7. Competent Authority.-
(1) The appropriate Government shall, by notification, appoint one or more officers not below the rank of Secretary to that Government, as the Competent Authority for the purposes of this Act.
(2) The appropriate Government may, by notification, appoint such other officer or officers as it thinks fit, to assist the Competent Authority in discharging its functions under this Act.
(3) Where the Competent Authority or officers appointed under sub-section (2), for the purposes of this section, has reason to believe (the reason for such belief to be recorded in writing), on the basis of such information and particulars as may be prescribed, that any deposit taker is soliciting deposits in contravention of section 3, he may, by an order in writing, provisionally attach the deposits held by the deposit taker and the money or other property acquired either in the name of the deposit taker or in the name of any other person on behalf of the deposit taker from the date of the order, in such manner as may be prescribed.
(4) The Competent Authority shall, for the purposes of sub-section (3), have the same powers as vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) while conducting investigation or inquiry in respect of the following matters, namely:-
(a) discovery and inspection;
(b) enforcing the attendance of any person, including any officer of a reporting entity and examining him on oath;
(c) compelling the production of records;
(d) receiving evidence on affidavits;
(e) issuing commissions for examination of witnesses and documents; and
(f) any other matter which may be prescribed.
(5) The Competent Authority shall have power to summon any person whose attendance he considers necessary whether to give evidence or to produce any records during the course of any investigation or proceeding under this section.
(6) All the persons so summoned shall be bound to attend in person or through authorised agents, as such officer may direct, and shall be bound to state the truth upon any subject respecting which they are examined or make statements, and produce such documents as may be required.
(7) Every proceeding under sub-sections (4) and (5) shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of section 193 and section 228 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
(8) Subject to any rules made in this behalf by the Central Government, any officer referred to in sub-section (2) may impound and retain in his custody for such period, as he thinks fit, any records produced before him in any proceedings under this Act:
Provided that the officer or officers referred to in sub-section (2) shall not-
(a) impound any records without recording his reasons for so doing; or
(b) retain in his custody any such records for a period exceeding three months, without obtaining the previous approval of the Competent Authority.