25. So far as the question as to whether the SEBI has jurisdiction to issue such show cause notices to the petitioners are concerned, we have already pointed out various provisions contained in the SEBI Act and the Regulations. Section 11 (1) of the SEBI Act, which we have incorporated earlier, provides that it is the duty of the Board to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development and to regulate the securities market by such measures as it thinks fit. It is true, as argued by the learned counsel for the petitioners, that while exercising powers under the Act, it is not open to the SEBI to encroach upon the powers vested with the Institute under the CA Act. However, it is required to be examined as to whether in substance by initiating the proceedings under the SEBI Act, the SEBI is trying to overreach or encroach upon the powers conferred under the CA Act. In this connection, it is required to be noted that the the SEBI has powers under the Act and the Regulation to take remedial measures in connection with safeguarding the interest of investors and regulate the securities market. Under Section 11 of the SEBI Act, the SEBI has power to prohibit fraudulent and unfair trade practices relating to securities market. Under Section 11 (4) of the SEBI Act, the SEBI is entitled to pass appropriate orders in the interest of investors or securities market and is entitled to take measures as prescribed in the said Section. Under Section 11 B, powers have been conferred on the SEBI to give appropriate directions even to any person or class of persons referred to in Section 12 or associated with the securities market. The powers available to the SEBI under the Act are to be exercised in the interest of investors and interest of securities market. In order to safeguard the interest of investors or interest of securities market, SEBI is entitled to take all ancillary steps and measures to see that the interest of the investors is protected. Looking to the provisions of the SEBI Act and the Regulations framed thereunder, in our view, it cannot be said that in a given case if there is material against any Chartered Accountant to the effect that he was instrumental in preparing false and fabricated accounts, the SEBI has absolutely no power to take any remedial or preventive measures in such a case. It cannot be said that the SEBI cannot give appropriate directions in safeguarding the interest of the investors of a listed Company. Whether such directions and orders are required to be issued or not is a matter of inquiry. In our view, the jurisdiction of SEBI would also depend upon the evidence which is available during such inquiry. It is true, as argued by the learned counsel for the petitioners, that the SEBI cannot regulate the profession of Chartered Accountants. This proposition cannot be disputed in any manner. It is required to be noted that by taking remedial and preventive measures in the interest of investors and for regulating the securities market, if any steps are taken by the SEBI, it can never be said that it is regulating the profession of the Chartered Accountants. So far as listed Companies are concerned, the SEBI has all the powers under the Act and the Regulations to take all remedial and protective measures to safeguard the interest of investors and securities market. So far as the role of Auditors is concerned, it is a very important role under the Companies Act. As posited in Section 227 of the Companies Act, every auditor of a company shall have a right of access at all times to the books and accounts and vouchers of the Company, whether kept at the head office of the company or elsewhere, and shall be entitled to require from the officers of the Company such information and explanations as the auditor may think necessary for the performance of his duties. The auditors in the Company are functioning as statutory auditors. They have been appointed by the shareholders by majority. They owe a duty to the shareholders and are required to give a correct picture of the financial affairs of the Company. It is not uncommon nowadays that for financial gains even small investors are investing money in the share market. Mr. Ravi Kadam has rightly pointed out that there are cases where even retired persons are investing their retiral dues in the purchase of shares and ultimately if such a person is defrauded, he will be totally ruined and may be put in a situation where his life savings are wiped out. With a view to safeguard the interests of such investors, in our view, it is the duty of the SEBI to see that maximum care is required to be taken to protect the interest of such investors so that they may not be subjected to any fraud or cheating in the matter of their investments in the securities market. Normally, an investor invests his money by considering the financial health of the Company and in order to find out the same, one will naturally would bank upon the accounts and balance-sheets of the Company. If it is unearthed during inquiry before SEBI that a particular Chartered Accountant in connivance and in collusion with the Officers/Directors of the Company has concocted false accounts, in our view, there is no reason as to why to protect the interests of investors and regulate the securities market, such a person cannot be prevented from dealing with the auditing of such a public listed Company. In our view, the SEBI has got inherent powers to take all ancillary steps to safeguard the interest of investors and securities market. questions The powers conferred under various provisions of the Act are wide enough to cover such an eventuality and it cannot be given any restrictive meaning as suggested by the learned counsel for the petitioners. It is the statutory duty of the SEBI to see that the interests of the investors are protected and remedial and preventive measures are required to be taken in this behalf. It is required to be noted that in the instant case the inquiry is still pending and ultimately the decision is required to be taken by SEBI on the basis of available evidence on record. However, in order to determine the jurisdiction of SEBI, the contents of the show cause notice which is the first step of initiating proceedings are required to be seen. Reading the contents of the show cause notices and the relevant statutory provisions, it cannot be said that the SEBI has no jurisdiction at all to enquire into the affairs of the petitioners in so far as it relate to Satyam. In the case of Government contracts, the Government is entitled to blacklist a particular tenderer with a view to see that such a tenderer is not allowed to participate in the future tenders the same is done by following appropriate procedure in that behalf. In our view, it cannot be said that the show cause notices issued by SEBI are, on the face of it, not sustainable on the ground that the SEBI has no jurisdiction to enter into the affairs of the petitioners or that it lacks jurisdiction to go into such.
28. As regards the contention of Mr. Dwarkadas that except the Institute, no other body has any power to regulate the profession, it is required to be noted that SEBI’s powers are restricted only in connection with taking care of the interest of the investors and safeguarding the interest of the investors and also to regulate the share market. SEBI has, therefore, all the powers to give appropriate directions in the aforesaid field. By initiating the proceedings, it cannot be said that the SEBI is encroaching upon the rights of the Institute or prohibiting a Chartered Accountant from practicing as a Chartered Accountant. It is natural that SEBI has no power to pass an order prohibiting a particular Chartered Accountant from practicing as a Chartered Accountant or cannot debar a Chartered Accountant from practicing as Chartered Accountant but SEBI can definitely take regulatory measures under the SEBI Act in the matter of safeguarding the interest of the investors and securities market and in order to achieve the same, it can take appropriate remedial steps which may include keeping a person including a Chartered Accountant at a safe distance from the securities market. SEBI can always take preventive as well as remedial measures in this behalf. Exercising such powers, therefore, cannot be said to be in any way in conflict with the powers of the Institute under the CA Act. If ultimately any decision is taken by debarring any particular person from auditing the books of a listed company, such direction can always be said to be within the powers of SEBI and that is in the aid of regulating the affairs in connection with the investors interests and the interest of the securities market. By exercising such powers, it cannot be said that the SEBI is trying to regulate the profession of Chartered Accountants in any manner and in that view of the matter, in our view, it can never be said that it is in conflict with Section 24 of the CA Act.