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2019 (8) TMI 494

..... quasi-judicial in nature and any disclosure of the names of IPs against whom such proceedings are ongoing would impede the investigation process due to unwarranted public attention. Moreover, such processes can be at various stages. Mere issuance of a show cause notice to an IP does not imply that such person is guilty of any misconduct. It is merely seeking an explanation from the IP of any aberration in the established process. If, there is any gap in the explanation provided by the IP, then further action is taken by the Board. Revealing the names of such IPs, is likely to harm their practice as most of the IPs are established professionals like Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries, Cost Accountants, Advocates and managerial expert .....

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..... of the Board contending the following: a) That the reply of the CPIO is inappropriate and unreasonable as the CPIO has not given any satisfying reasons for not disclosing such vital information and there is no reason to keep the information under the ambit of exemptions. b) That the reply of the CPIO is prejudicial to the interest of the stakeholders as it is necessary to conduct a background check of the IPs at the time of appointment and if such information is not provided to the general public, it will harm the interest of the legal process and the interest of the parties concerned. c) That the reply of the CPIO is against the circular of the Board dated 23rd April, 2018 titled Commencement of Disciplinary Proceedings which states that a .....

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..... ommittee and for such period the IP concerned is not allowed to take any new assignment under the Code as IRP, RP or liquidator or a bankruptcy trustee. Show Cause Notice is a notice sent to any person by any authority i.e. government, employer, government employee s passport authority etc. in order to get a reply back with a reasonable cause as to why a particular action shouldn t be taken against him in regard to the defaulting act done by him. Generally, it is used in order to provide the defaulter with a chance to present himself with a reasonable cause because of which he committed the wrongful act. 8. The concern of the appellant is that these IPs against whom disciplinary proceedings are pending, may be appointed as IRPs by parties i .....

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..... The respective bench of the AA, before appointing any IP as IRP can satisfy itself that no disciplinary proceedings are pending against the proposed IP. Thus, sufficient checks have been built into the process to prevent such IPs from being appointed as IRPs. 11. Section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act, 2005, reads thus: (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, - xxxxxxxx (h) information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; xxxxxxxx. . The Supreme Court in Directorate of Enforcement v. Deepak Mahajan [Cr.A. No. 537 of 1990, 31st January, 1994], defined the word investigation as: …the word 'investigation' cannot be limi .....

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..... uch processes can be at various stages. Mere issuance of a show cause notice to an IP does not imply that such person is guilty of any misconduct. It is merely seeking an explanation from the IP of any aberration in the established process. If, there is any gap in the explanation provided by the IP, then further action is taken by the Board. Revealing the names of such IPs, is likely to harm their practice as most of the IPs are established professionals like Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries, Cost Accountants, Advocates and managerial experts. Competition may get advantage of the same. Further, the concerns of the appellant have already been taken care of by sufficient checks provided by the Board, as explained in para 9 of this o .....

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