Bare Acts


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Chapter XX – WINDING UP

Section 270 – Modes of winding up
(1) The winding up of a company may be either–

(a) by the Tribunal; or

(b) voluntary.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other Act, the provisions of this Act with respect to winding up shall apply to the winding up of a company in any of the modes specified under sub-section (1).

Part I – WINDING UP BY THE TRIBUNAL

Section 271 – Circumstances in which company may be wound up by Tribunal
(1) A company may, on a petition under section 272, be wound up by the Tribunal,–

(a) if the company is unable to pay its debts;

(b) if the company has, by special resolution, resolved that the company be wound up by the Tribunal;

(c) if the company has acted against the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality;

(d) if the Tribunal has ordered the winding up of the company under Chapter XIX;

(e) if on an application made by the Registrar or any other person authorised by the Central Government by notification under this Act, the Tribunal is of the opinion that the affairs of the company have been conducted in a fraudulent manner or the company was formed for fraudulent and unlawful purpose or the persons concerned in the formation or management of its affairs have been guilty of fraud, misfeasance or misconduct in connection therewith and that it is proper that the company be wound up;

(f) if the company has made a default in filing with the Registrar its financial statements or annual returns for immediately preceding five consecutive financial years; or

(g) if the Tribunal is of the opinion that it is just and equitable that the company should be wound up.

(2) A company shall be deemed to be unable to pay its debts,–

(a) if a creditor, by assignment or otherwise, to whom the company is indebted for an amount exceeding one lakh rupees then due, has served on the company, by causing it to be delivered at its registered office, by registered post or otherwise, a demand requiring the company to pay the amount so due and the company has failed to pay the sum within twenty-one days after the receipt of such demand or to provide adequate security or re-structure or compound the debt to the reasonable satisfaction of the creditor;

(b) if any execution or other process issued on a decree or order of any court or tribunal in favour of a creditor of the company is returned unsatisfied in whole or in part; or

(c) if it is proved to the satisfaction of the Tribunal that the company is unable to pay its debts, and, in determining whether a company is unable to pay its debts, the Tribunal shall take into account the contingent and prospective liabilities of the company.

Section 272 – Petition for winding up
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a petition to the Tribunal for the winding up of a company shall be presented by–

(a) the company;

(b) any creditor or creditors, including any contingent or prospective creditor or creditors;

(c) any contributory or contributories;

(d) all or any of the persons specified in clauses (a), (b) and (c) together;

(e) the Registrar;

(f) any person authorised by the Central Government in that behalf; or

(g) in a case falling under clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 271, by the Central Government or a State Government.

(2) A secured creditor, the holder of any debentures, whether or not any trustee or trustees have been appointed in respect of such and other like debentures, and the trustee for the holders of debentures shall be deemed to be creditors within the meaning of clause (b) of sub-section (1).

(3) A contributory shall be entitled to present a petition for the winding up of a company, notwithstanding that he may be the holder of fully paid-up shares, or that the company may have no assets at all or may have no surplus assets left for distribution among the shareholders after the satisfaction of its liabilities, and shares in respect of which he is a contributory or some of them were either originally allotted to him or have been held by him, and registered in his name, for at least six months during the eighteen months immediately before the commencement of the winding up or have devolved on him through the death of a former holder.

(4) The Registrar shall be entitled to present a petition for winding up under subsection (1) on any of the grounds specified in sub-section (1) of section 271, except on the grounds specified in clause (b), clause (d) or clause (g) of that sub-section:

Provided that the Registrar shall not present a petition on the ground that the company is unable to pay its debts unless it appears to him either from the financial condition of the company as disclosed in its balance sheet or from the report of an inspector appointed under section 210 that the company is unable to pay its debts:

Provided further that the Registrar shall obtain the previous sanction of the Central Government to the presentation of a petition:

Provided also that the Central Government shall not accord its sanction unless the company has been given a reasonable opportunity of making representations.

(5) A petition presented by the company for winding up before the Tribunal shall be admitted only if accompanied by a statement of affairs in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed.

(6) Before a petition for winding up of a company presented by a contingent or prospective creditor is admitted, the leave of the Tribunal shall be obtained for the admission of the petition and such leave shall not be granted, unless in the opinion of the Tribunal there is a prima facie case for the winding up of the company and until such security for costs has been given as the Tribunal thinks reasonable.

(7) A copy of the petition made under this section shall also be filed with the Registrar and the Registrar shall, without prejudice to any other provisions, submit his views to the Tribunal within sixty days of receipt of such petition.

Section 273 – Powers of Tribunal
(1) The Tribunal may, on receipt of a petition for winding up under section 272 pass any of the following orders, namely:–

(a) dismiss it, with or without costs;

(b) make any interim order as it thinks fit;

(c) appoint a provisional liquidator of the company till the making of a winding up order;

(d) make an order for the winding up of the company with or without costs; or

(e) any other order as it thinks fit:

Provided that an order under this sub-section shall be made within ninety days from the date of presentation of the petition:

Provided further that before appointing a provisional liquidator under clause (c), the Tribunal shall give notice to the company and afford a reasonable opportunity to it to make its representations, if any, unless for special reasons to be recorded in writing, the Tribunal thinks fit to dispense with such notice:

Provided also that the Tribunal shall not refuse to make a winding up order on the ground only that the assets of the company have been mortgaged for an amount equal to or in excess of those assets, or that the company has no assets.

(2) Where a petition is presented on the ground that it is just and equitable that the company should be wound up, the Tribunal may refuse to make an order of winding up, if it is of the opinion that some other remedy is available to the petitioners and that they are acting unreasonably in seeking to have the company wound up instead of pursuing the other remedy.

Section 274 – Directions for filing statement of affairs
(1) Where a petition for winding up is filed before the Tribunal by any person other than the company, the Tribunal shall, if satisfied that a prima facie case for winding up of the company is made out, by an order direct the company to file its objections along with a statement of its affairs within thirty days of the order in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed:

Provided that the Tribunal may allow a further period of thirty days in a situation of contingency or special circumstances:

Provided further that the Tribunal may direct the petitioner to deposit such security for costs as it may consider reasonable as a precondition to issue directions to the company.

(2) A company, which fails to file the statement of affairs as referred to in sub-section (1), shall forfeit the right to oppose the petition and such directors and officers of the company as found responsible for such non-compliance, shall be liable for punishment under sub-section (4).

(3) The directors and other officers of the company, in respect of which an order for winding up is passed by the Tribunal under clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 273, shall, within a period of thirty days of such order, submit, at the cost of the company, the books of account of the company completed and audited up to the date of the order, to such liquidator and in the manner specified by the Tribunal.

(4) If any director or officer of the company contravenes the provisions of this section, the director or the 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 five lakh rupees, or with both.

(5) The complaint may be filed in this behalf before the Special Court by Registrar, provisional liquidator, Company Liquidator or any person authorised by the Tribunal.

Section 275 – Company Liquidators and their appointments
(1) For the purposes of winding up of a company by the Tribunal, the Tribunal at the time of the passing of the order of winding up, shall appoint an Official Liquidator or a liquidator from the panel maintained under sub-section (2) as the Company Liquidator.

(2) The provisional liquidator or the Company Liquidator, as the case may be, shall be appointed from a panel maintained by the Central Government consisting of the names of chartered accountants, advocates, company secretaries, cost accountants or firms or bodies corporate having such chartered accountants, advocates, company secretaries, cost accountants and such other professionals as may be notified by the Central Government or from a firm or a body corporate of persons having a combination of such professionals as may be prescribed and having at least ten years’ experience in company matters.

(3) Where a provisional liquidator is appointed by the Tribunal, the Tribunal may limit and restrict his powers by the order appointing him or it or by a subsequent order, but otherwise he shall have the same powers as a liquidator.

(4) The Central Government may remove the name of any person or firm or body corporate from the panel maintained under sub-section (2) on the grounds of misconduct, fraud, misfeasance, breach of duties or professional incompetence:

Provided that the Central Government before removing him or it from the panel shall give him or it a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

(5) The terms and conditions of appointment of a provisional liquidator or Company Liquidator and the fee payable to him or it shall be specified by the Tribunal on the basis of task required to be performed, experience, qualification of such liquidator and size of the company.

(6) On appointment as provisional liquidator or Company Liquidator, as the case may be, such liquidator shall file a declaration within seven days from the date of appointment in the prescribed form disclosing conflict of interest or lack of independence in respect of his appointment, if any, with the Tribunal and such obligation shall continue throughout the term of his appointment.

(7) While passing a winding up order, the Tribunal may appoint a provisional liquidator, if any, appointed under clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 273, as the Company Liquidator for the conduct of the proceedings for the winding up of the company.

Section 276 – Removal and replacement of liquidator
(1) The Tribunal may, on a reasonable cause being shown and for reasons to be recorded in writing, remove the provisional liquidator or the Company Liquidator, as the case may be, as liquidator of the company on any of the following grounds, namely:–

(a) misconduct;

(b) fraud or misfeasance;

(c) professional incompetence or failure to exercise due care and diligence in performance of the powers and functions;

(d) inability to act as provisional liquidator or as the case may be, Company Liquidator;

(e) conflict of interest or lack of independence during the term of his appointment that would justify removal.

