Vide Notification Dated 09.09.2016 MCA notifies provisions related to Legal advisers and bankers not to disclose certain information, Powers of Tribunal, Application of certain provisions to proceedings under section 241 or section 245, Penalty for frauds by officers, Liability where proper accounts not kept, Liability for fraudulent conduct of business, Power of Tribunal to assess damages against delinquent directors, etc, Liability under sections 339 and 340 to extend to partners or directors in firms or companies
Government of India
Ministry of Corporate Affairs
New Delhi, the 9th September, 2016
[F. No. A-45011 /14/2016-Ad-IV]
Amardeep Singh Bhatia
EXTRACT OF RELEVANT SECTION AS COMPILED BY US FOR READY REFERENCE OF OUR READERS IS AS FOLLOWS :-
227- Legal advisers and bankers not to disclose certain information
Nothing in this Chapter shall require the disclosure to the Tribunal or to the Central Government or to the Registrar or to an inspector appointed by the Central Government—
(a) by a legal adviser, of any privileged communication made to him in that capacity, except as respects the name and address of his client; or
(b) by the bankers of any company, body corporate, or other person, of any information as to the affairs of any of their customers, other than such company, body corporate, or person.
242. Powers of Tribunal
(1) If, on any application made under section 241, the Tribunal is of the opinion—
(a) that the company’s affairs have been or are being conducted in a manner prejudicial or oppressive to any member or members or prejudicial to public interest or in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the company; and
(b) that to wind up the company would unfairly prejudice such member or members, but that otherwise the facts would justify the making of a winding-up order on the ground that it was just and equitable that the company should be wound up,
the Tribunal may, with a view to bringing to an end the matters complained of, make such order as it thinks fit.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the powers under sub-section (1), an order under that sub-section may provide for—
(a) the regulation of conduct of affairs of the company in future;
(b) the purchase of shares or interests of any members of the company by other members thereof or by the company;
(c) in the case of a purchase of its shares by the company as aforesaid, the consequent reduction of its share capital;
(d) restrictions on the transfer or allotment of the shares of the company;
(e) the termination, setting aside or modification, of any agreement, howsoever arrived at, between the company and the managing director, any other director or manager, upon such terms and conditions as may, in the opinion of the Tribunal, be just and equitable in the circumstances of the case;
(f) the termination, setting aside or modification of any agreement between the company and any person other than those referred to in clause (e):
Provided that no such agreement shall be terminated, set aside or modified except after due notice and after obtaining the consent of the party concerned;
(g) the setting aside of any transfer, delivery of goods, payment, execution or other act relating to property made or done by or against the company within three months before the date of the application under this section, which would, if made or done by or against an individual, be deemed in his insolvency to be a fraudulent preference;
(h) removal of the managing director, manager or any of the directors of the company;
(i) recovery of undue gains made by any managing director, manager or director during the period of his appointment as such and the manner of utilisation of the recovery including transfer to Investor Education and Protection Fund or repayment to identifiable victims;
(j) the manner in which the managing director or manager of the company may be appointed subsequent to an order removing the existing managing director or manager of the company made under clause (h);
(k) appointment of such number of persons as directors, who may be required by the Tribunal to report to the Tribunal on such matters as the Tribunal may direct;
(l) imposition of costs as may be deemed fit by the Tribunal;
(m) any other matter for which, in the opinion of the Tribunal, it is just and equitable that provision should be made.
(3) A certified copy of the order of the Tribunal under sub-section (1) shall be filed by the company with the Registrar within thirty days of the order of the Tribunal.
(4) The Tribunal may, on the application of any party to the proceeding, make any interim order which it thinks fit for regulating the conduct of the company’s affairs upon such terms and conditions as appear to it to be just and equitable.
(5) Where an order of the Tribunal under sub-section (1) makes any alteration in the memorandum or articles of a company, then, notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the company shall not have power, except to the extent, if any, permitted in the order, to make, without the leave of the Tribunal, any alteration whatsoever which is inconsistent with the order, either in the memorandum or in the articles.
(6) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (1), the alterations made by the order in the memorandum or articles of a company shall, in all respects, have the same effect as if they had been duly made by the company in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the said provisions shall apply accordingly to the memorandum or articles so altered.
(7) A certified copy of every order altering, or giving leave to alter, a company’s memorandum or articles, shall within thirty days after the making thereof, be filed by the company with the Registrar who shall register the same.
(8) If a company contravenes the provisions of sub-section (5), the company shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to twenty-five lakh rupees and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.
246. Application of certain provisions to proceedings under section 241 or section 245
The provisions of sections 337 to 341 (both inclusive) shall apply mutatis mutandis, in relation to an application made to the Tribunal under section 241 or section 245.
