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Plea challenging inquiry on ground of violation of rule 4 of FEMA Adjudication Proceedings and Appeal norms dismissed

May 28, 2021[2021] 127 398 (Delhi)

FEMA & BANKING : Where writ petitions had been filed by petitioner challenging Show Cause Notice(s) and consequent Adjudicating Authority, proceeding with inquiry against petitioner under Foreign Exchange Management (Adjudication Proceedings and Appeal) Rules, 2000 on alleged violation of Section 6(6) of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 stating that there had been a violation of Rule 4(3) of Adjudication Rules thereby vitiating entire proceedings against petitioner, it was held that Supreme Court had passed a detailed judgment finding various acts of violation of FEMA and Rules/Regulations framed there-under inter alia against petitioner group of companies and present inquiry had been initiated on direction of Supreme Court in said judgment and, therefore, there was enough reason for Adjudicating Authority to form an opinion to proceed with inquiry against petitioner and even though Impugned Opinion of Adjudicating Authority did not record any reasons for same, same was to be sustained and petition was to be dismissed.

• Adjudicating Authority, under Scheme of FEMA, performs a quasi-judicial function as opposed to a purely administrative function. Requirement of giving reasons, therefore, cannot be undermined and must be insisted upon from Adjudicating Authority. Reasons to be given for its opinion under Rule 4(3) of Adjudication Rules to proceed with inquiry though need not be as elaborate as in a Court decision or let's say an order passed by Adjudicating Authority under Rule 4(8) of Adjudication Rules, but have to be adequate, proper and intelligible, sufficiently clear and explicit. They must reasonably deal with substantial points raised in matter and show that they were taken into consideration. However, extent and nature of reasons depend upon specific facts and circumstances of each case.

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