(2) In the event of death, resignation or removal of the provisional liquidator or as the case may be, Company Liquidator, the Tribunal may transfer the work assigned to him or it to another Company Liquidator for reasons to be recorded in writing.

(3) Where the Tribunal is of the opinion that any liquidator is responsible for causing any loss or damage to the company due to fraud or misfeasance or failure to exercise due care and diligence in the performance of his or its powers and functions, the Tribunal may recover or cause to be recovered such loss or damage from the liquidator and pass such other orders as it may think fit.

(4) The Tribunal shall, before passing any order under this section, provide a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the provisional liquidator or, as the case may be, Company Liquidator.

Section 277 – Intimation to Company Liquidator, provisional liquidator and Registrar
(1) Where the Tribunal makes an order for appointment of provisional liquidator or for the winding up of a company, it shall, within a period not exceeding seven days from the date of passing of the order, cause intimation thereof to be sent to the Company Liquidator or provisional liquidator, as the case may be, and the Registrar.

(2) On receipt of the copy of order of appointment of provisional liquidator or winding up order, the Registrar shall make an endorsement to that effect in his records relating to the company and notify in the Official Gazette that such an order has been made and in the case of a listed company, the Registrar shall intimate about such appointment or order, as the case may be, to the stock exchange or exchanges where the securities of the company are listed.

(3) The winding up order shall be deemed to be a notice of discharge to the officers, employees and workmen of the company, except when the business of the company is continued.

(4) Within three weeks from the date of passing of winding up order, the Company Liquidator shall make an application to the Tribunal for constitution of a winding up committee to assist and monitor the progress of liquidation proceedings by the Company Liquidator in carrying out the function as provided in sub-section (5) and such winding up committee shall comprise of the following persons, namely:–

(i) Official Liquidator attached to the Tribunal;

(ii) nominee of secured creditors; and

(iii) a professional nominated by the Tribunal.

(5) The Company Liquidator shall be the convener of the meetings of the winding up committee which shall assist and monitor the liquidation proceedings in following areas of liquidation functions, namely:–

(i) taking over assets;

(ii) examination of the statement of affairs;

(iii) recovery of property, cash or any other assets of the company including benefits derived therefrom;

(iv) review of audit reports and accounts of the company;

(v) sale of assets;

(vi) finalisation of list of creditors and contributories;

(vii) compromise, abandonment and settlement of claims;

(viii) payment of dividends, if any; and

(ix) any other function, as the Tribunal may direct from time to time.

(6) The Company Liquidator shall place before the Tribunal a report along with minutes of the meetings of the committee on monthly basis duly signed by the members present in the meeting for consideration till the final report for dissolution of the company is submitted before the Tribunal.

(7) The Company Liquidator shall prepare the draft final report for consideration and approval of the winding up committee.

(8) The final report so approved by the winding up committee shall be submitted by the Company Liquidator before the Tribunal for passing of a dissolution order in respect of the company.

Section 278 – Effect of winding up order
The order for the winding up of a company shall operate in favour of all the creditors and all contributories of the company as if it had been made out on the joint petition of creditors and contributories.

Section 279 – Stay of suits, etc., on winding up order
(1) When a winding up order has been passed or a provisional liquidator has been appointed, no suit or other legal proceeding shall be commenced, or if pending at the date of the winding up order, shall be proceeded with, by or against the company, except with the leave of the Tribunal and subject to such terms as the Tribunal may impose:

Provided that any application to the Tribunal seeking leave under this section shall be disposed of by the Tribunal within sixty days.

(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall apply to any proceeding pending in appeal before the Supreme Court or a High Court.

Section 280 – Jurisdiction of Tribunal
The Tribunal shall, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, have jurisdiction to entertain, or dispose of,–

(a) any suit or proceeding by or against the company;

(b) any claim made by or against the company, including claims by or against any of its branches in India;

(c) any application made under section 233;

(d) any scheme submitted under section 262;

(e) any question of priorities or any other question whatsoever, whether of law or facts, including those relating to assets, business, actions, rights, entitlements, privileges, benefits, duties, responsibilities, obligations or in any matter arising out of, or in relation to winding up of the company,

whether such suit or proceeding has been instituted, or is instituted, or such claim or question has arisen or arises or such application has been made or is made or such scheme has been submitted, or is submitted, before or after the order for the winding up of the company is made.

Section 281 – Submission of report by Company Liquidator
(1) Where the Tribunal has made a winding up order or appointed a Company Liquidator, such liquidator shall, within sixty days from the order, submit to the Tribunal, a report containing the following particulars, namely:–

(a) the nature and details of the assets of the company including their location and value, stating separately the cash balance in hand and in the bank, if any, and the negotiable securities, if any, held by the company:

Provided that the valuation of the assets shall be obtained from registered valuers for this purpose;

(b) amount of capital issued, subscribed and paid-up;

(c) the existing and contingent liabilities of the company including names, addresses and occupations of its creditors, stating separately the amount of secured and unsecured debts, and in the case of secured debts, particulars of the securities given, whether by the company or an officer thereof, their value and the dates on which they were given;

(d) the debts due to the company and the names, addresses and occupations of the persons from whom they are due and the amount likely to be realised on account thereof;

(e) guarantees, if any, extended by the company;

(f) list of contributories and dues, if any, payable by them and details of any unpaid call;

(g) details of trade marks and intellectual properties, if any, owned by the company;

(h) details of subsisting contracts, joint ventures and collaborations, if any;

(i) details of holding and subsidiary companies, if any;

(j) details of legal cases filed by or against the company; and

(k) any other information which the Tribunal may direct or the Company Liquidator may consider necessary to include.

(2) The Company Liquidator shall include in his report the manner in which the company was promoted or formed and whether in his opinion any fraud has been committed by any person in its promotion or formation or by any officer of the company in relation to the company since the formation thereof and any other matters which, in his opinion, it is desirable to bring to the notice of the Tribunal.

(3) The Company Liquidator shall also make a report on the viability of the business of the company or the steps which, in his opinion, are necessary for maximising the value of the assets of the company.

(4) The Company Liquidator may also, if he thinks fit, make any further report or reports.

(5) Any person describing himself in writing to be a creditor or a contributory of the company shall be entitled by himself or by his agent at all reasonable times to inspect the report submitted in accordance with this section and take copies thereof or extracts therefrom on payment of the prescribed fees.

Section 282 – Directions of Tribunal on report of Company Liquidator
(1) The Tribunal shall, on consideration of the report of the Company Liquidator, fix a time limit within which the entire proceedings shall be completed and the company be dissolved:

Provided that the Tribunal may, if it is of the opinion, at any stage of the proceedings, or on examination of the reports submitted to it by the Company Liquidator and after hearing the Company Liquidator, creditors or contributories or any other interested person, that it will not be advantageous or economical to continue the proceedings, revise the time limit within which the entire proceedings shall be completed and the company be dissolved.

(2) The Tribunal may, on examination of the reports submitted to it by the Company Liquidator and after hearing the Company Liquidator, creditors or contributories or any other interested person, order sale of the company as a going concern or its assets or part thereof:

Provided that the Tribunal may, where it considers fit, appoint a sale committee comprising such creditors, promoters and officers of the company as the Tribunal may decide to assist the Company Liquidator in sale under this sub-section.

(3) Where a report is received from the Company Liquidator or the Central Government or any person that a fraud has been committed in respect of the company, the Tribunal shall, without prejudice to the process of winding up, order for investigation under section 210, and on consideration of the report of such investigation it may pass order and give directions under sections 339 to 342 or direct the Company Liquidator to file a criminal complaint against persons who were involved in the commission of fraud.

(4) The Tribunal may order for taking such steps and measures, as may be necessary, to protect, preserve or enhance the value of the assets of the company.

(5) The Tribunal may pass such other order or give such other directions as it considers fit.

Section 283 – Custody of company’s properties
(1) Where a winding up order has been made or where a provisional liquidator has been appointed, the Company Liquidator or the provisional liquidator, as the case may be, shall, on the order of the Tribunal, forthwith take into his or its custody or control all the property, effects and actionable claims to which the company is or appears to be entitled to and take such steps and measures, as may be necessary, to protect and preserve the properties of the company.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), all the property and effects of the company shall be deemed to be in the custody of the Tribunal from the date of the order for the winding up of the company.

(3) On an application by the Company Liquidator or otherwise, the Tribunal may, at any time after the making of a winding up order, require any contributory for the time being on the list of contributories, and any trustee, receiver, banker, agent, officer or other employee of the company, to pay, deliver, surrender or transfer forthwith, or within such time as the Tribunal directs, to the Company Liquidator, any money, property or books and papers in his custody or under his control to which the company is or appears to be entitled.

Section 284 – Promoters, directors, etc., to cooperate with Company Liquidator
(1) The promoters, directors, officers and employees, who are or have been in employment of the company or acting or associated with the company shall extend full cooperation to the Company Liquidator in discharge of his functions and duties.

