Company Secretaries Act, 1980
21. Procedure in Inquiries Relating to Misconduct of Members of the Institute
(1) Where on receipt of information by, or a complaint made to it, the Council is prima facie of opinion that any member of the Institute has been guilty of any professional or other misconduct, the Council shall refer the case to the Disciplinary Committee constituted under section 17, and the Disciplinary Committee shall thereupon hold such inquiry and in such manner as may be prescribed and shall report the result of its inquiry to the Council.
(2) If on receipt of such report the Council finds that the member of the Institute is not guilty of any professional or other misconduct, it shall record its finding accordingly and direct that the proceedings shall be filed, or the complaint shall be dismissed, as the case may be.
(3) If on receipt of such report the Council finds that the member of the Institute is guilty of any professional or other misconduct, it shall record its finding accordingly, and shall proceed in the manner laid down in the succeeding sub-sections.
(4) Where the finding is that a member of the Institute has been guilty of a professional misconduct specified in the First Schedule, the Council shall afford to the member an opportunity of being heard before orders are passed against him on the case, and may thereafter make any of the following orders, namely :-
(a) reprimand the member;
(b) remove the name of the member from the Register for such period, not exceeding five years, as the Council thinks fit:
Provided that where the Council is of opinion that the case is one in which the name of the member ought to be removed from the Register for a period exceeding five years or permanently, it shall not make any order referred to in clause (a) or clause (b), but shall forward the case to the High Court with its recommendations thereon.
(5) Where the misconduct in respect of which the Council has found any member of the Institute guilty is a misconduct specified in the Second Schedule, it shall forward the case to the High Court with its recommendations thereon.
(6) On receipt of any case under sub-section (4) or sub-section (5), the High Court shall fix a date for the hearing of the case and shall cause notice of the date so fixed to be given to the member of the Institute concerned, the Council and to the Central Government, and shall afford such member, the Council and the Central Government an opportunity of being heard and may thereafter make any of the following orders, namely :-
(a) direct that the proceedings be filed, or dismiss the complaint, as the case may be;
(b) reprimand the member;
(c) remove him from membership of the Institute either permanently or for such period as the High Court thinks fit;
(d) refer the case to the Council for further inquiry and report.
(7) Where it appears to the High Court that the transfer of any case pending before it to another High Court will promote the ends of justice or tend to the general convenience of the parties, it may so transfer the case, subject to such conditions, if any, as it thinks fit to impose, and the High Court to which such case is transferred shall deal with it as if the case had been forwarded to it by the Council.
Explanation I : In this section, "High Court" means the highest civil court of appeal, not including the Supreme Court, exercising jurisdiction in the area in which the person whose conduct is being inquired into is in service or carries on his profession or has his principal place of profession at the commencement of the inquiry :
Provided that where the cases relating to two or more members of the Institute have to be forwarded by the Council to different High Courts, the Central Government shall, having regard to the ends of justice and the general convenience of the parties, determine which of the High Courts to the exclusion of others shall hear the cases against all the members.
Explanation II : For the purposes of this section, "member of the Institute" includes a person who was a member of the Institute on the date of the alleged misconduct although he has ceased to be a member of the Institute at the time of the inquiry.
(8) For the purposes of any inquiry under this section, the Council and the Disciplinary Committee referred to in sub-section (1) shall have the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, (5 of 1908), in respect of the following matters, namely :-
(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(b) the discovery and production of any document; and
(c) receiving evidence on affidavits.