lakshya,’ wherein the name of Mr. Mohanlal had been exploited for their monetary gain.
Adding fuel to the fire, the Kozhikode Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) penned a letter to the actor, raising concerns about coaching centers misleading students with false information regarding the qualifications offered. In response, the actor, Mr. Mohanlal, sincerely replied to CA Mujeeb Rahman M.K, Chairman of the Kozhikode Branch of the ICAI in Kerala. It is worth noting that various commerce courses possess distinct skills and areas of practice, and CA and ACCA are separate entities that cannot be compared, let alone be advertised under false pretenses.
The coaching institute now finds itself submerged in hot water, with the legal notice and the involvement of the esteemed ICAI shedding light on their misleading tactics. It remains to be seen how they will respond to this scorching situation and whether they will rectify their deceptive practices or face the fiery consequences.