(2) Where any person, without reasonable cause, fails to discharge his obligations under sub-section (1), he shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees, or with both.

Section 285 – Settlement of list of contributories and application of assets
(1) As soon as may be after the passing of a winding up order by the Tribunal, the Tribunal shall settle a list of contributories, cause rectification of register of members in all cases where rectification is required in pursuance of this Act and shall cause the assets of the company to be applied for the discharge of its liability:

Provided that where it appears to the Tribunal that it would not be necessary to make calls on or adjust the rights of contributories, the Tribunal may dispense with the settlement of a list of contributories.

(2) In settling the list of contributories, the Tribunal shall distinguish between those who are contributories in their own right and those who are contributories as being representatives of, or liable for the debts of, others.

(3) While settling the list of contributories, the Tribunal shall include every person, who is or has been a member, who shall be liable to contribute to the assets of the company an amount sufficient for payment of the debts and liabilities and the costs, charges and expenses of winding up, and for the adjustment of the rights of the contributories among themselves, subject to the following conditions, namely:–

(a) a person who has been a member shall not be liable to contribute if he has ceased to be a member for the preceding one year or more before the commencement of the winding up;

(b) a person who has been a member shall not be liable to contribute in respect of any debt or liability of the company contracted after he ceased to be a member;

(c) no person who has been a member shall be liable to contribute unless it appears to the Tribunal that the present members are unable to satisfy the contributions required to be made by them in pursuance of this Act;

(d) in the case of a company limited by shares, no contribution shall be required from any person, who is or has been a member exceeding the amount, if any, unpaid on the shares in respect of which he is liable as such member;

(e) in the case of a company limited by guarantee, no contribution shall be required from any person, who is or has been a member exceeding the amount undertaken to be contributed by him to the assets of the company in the event of its being wound up but if the company has a share capital, such member shall be liable to contribute to the extent of any sum unpaid on any shares held by him as if the company were a company limited by shares.

Section 286 – Obligations of directors and managers
In the case of a limited company, any person who is or has been a director or manager, whose liability is unlimited under the provisions of this Act, shall, in addition to his liability, if any, to contribute as an ordinary member, be liable to make a further contribution as if he were at the commencement of winding up, a member of an unlimited company:

Provided that —

(a) a person who has been a director or manager shall not be liable to make such further contribution, if he has ceased to hold office for a year or upwards before the commencement of the winding up;

(b) a person who has been a director or manager shall not be liable to make such further contribution in respect of any debt or liability of the company contracted after he ceased to hold office;

(c) subject to the articles of the company, a director or manager shall not be liable to make such further contribution unless the Tribunal deems it necessary to require the contribution in order to satisfy the debts and liabilities of the company, and the costs, charges and expenses of the winding up.

Section 287 – Advisory committee
(1) The Tribunal may, while passing an order of winding up of a company, direct that there shall be, an advisory committee to advise the Company Liquidator and to report to the Tribunal on such matters as the Tribunal may direct.

(2) The advisory committee appointed by the Tribunal shall consist of not more than twelve members, being creditors and contributories of the company or such other persons in such proportion as the Tribunal may, keeping in view the circumstances of the company under liquidation, direct.

(3) The Company Liquidator shall convene a meeting of creditors and contributories, as ascertained from the books and documents, of the company within thirty days from the date of order of winding up for enabling the Tribunal to determine the persons who may be members of the advisory committee.

(4) The advisory committee shall have the right to inspect the books of account and other documents, assets and properties of the company under liquidation at a reasonable time.

(5) The provisions relating to the convening of the meetings, the procedure to be followed thereat and other matters relating to conduct of business by the advisory committee shall be such as may be prescribed.

(6) The meeting of advisory committee shall be chaired by the Company Liquidator.

Section 288 – Submission of periodical reports to Tribunal
(1) The Company Liquidator shall make periodical reports to the Tribunal and in any case make a report at the end of each quarter with respect to the progress of the winding up of the company in such form and manner as may be prescribed.

(2) The Tribunal may, on an application by the Company Liquidator, review the orders made by it and make such modifications as it thinks fit.

Section 289 – Power of Tribunal on application for stay of winding up
(1) The Tribunal may, at any time after making a winding up order, on an application of promoter, shareholders or creditors or any other interested person, if satisfied, make an order that it is just and fair that an opportunity to revive and rehabilitate the company be provided staying the proceedings for such time but not exceeding one hundred and eighty days and on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit:

Provided that an order under this sub-section shall be made by the Tribunal only when the application is accompanied with a scheme for rehabilitation.

(2) The Tribunal may, while passing the order under sub-section (1), require the applicant to furnish such security as to costs as it considers fit.

(3) Where an order under sub-section (1) is passed by the Tribunal, the provisions of Chapter XIX shall be followed in respect of the consideration and sanction of the scheme of revival of the company.

(4) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1), the Tribunal may at any time after making a winding up order, on an application of the Company Liquidator, make an order staying the winding up proceedings or any part thereof, for such time and on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.

(5) The Tribunal may, before making an order, under this section, require the Company Liquidator to furnish to it a report with respect to any facts or matters which are in his opinion relevant to the application.

(6) A copy of every order made under this section shall forthwith be forwarded by the Company Liquidator to the Registrar who shall make an endorsement of the order in his books and records relating to the company.

Section 290 – Powers and duties of Company Liquidator
(1) Subject to directions by the Tribunal, if any, in this regard, the Company Liquidator, in a winding up of a company by the Tribunal, shall have the power–

(a) to carry on the business of the company so far as may be necessary for the beneficial winding up of the company;

(b) to do all acts and to execute, in the name and on behalf of the company, all deeds, receipts and other documents, and for that purpose, to use, when necessary, the company’s seal;

(c) to sell the immovable and movable property and actionable claims of the company by public auction or private contract, with power to transfer such property to any person or body corporate, or to sell the same in parcels;

(d) to sell the whole of the undertaking of the company as a going concern;

(e) to raise any money required on the security of the assets of the company;

(f) to institute or defend any suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding, civil or criminal, in the name and on behalf of the company;

(g) to invite and settle claim of creditors, employees or any other claimant and distribute sale proceeds in accordance with priorities established under this Act;

(h) to inspect the records and returns of the company on the files of the Registrar or any other authority;

(i) to prove rank and claim in the insolvency of any contributory for any balance against his estate, and to receive dividends in the insolvency, in respect of that balance, as a separate debt due from the insolvent, and rateably with the other separate creditors;

(j) to draw, accept, make and endorse any negotiable instruments including cheque, bill of exchange, hundi or promissory note in the name and on behalf of the company, with the same effect with respect to the liability of the company as if such instruments had been drawn, accepted, made or endorsed by or on behalf of the company in the course of its business;

(k) to take out, in his official name, letters of administration to any deceased contributory, and to do in his official name any other act necessary for obtaining payment of any money due from a contributory or his estate which cannot be conveniently done in the name of the company, and in all such cases, the money due shall, for the purpose of enabling the Company Liquidator to take out the letters of administration or recover the money, be deemed to be due to the Company Liquidator himself;

(l) to obtain any professional assistance from any person or appoint any professional, in discharge of his duties, obligations and responsibilities and for protection of the assets of the company, appoint an agent to do any business which the Company Liquidator is unable to do himself;

(m) to take all such actions, steps, or to sign, execute and verify any paper, deed, document, application, petition, affidavit, bond or instrument as may be necessary,–

(i) for winding up of the company;

(ii) for distribution of assets;

(iii) in discharge of his duties and obligations and functions as Company Liquidator; and

(n) to apply to the Tribunal for such orders or directions as may be necessary for the winding up of the company.

(2) The exercise of powers by the Company Liquidator under sub-section (1) shall be subject to the overall control of the Tribunal.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (1), the Company Liquidator shall perform such other duties as the Tribunal may specify in this behalf.

Section 291 – Provision for professional assistance to Company Liquidator
(1) The Company Liquidator may, with the sanction of the Tribunal, appoint one or more chartered accountants or company secretaries or cost accountants or legal practitioners or such other professionals on such terms and conditions, as may be necessary, to assist him in the performance of his duties and functions under this Act.

(2) Any person appointed under this section shall disclose forthwith to the Tribunal in the prescribed form any conflict of interest or lack of independence in respect of his appointment.

Section 292 – Exercise and control of Company Liquidator’s powers
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Company Liquidator shall, in the administration of the assets of the company and the distribution thereof among its creditors, have regard to any directions which may be given by the resolution of the creditors or contributories at any general meeting or by the advisory committee.

(2) Any directions given by the creditors or contributories at any general meeting shall, in case of conflict, be deemed to override any directions given by the advisory committee.

(3) The Company Liquidator–

(a) may summon meetings of the creditors or contributories, whenever he thinks fit, for the purpose of ascertaining their wishes; and

(b) shall summon such meetings at such times, as the creditors or contributories, as the case may be, may, by resolution, direct, or whenever requested in writing to do so by not less than one-tenth in value of the creditors or contributories, as the case may be.

