53 Power of Authority to conduct inquiry
The Authority may, on its own or on a complaint received by it, inquire or cause to be inquired, if it has reasonable grounds to believe that—
- (a) the activities of the data fiduciary or data processor are being conducted in a manner which is detrimental to the interest of data principals; or
- (b) any data fiduciary or data processor has contravened any of the provisions of this Act or the rules or regulations made thereunder, or any direction of the Authority.
For the purposes of sub-section (1), the Authority shall, by an order in writing, appoint one of its officers as an Inquiry Officer to inquire into the affairs of such data fiduciary or data processor and to report to the Authority on any inquiry made.
For the purpose of any inquiry under this section, the Inquiry Officer may, wherever necessary, seek the assistance of any other person.
The order referred to in sub-section (2) shall specify the reasons for the inquiry and the scope of the inquiry and may be modified from time to time.
Every officer, employee or other person acting under the direct authority of the data fiduciary or the data processor, or a service provider, or a contractor, where services are being obtained by or provided to the data fiduciary or data processor, as the case may be, shall be bound to produce before the Inquiry Officer, all such books, registers, documents, records and any data in their custody or power and to furnish to the Inquiry Officer any statement and information relating to the affairs of the data fiduciary or data processor as the Inquiry Officer may require within such time as the said Inquiry Officer may specify.
The Inquiry Officer shall provide a notice in writing to the persons referred to in sub-section (5) stating the reasons thereof and the relationship between the data fiduciary and the Inquiry Officer.
The Inquiry Officer may keep in its custody any books, registers, documents, records and other data produced under sub-section (5) for six months and thereafter shall return the same to the person by whom or on whose behalf such books, registers, documents, record and data are produced, unless an approval to retain such books, registers, documents, record and data for an additional period not exceeding three months has been obtained from the Authority.
Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, while exercising the powers under this section, the Authority or the Inquiry Officer, as the case may be, shall have the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters, namely—
- (a) the discovery and production of books of account and other documents, at such place and at such time as may be specified;
- (b) summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and examining them on oath;
- (c) inspection of any book, document, register or record of any data fiduciary;
- (d) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents; and
- (e) any other matter which may be prescribed.
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