337. Penalty for frauds by officers
If any person, being at the time of the commission of the alleged offence an officer of a company which is subsequently ordered to be wound up by the Tribunal or which subsequently passes a resolution for voluntary winding up,—
(a) has, by false pretences or by means of any other fraud, induced any person to give credit to the company;
(b) with intent to defraud creditors of the company or any other person, has made or caused to be made any gift or transfer of, or charge on, or has caused or connived at the levying of any execution against, the property of the company; or
(c) with intent to defraud creditors of the company, has concealed or removed any part of the property of the company since the date of any unsatisfied judgment or order for payment of money obtained against the company or within two months before that date,
he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to three lakh rupees.
338. Liability where proper accounts not kept
(1) Where a company is being wound up, if it is shown that proper books of account were not kept by the company throughout the period of two years immediately preceding the commencement of the winding up, or the period between the incorporation of the company and the commencement of the winding up, whichever is shorter, every officer of the company who is in default shall, unless he shows that he acted honestly and that in the circumstances in which the business of the company was carried on, the default was excusable, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to three lakh rupees.
(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), it shall be deemed that proper books of account have not been kept in the case of any company,—
(a) if such books of account as are necessary to exhibit and explain the transactions and financial position of the business of the company, including books containing entries made from day-to-day in sufficient detail of all cash received and all cash paid, have not been kept; and
(b) where the business of the company has involved dealings in goods, statements of the annual stock takings and, except in the case of goods sold by way of ordinary retail trade, of all goods sold and purchased, showing the goods and the buyers and the sellers thereof in sufficient detail to enable those goods and those buyers and sellers to be identified, have not been kept.
339. Liability for fraudulent conduct of business
(1) If in the course of the winding up of a company, it appears that any business of the company has been carried on with intent to defraud creditors of the company or any other persons or for any fraudulent purpose, the Tribunal, on the application of the Official Liquidator, or the Company Liquidator or any creditor or contributory of the company, may, if it thinks it proper so to do, declare that any person, who is or has been a director, manager, or officer of the company or any persons who were knowingly parties to the carrying on of the business in the manner aforesaid shall be personally responsible, without any limitation of liability, for all or any of the debts or other liabilities of the company as the Tribunal may direct:
Provided that on the hearing of an application under this sub-section, the Official Liquidator or the Company Liquidator, as the case may be, may himself give evidence or call witnesses.
(2) Where the Tribunal makes any such declaration, it may give such further directions as it thinks proper for the purpose of giving effect to that declaration and, in particular,—
(a) make provision for making the liability of any such person under the declaration a charge on any debt or obligation due from the company to him, or on any mortgage or charge or any interest in any mortgage or charge on any assets of the company held by or vested in him, or any person on his behalf, or any person claiming as assignee from or through the person liable or any person acting on his behalf;
(b) make such further order as may be necessary for the purpose of enforcing any charge imposed under this sub-section.
(3) Where any business of a company is carried on with such intent or for such purpose as is mentioned in sub-section (1), every person who was knowingly a party to the carrying on of the business in the manner aforesaid, shall be liable for action under section 447.
(4) This section shall apply, notwithstanding that the person concerned may be punishable under any other law for the time being in force in respect of the matters on the ground of which the declaration is to be made.
Explanation.—For the purposes of this section,—
(a) the expression “assignee” includes any person to whom or in whose favour, by the directions of the person liable, the debt, obligation, mortgage or charge was created, issued or transferred or the interest was created, but does not include an assignee for valuable consideration, not including consideration by way of marriage, given in good faith and without notice of any of the matters on the ground of which the declaration is made;
(b) the expression “officer” includes any person in accordance with whose directions or instructions the directors of the company have been accustomed to act.
(1) If in the course of winding up of a company, it appears that any person who has taken part in the promotion or formation of the company, or any person, who is or has been a director, manager, Company Liquidator or officer of the company—
(a) has misapplied, or retained, or become liable or accountable for, any money or property of the company; or
(b) has been guilty of any misfeasance or breach of trust in relation to the company,
the Tribunal may, on the application of the Official Liquidator, or the Company Liquidator, or of any creditor or contributory, made within the period specified in that behalf in sub-section (2), inquire into the conduct of the person, director, manager, Company Liquidator or officer aforesaid, and order him to repay or restore the money or property or any part thereof respectively, with interest at such rate as the Tribunal considers just and proper, or to contribute such sum to the assets of the company by way of compensation in respect of the misapplication, retainer, misfeasance or breach of trust, as the Tribunal considers just and proper.
(2) An application under sub-section (1) shall be made within five years from the date of the winding up order, or of the first appointment of the Company Liquidator in the winding up, or of the misapplication, retainer, misfeasance or breach of trust, as the case may be, whichever is longer.
(3) This section shall apply, notwithstanding that the matter is one for which the person concerned may be criminally liable.
Where a declaration under section 339 or an order under section 340 is made in respect of a firm or body corporate, the Tribunal shall also have power to make a declaration under section 339, or pass an order under section 340, as the case may be, in respect of any person who was at the relevant time a partner in that firm or a director of that body corporate.