(4) Any person aggrieved by any act or decision of the Company Liquidator may apply to the Tribunal, and the Tribunal may confirm, reverse or modify the act or decision complained of and make such further order as it thinks just and proper in the circumstances.

Section 293 – Books to be kept by Company Liquidator
(1) The Company Liquidator shall keep proper books in such manner, as may be prescribed, in which he shall cause entries or minutes to be made of proceedings at meetings and of such other matters as may be prescribed.

(2) Any creditor or contributory may, subject to the control of the Tribunal, inspect any such books, personally or through his agent.

Section 294 – Audit of Company Liquidator’s accounts
(1) The Company Liquidator shall maintain proper and regular books of account including accounts of receipts and payments made by him in such form and manner as may be prescribed.

(2) The Company Liquidator shall, at such times as may be prescribed but not less than twice in each year during his tenure of office, present to the Tribunal an account of the receipts and payments as such liquidator in the prescribed form in duplicate, which shall be verified by a declaration in such form and manner as may be prescribed.

(3) The Tribunal shall cause the accounts to be audited in such manner as it thinks fit, and for the purpose of the audit, the Company Liquidator shall furnish to the Tribunal with such vouchers and information as the Tribunal may require, and the Tribunal may, at any time, require the production of, and inspect, any books of account kept by the Company Liquidator.

(4) When the accounts of the company have been audited, one copy thereof shall be filed by the Company Liquidator with the Tribunal, and the other copy shall be delivered to the Registrar which shall be open to inspection by any creditor, contributory or person interested.

(5) Where an account referred to in sub-section (4) relates to a Government company, the Company Liquidator shall forward a copy thereof–

(a) to the Central Government, if that Government is a member of the Government company; or

(b) to any State Government, if that Government is a member of the Government company; or

(c) to the Central Government and any State Government, if both the Governments are members of the Government company.

(6) The Company Liquidator shall cause the accounts when audited, or a summary thereof, to be printed, and shall send a printed copy of the accounts or summary thereof by post to every creditor and every contributory:

Provided that the Tribunal may dispense with the compliance of the provisions of this sub-section in any case it deems fit.

Section 295 – Payment of debts by contributory and extent of set
(1) The Tribunal may, at any time after passing of a winding up order, pass an order requiring any contributory for the time being on the list of contributories to pay, in the manner directed by the order, any money due to the company, from him or from the estate of the person whom he represents, exclusive of any money payable by him or the estate by virtue of any call in pursuance of this Act.

(2) The Tribunal, in making an order, under sub-section (1), may,–

(a) in the case of an unlimited company, allow to the contributory, by way of set-off, any money due to him or to the estate which he represents, from the company, on any independent dealing or contract with the company, but not any money due to him as a member of the company in respect of any dividend or profit; and

(b) in the case of a limited company, allow to any director or manager whose liability is unlimited, or to his estate, such set-off.

(3) In the case of any company, whether limited or unlimited, when all the creditors have been paid in full, any money due on any account whatever to a contributory from the company may be allowed to him by way of set-off against any subsequent call.

Section 296 – Power of Tribunal to make calls
The Tribunal may, at any time after the passing of a winding up order, and either before or after it has ascertained the sufficiency of the assets of the company,–

(a) make calls on all or any of the contributories for the time being on the list of the contributories, to the extent of their liability, for payment of any money which the Tribunal considers necessary to satisfy the debts and liabilities of the company, and the costs, charges and expenses of winding up, and for the adjustment of the rights of the contributories among themselves; and

(b) make an order for payment of any calls so made.

Section 297 – Adjustment of rights of contributories
The Tribunal shall adjust the rights of the contributories among themselves and distribute any surplus among the persons entitled thereto.

Section 298 – Power to order costs
The Tribunal may, in the event of the assets of a company being insufficient to satisfy its liabilities, make an order for the payment out of the assets, of the costs, charges and expenses incurred in the winding up, in such order of priority inter se as the Tribunal thinks just and proper.

Section 299 – Power to summon persons suspected of having property of company, etc.
(1) The Tribunal may, at any time after the appointment of a provisional liquidator or the passing of a winding up order, summon before it any officer of the company or person known or suspected to have in his possession any property or books or papers, of the company, or known or suspected to be indebted to the company, or any person whom the Tribunal thinks to be capable of giving information concerning the promotion, formation, trade, dealings, property, books or papers, or affairs of the company.

(2) The Tribunal may examine any officer or person so summoned on oath concerning the matters aforesaid, either by word of mouth or on written interrogatories or on affidavit and may, in the first case, reduce his answers to writing and require him to sign them.

(3) The Tribunal may require any officer or person so summoned to produce any books and papers relating to the company in his custody or power, but, where he claims any lien on books or papers produced by him, the production shall be without prejudice to such lien, and the Tribunal shall have power to determine all questions relating to that lien.

(4) The Tribunal may direct the liquidator to file before it a report in respect of debt or property of the company in possession of other persons.

(5) If the Tribunal finds that–

(a) a person is indebted to the company, the Tribunal may order him to pay to the provisional liquidator or, as the case may be, the liquidator at such time and in such manner as the Tribunal may consider just, the amount in which he is indebted, or any part thereof, either in full discharge of the whole amount or not, as the Tribunal thinks fit, with or without costs of the examination;

(b) a person is in possession of any property belonging to the company, the Tribunal may order him to deliver to the provisional liquidator or, as the case may be, the liquidator, that property or any part thereof, at such time, in such manner and on such terms as the Tribunal may consider just.

(6) If any officer or person so summoned fails to appear before the Tribunal at the time appointed without a reasonable cause, the Tribunal may impose an appropriate cost.

(7) Every order made under sub-section (5) shall be executed in the same manner as decrees for the payment of money or for the delivery of property under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908).

(8) Any person making any payment or delivery in pursuance of an order made under sub-section (5) shall by such payment or delivery be, unless otherwise directed by such order, discharged from all liability whatsoever in respect of such debt or property.

Section 300 – Power to order examination of promoters, directors, etc.
(1) Where an order has been made for the winding up of a company by the Tribunal, and the Company Liquidator has made a report to the Tribunal under this Act, stating that in his opinion a fraud has been committed by any person in the promotion, formation, business or conduct of affairs of the company since its formation, the Tribunal may, after considering the report, direct that such person or officer shall attend before the Tribunal on a day appointed by it for that purpose, and be examined as to the promotion or formation or the conduct of the business of the company or as to his conduct and dealings as an officer thereof.

(2) The Company Liquidator shall take part in the examination, and for that purpose he or it may, if specially authorised by the Tribunal in that behalf, employ such legal assistance as may be sanctioned by the Tribunal.

(3) The person shall be examined on oath and shall answer all such questions as the Tribunal may put, or allow to be put, to him.

(4) A person ordered to be examined under this section–

(a) shall, before his examination, be furnished at his own cost with a copy of the report of the Company Liquidator; and

(b) may at his own cost employ chartered accountants or company secretaries or cost accountants or legal practitioners entitled to appear before the Tribunal under section 432, who shall be at liberty to put to him such questions as the Tribunal may consider just for the purpose of enabling him to explain or qualify any answers given by him.

(5) If any such person applies to the Tribunal to be exculpated from any charges made or suggested against him, it shall be the duty of the Company Liquidator to appear on the hearing of such application and call the attention of the Tribunal to any matters which appear to the Company Liquidator to be relevant.

(6) If the Tribunal, after considering any evidence given or hearing witnesses called by the Company Liquidator, allows the application made under sub-section (5), the Tribunal may order payment to the applicant of such costs as it may think fit.

(7) Notes of the examination shall be taken down in writing, and shall be read over to or by, and signed by, the person examined, a copy be supplied to him and may thereafter be used in evidence against him, and shall be open to inspection by any creditor or contributory at all reasonable times.

(8) The Tribunal may, if it thinks fit, adjourn the examination from time to time.

(9) An examination under this section may, if the Tribunal so directs, be held before any person or authority authorised by the Tribunal.

(10) The powers of the Tribunal under this section as to the conduct of the examination, but not as to costs, may be exercised by the person or authority before whom the examination is held in pursuance of sub-section (9).

Section 301 – Arrest of person trying to leave India or abscond
At any time either before or after passing a winding up order, if the Tribunal is satisfied that a contributory or a person having property, accounts or papers of the company in his possession is about to leave India or otherwise to abscond, or is about to remove or conceal any of his property, for the purpose of evading payment of calls or of avoiding examination respecting the affairs of the company, the Tribunal may cause–

(a) the contributory to be detained until such time as the Tribunal may order; and

(b) his books and papers and movable property to be seized and safely kept until such time as the Tribunal may order.

Section 302 – Dissolution of company by Tribunal
(1) When the affairs of a company have been completely wound up, the Company Liquidator shall make an application to the Tribunal for dissolution of such company.

