(1) The Board shall function as an independent body and, as far as possible, function as a digital office and employ such techno-legal measures as may be prescribed.
(2) The Board may, on receipt of a complaint made by an affected person or on a reference made to it by the Central Government or a State Government or in compliance with the directions of any court or in case of non-compliance with section 16 of this Act by a Data Principal, take action in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
(3) The Board may authorise conduct of proceedings relating to complaints, by individual Members or groups of Members.
(4) The Board shall first determine whether there are sufficient grounds to proceed with an inquiry. In case the Board determines that there are insufficient grounds, it may, for reasons recorded in writing, close such proceeding.
(5) In case the Board determines that there are sufficient grounds to proceed with inquiry, it may, for reasons recorded in writing, inquire into the affairs of any person for ascertaining whether such person is complying with or has complied with the provisions of this Act.
(6) The Board shall conduct such inquiry following the principles of natural justice including giving reasonable opportunity of being heard and shall record reasons for its actions during the course of such inquiry.
(7) For the purpose of conduct of inquiry under this section, the Board shall have powers to summon and enforce the attendance of persons, examine them on oath and inspect any data, book, document, register, books of account or any other document.
(8) Inquiry under this section shall be completed at the earliest. The Board or its officers shall not prevent access to any premises or take into custody any equipment or any item that may adversely affect the day-to-day functioning of a person.
(9) The Board may require the services of any police officer or any officer of the Central Government or a State Government to assist it for the purposes of this section and it shall be the duty of every such officer to comply with such requisition.
(10) During the course of the inquiry if the Board considers it necessary for preventing non-compliance with the provisions of this Act, it may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, issue interim orders after giving the concerned persons a reasonable opportunity of being heard.
(11) On conclusion of the inquiry and after giving the concerned persons a reasonable opportunity of being heard, if the Board determines that non-compliance by a person is not significant, it may, for reasons recorded in writing, close such inquiry. If the Board determines that the non-compliance by the person is significant, it shall proceed in accordance with section 25 of this Act.
(12) At any stage after receipt of a complaint, if the Board determines that the complaint is devoid of merit, it may issue a warning or impose costs on the complainant.
(13) Every person shall be bound by the orders of the Board. Every order made by the Board shall be enforced by it as if it were a decree made by a Civil Court. For the purpose of this sub-section, the Board shall have all the powers of a Civil Court as provided in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
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