(2) The Tribunal shall on an application filed by the Company Liquidator under sub-section (1) or when the Tribunal is of the opinion that it is just and reasonable in the circumstances of the case that an order for the dissolution of the company should be made, make an order that the company be dissolved from the date of the order, and the company shall be dissolved accordingly.

(3) A copy of the order shall, within thirty days from the date thereof, be forwarded by the Company Liquidator to the Registrar who shall record in the register relating to the company a minute of the dissolution of the company.

(4) If the Company Liquidator makes a default in forwarding a copy of the order within the period specified in sub-section (3), the Company Liquidator shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every day during which the default continues.

Section 303 – Appeals from orders made before commencement of Act
Nothing in this Chapter shall affect the operation or enforcement of any order made by any Court in any proceedings for the winding up of a company immediately before the commencement of this Act and an appeal against such order shall be filed before such authority competent to hear such appeals before such commencement.

Part II – VOLUNTARY WINDING UP

Section 304 – Circumstances in which company may be wound up voluntarily
A company may be wound up voluntarily,–

(a) if the company in general meeting passes a resolution requiring the company to be wound up voluntarily as a result of the expiry of the period for its duration, if any, fixed by its articles or on the occurrence of any event in respect of which the articles provide that the company should be dissolved; or

(b) if the company passes a special resolution that the company be wound up voluntarily.

Section 305 – Declaration of solvency in case of proposal to wind up voluntarily
(1) Where it is proposed to wind up a company voluntarily, its director or directors, or in case the company has more than two directors, the majority of its directors, shall, at a meeting of the Board, make a declaration verified by an affidavit to the effect that they have made a full inquiry into the affairs of the company and they have formed an opinion that the company has no debt or whether it will be able to pay its debts in full from the proceeds of assets sold in voluntary winding up.

(2) A declaration made under sub-section (1) shall have no effect for the purposes of this Act, unless–

(a) it is made within five weeks immediately preceding the date of the passing of the resolution for winding up the company and it is delivered to the Registrar for registration before that date;

(b) it contains a declaration that the company is not being wound up to defraud any person or persons;

(c) it is accompanied by a copy of the report of the auditors of the company prepared in accordance with the provisions of this Act, on the profit and loss account of the company for the period commencing from the date up to which the last such account was prepared and ending with the latest practicable date immediately before the making of the declaration and the balance sheet of the company made out as on that date which would also contain a statement of the assets and liabilities of the company on that date; and

(d) where there are any assets of the company, it is accompanied by a report of the valuation of the assets of the company prepared by a registered valuer.

(3) Where the company is wound up in pursuance of a resolution passed within a period of five weeks after the making of the declaration, but its debts are not paid or provided for in full, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, that the director or directors did not have reasonable grounds for his or their opinion under sub-section (1).

(4) Any director of a company making a declaration under this section without having reasonable grounds for the opinion that the company will be able to pay its debts in full from the proceeds of assets sold in voluntary winding up shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to five years or with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to three lakh rupees, or with both.

Section 306 – Meeting of creditors
(1) The company shall along with the calling of meeting of the company at which the resolution for the voluntary winding up is to be proposed, cause a meeting of its creditors either on the same day or on the next day and shall cause a notice of such meeting to be sent by registered post to the creditors with the notice of the meeting of the company under section 304.

(2) The Board of Directors of the company shall–

(a) cause to be presented a full statement of the position of the affairs of the company together with a list of creditors of the company, if any, copy of declaration under section 305 and the estimated amount of the claims before such meeting; and

(b) appoint one of the directors to preside at the meeting.

(3) Where two-thirds in value of creditors of the company are of the opinion that–

(a) it is in the interest of all parties that the company be wound up voluntarily, the company shall be wound up voluntarily; or

(b) the company may not be able to pay for its debts in full from the proceeds of assets sold in voluntary winding up and pass a resolution that it shall be in the interest of all parties if the company is wound up by the Tribunal in accordance with the provisions of Part I of this Chapter, the company shall within fourteen days thereafter file an application before the Tribunal.

(4) The notice of any resolution passed at a meeting of creditors in pursuance of this section shall be given by the company to the Registrar within ten days of the passing thereof.

(5) If a company contravenes the provisions of this section, the company shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees and the director 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 fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees, or with both.

Section 307 – Publication of resolution to wind up voluntarily
(1) Where a company has passed a resolution for voluntary winding up and a resolution under sub-section (3) of section 306 is passed, it shall within fourteen days of the passing of the resolution give notice of the resolution by advertisement in the Official Gazette and also in a newspaper which is in circulation in the district where the registered office or the principal office of the company is situate.

(2) If a company contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1), the company and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every day during which such default continues.

Section 308 – Commencement of voluntary winding up
A voluntary winding up shall be deemed to commence on the date of passing of the resolution for voluntary winding up under section 304.

Section 309 – Effect of voluntary winding up
In the case of a voluntary winding up, the company shall from the commencement of the winding up cease to carry on its business except as far as required for the beneficial winding up of its business:

Provided that the corporate state and corporate powers of the company shall continue until it is dissolved.

Section 310 – Appointment of Company Liquidator
(1) The company in its general meeting, where a resolution of voluntary winding up is passed, shall appoint a Company Liquidator from the panel prepared by the Central Government for the purpose of winding up its affairs and distributing the assets of the company and recommend the fee to be paid to the Company Liquidator.

(2) Where the creditors have passed a resolution for winding up the company under sub-section (3) of section 306, the appointment of the Company Liquidator under this section shall be effective only after it is approved by the majority of creditors in value of the company:

Provided that where such creditors do not approve the appointment of such Company Liquidator, creditors shall appoint another Company Liquidator.

(3) The creditors while approving the appointment of Company Liquidator appointed by the company or appointing the Company Liquidator of their own choice, as the case may be, pass suitable resolution with regard to the fee of the Company Liquidator.

(4) On appointment as Company Liquidator, such liquidator shall file a declaration in the prescribed form within seven days of the date of appointment disclosing conflict of interest or lack of independence in respect of his appointment, if any, with the company and the creditors and such obligation shall continue throughout the term of his or its appointment.

Section 311 – Power to remove and fill vacancy of Company Liquidator
(1) A Company Liquidator appointed under section 310 may be removed by the company where his appointment has been made by the company and, by the creditors, where the appointment is approved or made by such creditors.

(2) Where a Company Liquidator is sought to be removed under this section, he shall be given a notice in writing stating the grounds of removal from his office by the company or the creditors, as the case may be.

(3) Where three-fourth members of the company or three-fourth of creditors in value, as the case may be, after consideration of the reply, if any, filed by the Company Liquidator, in their meeting decide to remove the Company Liquidator, he shall vacate his office.

(4) If a vacancy occurs by death, resignation, removal or otherwise in the office of any Company Liquidator appointed under section 310, the company or the creditors, as the case may be, fill the vacancy in the manner specified in that section.

Section 312 – Notice of appointment of Company Liquidator to be given to Registrar
(1) The company shall give notice to the Registrar of the appointment of a Company Liquidator along with the name and particulars of the Company Liquidator, of every vacancy occurring in the office of Company Liquidator, and of the name of the Company Liquidator appointed to fill every such vacancy within ten days of such appointment or the occurrence of such vacancy.

(2) If a company contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1), the company and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees for every day during which such default continues.

Section 313 – Cesser of Board’s powers on appointment of Company Liquidator
On the appointment of a Company Liquidator, all the powers of the Board of Directors and of the managing or whole-time directors and manager, if any, shall cease, except for the purpose of giving notice of such appointment of the Company Liquidator to the Registrar.

Section 314 – Powers and duties of Company Liquidator in voluntary winding up
(1) The Company Liquidator shall perform such functions and discharge such duties as may be determined from time to time by the company or the creditors, as the case may be.

(2) The Company Liquidator shall settle the list of contributories, which shall be prima facie evidence of the liability of the persons named therein to be contributories.

(3) The Company Liquidator shall call general meetings of the company for the purpose of obtaining the sanction of the company by ordinary or special resolution, as the case may require, or for any other purpose he may consider necessary.

(4) The Company Liquidator shall maintain regular and proper books of account in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed and the members and creditors and any officer authorised by the Central Government may inspect such books of account.

(5) The Company Liquidator shall prepare quarterly statement of accounts in such form and manner as may be prescribed and file such statement of accounts duly audited within thirty days from the close of each quarter with the Registrar, failing which the Company Liquidator shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every day during which the failure continues.

(6) The Company Liquidator shall pay the debts of the company and shall adjust the rights of the contributories among themselves.

(7) The Company Liquidator shall observe due care and diligence in the discharge of his duties.

(8) If the Company Liquidator fails to comply with the provisions of this section except sub-section (5) he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

Section 315 – Appointment of committees
Where there are no creditors of a company, such company in its general meeting and, where a meeting of creditors is held under section 306, such creditors, as the case may be, may appoint such committees as considered appropriate to supervise the voluntary liquidation and assist the Company Liquidator in discharging his or its functions.

Section 316 – Company Liquidator to submit report on progress of winding up
(1) The Company Liquidator shall report quarterly on the progress of winding up of the company in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed to the members and creditors and shall also call a meeting of the members and the creditors as and when necessary but at least one meeting each of creditors and members in every quarter and apprise them of the progress of the winding up of the company in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2) If the Company Liquidator fails to comply with the provisions of sub-section (1), he shall be punishable, in respect of each such failure, with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

Section 317 – Report of Company Liquidator to Tribunal for examination of persons
(1) Where the Company Liquidator is of the opinion that a fraud has been committed by any person in respect of the company, he shall immediately make a report to the Tribunal and the Tribunal shall, without prejudice to the process of winding up, order for investigation under section 210 and on consideration of the report of such investigation, the Tribunal may pass such order and give such directions under this Chapter as it may consider necessary including the direction that such person shall attend before the Tribunal on a day appointed by it for that purpose and be examined as to the promotion or formation or the conduct of the business of the company or as to his conduct and dealings as officer thereof or otherwise.

(2) The provisions of section 300 shall mutatis mutandis apply in relation to any examination directed under sub-section (1).

Section 318 – Final meeting and dissolution of company
(1) As soon as the affairs of a company are fully wound up, the Company Liquidator shall prepare a report of the winding up showing that the property and assets of the company have been disposed of and its debt fully discharged or discharged to the satisfaction of the creditors and thereafter call a general meeting of the company for the purpose of laying the final winding up accounts before it and giving any explanation therefor.

(2) The meeting referred to in sub-section (1) shall be called by the Company Liquidator in such form and manner as may be prescribed.

(3) If the majority of the members of the company after considering the report of the Company Liquidator are satisfied that the company shall be wound up, they may pass a resolution for its dissolution.

(4) Within two weeks after the meeting, the Company Liquidator shall–

(a) send to the Registrar–

(i) a copy of the final winding up accounts of the company and shall make a return in respect of each meeting and of the date thereof; and

(ii) copies of the resolutions passed in the meetings; and

(b) file an application along with his report under sub-section (1) in such manner as may be prescribed along with the books and papers of the company relating to the winding up, before the Tribunal for passing an order of dissolution of the company.

(5) If the Tribunal is satisfied, after considering the report of the Company Liquidator that the process of winding up has been just and fair, the Tribunal shall pass an order dissolving the company within sixty days of the receipt of the application under sub-section (4).

(6) The Company Liquidator shall file a copy of the order under sub-section (5) with the Registrar within thirty days.

(7) The Registrar, on receiving the copy of the order passed by the Tribunal under subsection (5), shall forthwith publish a notice in the Official Gazette that the company is dissolved.

(8) If the Company Liquidator fails to comply with the provisions of this section, he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees.

Section 319 – Power of Company Liquidator to accept shares, etc., as consideration for sale of property of company
(1) Where a company (the transferor company) is proposed to be, or is in the course of being, wound up voluntarily and the whole or any part of its business or property is proposed to be transferred or sold to another company (the transferee company), the Company Liquidator of the transferor company may, with the sanction of a special resolution of the company conferring on him either a general authority or an authority in respect of any particular arrangement,–

(a) receive, by way of compensation wholly or in part for the transfer or sale of shares, policies, or other like interest in the transferee company, for distribution among the members of the transferor company; or

(b) enter into any other arrangement whereby the members of the transferor company may, in lieu of receiving cash, shares, policies or other like interest or in addition thereto, participate in the profits of, or receive any other benefit from, the transferee company:

Provided that no such arrangement shall be entered into without the consent of the secured creditors.

(2) Any transfer, sale or other arrangement in pursuance of this section shall be binding on the members of the transferor company.

(3) Any member of the transferor company who did not vote in favour of the special resolution and expresses his dissent therefrom in writing addressed to the Company Liquidator, and left at the registered office of the company within seven days after the passing of the resolution, may require the liquidator either–

(a) to abstain from carrying the resolution into effect; or

(b) to purchase his interest at a price to be determined by agreement or the registered valuer.

(4) If the Company Liquidator elects to purchase the member’s interest, the purchase money, raised by him in such manner as may be determined by a special resolution, shall be paid before the company is dissolved.

Section 320 – Distribution of property of company
Subject to the provisions of this Act as to overriding preferential payments under section 326, the assets of a company shall, on its winding up, be applied in satisfaction of its liabilities pari passu and, subject to such application, shall, unless the articles otherwise provide, be distributed among the members according to their rights and interests in the company.

Section 321 – Arrangement when binding on company and creditors
(1) Any arrangement other than the arrangement referred to in section 319 entered into between the company which is about to be, or is in the course of being wound up and its creditors shall be binding on the company and on the creditors if it is sanctioned by a special resolution of the company and acceded to by the creditors who hold three-fourths in value of the total amount due to all the creditors of the company.

(2) Any creditor or contributory may, within three weeks from the completion of the arrangement, apply to the Tribunal and the Tribunal may thereupon amend, vary, confirm or set aside the arrangement.

Section 322 – Power to apply to Tribunal to have questions determined, etc.
(1) The Company Liquidator or any contributory or creditor may apply to the Tribunal–

(a) to determine any question arising in the course of the winding up of a company; or

(b) to exercise as respects the enforcing of calls, the staying of proceedings or any other matter, all or any of the powers which the Tribunal might exercise if the company were being wound up by the Tribunal.

(2) The Company Liquidator or any creditor or contributory may apply to the Tribunal for an order setting aside any attachment, distress or execution put into force against the estate or effects of the company after the commencement of the winding up.

(3) The Tribunal, if satisfied on an application under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) that the determination of the question or the required exercise of power or the order applied for will be just and fair, may allow the application on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit or may make such other order on the application as it thinks fit.

(4) A copy of an order staying the proceedings in the winding up, made under this section, shall forthwith be forwarded by the company, or otherwise as may be prescribed, to the Registrar, who shall make a minute of the order in his books relating to the company.

Section 323 – Costs of voluntary winding up
All costs, charges and expenses properly incurred in the winding up, including the fee of the Company Liquidator, shall, subject to the rights of secured creditors, if any, be payable out of the assets of the company in priority to all other claims.

Part III – PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO EVERY MODE OF WINDING UP

Section 324 – Debts of all descriptions to be admitted to proof
In every winding up (subject, in the case of insolvent companies, to the application in accordance with the provisions of this Act or of the law of insolvency), all debts payable on a contingency, and all claims against the company, present or future, certain or contingent, ascertained or sounding only in damages, shall be admissible to proof against the company, a just estimate being made, so far as possible, of the value of such debts or claims as may be subject to any contingency, or may sound only in damages, or for some other reason may not bear a certain value.

Section 325 – Application of insolvency rules in winding up of insolvent companies
(1) In the winding up of an insolvent company, the same rules shall prevail and be observed with regard to–

(a) debts provable;

(b) the valuation of annuities and future and contingent liabilities; and

(c) the respective rights of secured and unsecured creditors,

as are in force for the time being under the law of insolvency with respect to the estates of persons adjudged insolvent:

Provided that the security of every secured creditor shall be deemed to be subject to a pari passu charge in favour of the workmen to the extent of the workmen’s portion therein, and, where a secured creditor, instead of relinquishing his security and proving his debts, opts to realise his security,–

(i) the liquidator shall be entitled to represent the workmen and enforce such charge;

(ii) any amount realised by the liquidator by way of enforcement of such charge shall be applied rateably for the discharge of workmen’s dues; and

(iii) so much of the debts due to such secured creditor as could not be realised by him or the amount of the workmen’s portion in his security, whichever is less, shall rank pari passu with the workmen’s dues for the purposes of section 326.

(2) All persons under sub-section (1) shall be entitled to prove and receive dividends out of the assets of the company under winding up, and make such claims against the company as they respectively are entitled to make by virtue of this section:

Provided that if a secured creditor, instead of relinquishing his security and proving his debts, proceeds to realise his security, he shall be liable to pay his portion of the expenses incurred by the liquidator, including a provisional liquidator, if any, for the preservation of the security before its realisation by the secured creditor.

Explanation. — For the purposes of this sub-section, the portion of expenses incurred by the liquidator for the preservation of a security which the secured creditor shall be liable to pay shall be the whole of the expenses less an amount which bears to such expenses the same proportion as the workmen’s portion in relation to the security bears to the value of the security.

(3) For the purposes of this section, section 326 and section 327,–

(a) “workmen”, in relation to a company, means the employees of the company, being workmen within the meaning of clause (s) of section 2 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (14 of 1947);

(b) “workmen’s dues”, in relation to a company, means the aggregate of the following sums due from the company to its workmen, namely:–

(i) all wages or salary including wages payable for time or piece work and salary earned wholly or in part by way of commission of any workman in respect of services rendered to the company and any compensation payable to any workman under any of the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (14 of 1947);

(ii) all accrued holiday remuneration becoming payable to any workman or, in the case of his death, to any other person in his right on the termination of his employment before or by the effect of the winding up order or resolution;

(iii) unless the company is being wound up voluntarily merely for the purposes of reconstruction or amalgamation with another company or unless the company has, at the commencement of the winding up, under such a contract with insurers as is mentioned in section 14 of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 (8 of 1923), rights capable of being transferred to and vested in the workmen, all amount due in respect of any compensation or liability for compensation under the said Act in respect of the death or disablement of any workman of the company;

(iv) all sums due to any workman from the provident fund, the pension fund, the gratuity fund or any other fund for the welfare of the workmen, maintained by the company;

(c) “workmen’s portion”, in relation to the security of any secured creditor of a company, means the amount which bears to the value of the security the same proportion as the amount of the workmen’s dues bears to the aggregate of the amount of workmen’s dues and the amount of the debts due to the secured creditors.

Illustration

The value of the security of a secured creditor of a company is Rs. 1,00,000. The total amount of the workmen’s dues is Rs. 1,00,000. The amount of the debts due from the company to its secured creditors is Rs. 3,00,000. The aggregate of the amount of workmen’s dues and the amount of debts due to secured creditors is Rs. 4,00,000. The workmen’s portion of the security is, therefore, one-fourth of the value of the security, that is Rs. 25,000.

Section 326 – Overriding preferential payments
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force, in the winding up of a company,–

(a) workmen’s dues; and

(b) debts due to secured creditors to the extent such debts rank under clause (iii) of the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 325 pari passu with such dues,

shall be paid in priority to all other debts:

Provided that in case of the winding up of a company, the sums towards wages or salary referred to in sub-clause (i) of clause (b) of sub-section (3) of section 325, which are payable for a period of two years preceding the winding up order or such other period as may be prescribed, shall be paid in priority to all other debts (including debts due to secured creditors), within a period of thirty days of sale of assets and shall be subject to such charge over the security of secured creditors as may be prescribed.

(2) The debts payable under the proviso to sub-section (1) shall be paid in full before any payment is made to secured creditors and thereafter debts payable under that sub-section shall be paid in full, unless the assets are insufficient to meet them, in which case they shall abate in equal proportions.

Section 327 – Preferential payments
(1) In a winding up, subject to the provisions of section 326, there shall be paid in priority to all other debts,–

(a) all revenues, taxes, cesses and rates due from the company to the Central Government or a State Government or to a local authority at the relevant date, and having become due and payable within the twelve months immediately before that date;

(b) all wages or salary including wages payable for time or piece work and salary earned wholly or in part by way of commission of any employee in respect of services rendered to the company and due for a period not exceeding four months within the twelve months immediately before the relevant date, subject to the condition that the amount payable under this clause to any workman shall not exceed such amount as may be notified;

(c) all accrued holiday remuneration becoming payable to any employee, or in the case of his death, to any other person claiming under him, on the termination of his employment before, or by the winding up order, or, as the case may be, the dissolution of the company;

(d) unless the company is being wound up voluntarily merely for the purposes of reconstruction or amalgamation with another company, all amount due in respect of contributions payable during the period of twelve months immediately before the relevant date by the company as the employer of persons under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 (34 of 1948) or any other law for the time being in force;

(e) unless the company has, at the commencement of winding up, under such a contract with any insurer as is mentioned in section 14 of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 (8 of 1923), rights capable of being transferred to and vested in the workmen, all amount due in respect of any compensation or liability for compensation under the said Act in respect of the death or disablement of any employee of the company:

Provided that where any compensation under the said Act is a weekly payment, the amount payable under this clause shall be taken to be the amount of the lump sum for which such weekly payment could, if redeemable, be redeemed, if the employer has made an application under that Act;

(f) all sums due to any employee from the provident fund, the pension fund, the gratuity fund or any other fund for the welfare of the employees, maintained by the company; and

(g) the expenses of any investigation held in pursuance of sections 213 and 216, in so far as they are payable by the company.

(2) Where any payment has been made to any employee of a company on account of wages or salary or accrued holiday remuneration, himself or, in the case of his death, to any other person claiming through him, out of money advanced by some person for that purpose, the person by whom the money was advanced shall, in a winding up, have a right of priority in respect of the money so advanced and paid-up to the amount by which the sum in respect of which the employee or other person in his right would have been entitled to priority in the winding up has been reduced by reason of the payment having been made.

(3) The debts enumerated in this section shall–

(a) rank equally among themselves and be paid in full, unless the assets are insufficient to meet them, in which case they shall abate in equal proportions; and

(b) so far as the assets of the company available for payment to general creditors are insufficient to meet them, have priority over the claims of holders of debentures under any floating charge created by the company, and be paid accordingly out of any property comprised in or subject to that charge.

(4) Subject to the retention of such sums as may be necessary for the costs and expenses of the winding up, the debts under this section shall be discharged forthwith so far as the assets are sufficient to meet them, and in the case of the debts to which priority is given under clause (d) of sub-section (1), formal proof thereof shall not be required except in so far as may be otherwise prescribed.

(5) In the event of a landlord or other person distraining or having distrained on any goods or effects of the company within three months immediately before the date of a winding up order, the debts to which priority is given under this section shall be a first charge on the goods or effects so distrained on or the proceeds of the sale thereof:

Provided that, in respect of any money paid under any such charge, the landlord or other person shall have the same rights of priority as the person to whom the payment is made.

(6) Any remuneration in respect of a period of holiday or of absence from work on medical grounds through sickness or other good cause shall be deemed to be wages in respect of services rendered to the company during that period.

Explanation. — For the purposes of this section,–

(a) the expression “accrued holiday remuneration” includes, in relation to any person, all sums which, by virtue either of his contract of employment or of any enactment including any order made or direction given thereunder, are payable on account of the remuneration which would, in the ordinary course, have become payable to him in respect of a period of holiday, had his employment with the company continued until he became entitled to be allowed the holiday;

(b) the expression “employee” does not include a workman; and

(c) the expression “relevant date” means–

(i) in the case of a company being wound up by the Tribunal, the date of appointment or first appointment of a provisional liquidator, or if no such appointment was made, the date of the winding up order, unless, in either case, the company had commenced to be wound up voluntarily before that date; and

(ii) in any other case, the date of the passing of the resolution for the voluntary winding up of the company.

Section 328 – Fraudulent preference
(1) Where a company has given preference to a person who is one of the creditors of the company or a surety or guarantor for any of the debts or other liabilities of the company, and the company does anything or suffers anything done which has the effect of putting that person into a position which, in the event of the company going into liquidation, will be better than the position he would have been in if that thing had not been done prior to six months of making winding up application, the Tribunal, if satisfied that, such transaction is a fraudulent preference may order as it may think fit for restoring the position to what it would have been if the company had not given that preference.

(2) If the Tribunal is satisfied that there is a preference transfer of property, movable or immovable, or any delivery of goods, payment, execution made, taken or done by or against a company within six months before making winding up application, the Tribunal may order as it may think fit and may declare such transaction invalid and restore the position.

Section 329 – Transfers not in good faith to be void
Any transfer of property, movable or immovable, or any delivery of goods, made by a company, not being a transfer or delivery made in the ordinary course of its business or in favour of a purchaser or encumbrance in good faith and for valuable consideration, if made within a period of one year before the presentation of a petition for winding up by the Tribunal or the passing of a resolution for voluntary winding up of the company, shall be void against the Company Liquidator.

Section 330 – Certain transfers to be void
Any transfer or assignment by a company of all its properties or assets to trustees for the benefit of all its creditors shall be void.

Section 331 – Liabilities and rights of certain persons fraudulently preferred
(1) Where a company is being wound up and anything made, taken or done after the commencement of this Act is invalid under section 328 as a fraudulent preference of a person interested in property mortgaged or charged to secure the company’s debt, then, without prejudice to any rights or liabilities arising, apart from this provision, the person preferred shall be subject to the same liabilities, and shall have the same rights, as if he had undertaken to be personally liable as a surety for the debt, to the extent of the mortgage or charge on the property or the value of his interest, whichever is less.

(2) The value of the interest of the person preferred under sub-section (1) shall be determined as at the date of the transaction constituting the fraudulent preference, as if the interest were free of all encumbrances other than those to which the mortgage or charge for the debt of the company was then subject.

(3) On an application made to the Tribunal with respect to any payment on the ground that the payment was a fraudulent preference of a surety or guarantor, the Tribunal shall have jurisdiction to determine any questions with respect to the payment arising between the person to whom the payment was made and the surety or guarantor and to grant relief in respect thereof, notwithstanding that it is not necessary so to do for the purposes of the winding up, and for that purpose, may give leave to bring in the surety or guarantor as a third party as in the case of a suit for the recovery of the sum paid.

(4) The provisions of sub-section (3) shall apply mutatis mutandis in relation to transactions other than payment of money.

Section 332 – Effect of floating charge
Where a company is being wound up, a floating charge on the undertaking or property of the company created within the twelve months immediately preceding the commencement of the winding up, shall, unless it is proved that the company immediately after the creation of the charge was solvent, be invalid, except for the amount of any cash paid to the company at the time of, or subsequent to the creation of, and in consideration for, the charge, together with interest on that amount at the rate of five per cent. per annum or such other rate as may be notified by the Central Government in this behalf.

Section 333 – Disclaimer of onerous property
(1) Where any part of the property of a company which is being wound up consists of–

(a) land of any tenure, burdened with onerous covenants;

(b) shares or stocks in companies;

(c) any other property which is not saleable or is not readily saleable by reason of the possessor thereof being bound either to the performance of any onerous act or to the payment of any sum of money; or

(d) unprofitable contracts,

the Company Liquidator may, notwithstanding that he has endeavoured to sell or has taken possession of the property or exercised any act of ownership in relation thereto or done anything in pursuance of the contract, with the leave of the Tribunal and subject to the provisions of this section, by writing signed by him, at any time within twelve months after the commencement of the winding up or such extended period as may be allowed by the Tribunal, disclaim the property:

Provided that where the Company Liquidator had not become aware of the existence of any such property within one month from the commencement of the winding up, the power of disclaiming the property may be exercised at any time within twelve months after he has become aware thereof or such extended period as may be allowed by the Tribunal.

(2) The disclaimer shall operate to determine, as from the date of disclaimer, the rights, interest and liabilities of the company in or in respect of the property disclaimed, but shall not, except so far as is necessary for the purpose of releasing the company and the property of the company from liability, affect the rights, interest or liabilities of any other person.

(3) The Tribunal, before or on granting leave to disclaim, may require such notices to be given to persons interested, and impose such terms as a condition of granting leave, and make such other order in the matter as the Tribunal considers just and proper.

(4) The Company Liquidator shall not be entitled to disclaim any property in any case where an application in writing has been made to him by any person interested in the property requiring him to decide whether he will or will not disclaim and the Company Liquidator has not, within a period of twenty-eight days after the receipt of the application or such extended period as may be allowed by the Tribunal, give notice to the applicant that he intends to apply to the Tribunal for leave to disclaim, and in case the property is under a contract, if the Company Liquidator after such an application as aforesaid does not within the said period or extended period disclaim the contract, he shall be deemed to have adopted it.

(5) The Tribunal may, on the application of any person who is, as against the Company Liquidator, entitled to the benefit or subject to the burden of a contract made with the company, make an order rescinding the contract on such terms as to payment by or to either party of damages for the non-performance of the contract, or otherwise as the Tribunal considers just and proper, and any damages payable under the order to any such person may be proved by him as a debt in the winding up.

(6) The Tribunal may, on an application by any person who either claims any interest in any disclaimed property or is under any liability not discharged under this Act in respect of any disclaimed property, and after hearing any such persons as it thinks fit, make an order for the vesting of the property in, or the delivery of the property to, any person entitled thereto or to whom it may seem just that the property should be delivered by way of compensation for such liability as aforesaid, or a trustee for him, and on such terms as the Tribunal considers just and proper, and on any such vesting order being made, the property comprised therein shall vest accordingly in the person named therein in that behalf without any conveyance or assignment for the purpose:

Provided that where the property disclaimed is of a leasehold nature, the Tribunal shall not make a vesting order in favour of any person claiming under the company, whether as under-lessee or as mortgagee or holder of a charge by way of demise, except upon the terms of making that person–

(a) subject to the same liabilities and obligations as those to which the company was subject under the lease in respect of the property at the commencement of the winding up; or

(b) if the Tribunal thinks fit, subject only to the same liabilities and obligations as if the lease had been assigned to that person at that date,

and in either event as if the lease had comprised only the property comprised in the vesting order, and any mortgagee or under-lessee declining to accept a vesting order upon such terms shall be excluded from all interest in, and security upon the property, and, if there is no person claiming under the company who is willing to accept an order upon such terms, the Tribunal shall have power to vest the estate and interest of the company in the property in any person liable, either personally or in a representative character, and either alone or jointly with the company, to perform the covenants of the lessee in the lease, free and discharged from all estates, encumbrances and interests created therein by the company.

(7) Any person affected by the operation of a disclaimer under this section shall be deemed to be a creditor of the company to the amount of the compensation or damages payable in respect of such effect, and may accordingly prove the amount as a debt in the winding up.

Section 334 – Transfers, etc., after commencement of winding up to be void
(1) In the case of a voluntary winding up, any transfer of shares in the company, not being a transfer made to or with the sanction of the Company Liquidator, and any alteration in the status of the members of the company, made after the commencement of the winding up, shall be void.

(2) In the case of a winding up by the Tribunal, any disposition of the property, including actionable claims, of the company, and any transfer of shares in the company or alteration in the status of its members, made after the commencement of the winding up, shall, unless the Tribunal otherwise orders, be void.

Section 335 – Certain attachments, executions, etc., in winding up by Tribunal to be void
(1) Where any company is being wound up by the Tribunal,–

(a) any attachment, distress or execution put in force, without leave of the Tribunal against the estate or effects of the company, after the commencement of the winding up; or

(b) any sale held, without leave of the Tribunal of any of the properties or effects of the company, after such commencement,

shall be void.

(2) Nothing in this section shall apply to any proceedings for the recovery of any tax or impost or any dues payable to the Government.

Section 336 – Offences by officers of companies in liquidation
(1) If any person, who is or has been an officer of a company which, at the time of the commission of the alleged offence, is being wound up, whether by the Tribunal or voluntarily, or which is subsequently ordered to be wound up by the Tribunal or which subsequently passes a resolution for voluntary winding up,–

(a) does not, to the best of his knowledge and belief, fully and truly disclose to the Company Liquidator all the property, movable and immovable, of the company, and how and to whom and for what consideration and when the company disposed of any part thereof, except such part as has been disposed of in the ordinary course of the business of the company;

(b) does not deliver up to the Company Liquidator, or as he directs, all such part of the movable and immovable property of the company as is in his custody or under his control and which he is required by law to deliver up;

(c) does not deliver up to the Company Liquidator, or as he directs, all such books and papers of the company as are in his custody or under his control and which he is required by law to deliver up;

(d) within the twelve months immediately before the commencement of the winding up or at any time thereafter,–

(i) conceals any part of the property of the company to the value of one thousand rupees or more, or conceals any debt due to or from the company;

(ii) fraudulently removes any part of the property of the company to the value of one thousand rupees or more;

(iii) conceals, destroys, mutilates or falsifies, or is privy to the concealment, destruction, mutilation or falsification of, any book or paper affecting or relating to, the property or affairs of the company;

(iv) makes, or is privy to the making of, any false entry in any book or paper affecting or relating to, the property or affairs of the company;

(v) fraudulently parts with, alters or makes any omission in, or is privy to the fraudulent parting with, altering or making of any omission in, any book or paper affecting or relating to the property or affairs of the company;

(vi) by any false representation or other fraud, obtains on credit, for or on behalf of the company, any property which the company does not subsequently pay for;

(vii) under the false pretence that the company is carrying on its business, obtains on credit, for or on behalf of the company, any property which the company does not subsequently pay for; or

(viii) pawns, pledges or disposes of any property of the company which has been obtained on credit and has not been paid for, unless such pawning, pledging or disposing of the property is in the ordinary course of business of the company;

(e) makes any material omission in any statement relating to the affairs of the company;

(f) knowing or believing that a false debt has been proved by any person under the winding up, fails for a period of one month to inform the Company Liquidator thereof;

(g) after the commencement of the winding up, prevents the production of any book or paper affecting or relating to the property or affairs of the company;

(h) after the commencement of the winding up or at any meeting of the creditors of the company within the twelve months next before the commencement of the winding up, attempts to account for any part of the property of the company by fictitious losses or expenses; or

(i) is guilty of any false representation or fraud for the purpose of obtaining the consent of the creditors of the company or any of them, to an agreement with reference to the affairs of the company or to the winding up,

he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to five years and with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to three lakh rupees:

Provided that it shall be a good defence if the accused proves that he had no intent to defraud or to conceal the true state of affairs of the company or to defeat the law.

(2) Where any person pawns, pledges or disposes of any property in circumstances which amount to an offence under sub-clause (viii) of clause (d) of sub-section (1), every person who takes in pawn or pledge or otherwise receives the property, knowing it to be pawned, pledged, or disposed of in such circumstances as aforesaid, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to five years and with fine which shall not be less than three lakh rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees.

Explanation. — For the purposes of this section, the expression “officer” includes any person in accordance with whose directions or instructions the directors of the company have been accustomed to act.

Section 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.

Section 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.

Section 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.

Section 340 – Power of Tribunal to assess damages against delinquent directors, etc.
(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.

Section 341 – Liability under sections 339 and 340 to extend to partners or directors in firms or companies
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.

Section 342 – Prosecution of delinquent officers and members of company
(1) If it appears to the Tribunal in the course of a winding up by the Tribunal, that any person, who is or has been an officer, or any member, of the company has been guilty of any offence in relation to the company, the Tribunal may, either on the application of any person interested in the winding up or suo motu, direct the liquidator to prosecute the offender or to refer the matter to the Registrar.

(2) If it appears to the Company Liquidator in the course of a voluntary winding up that any person, who is or has been an officer, or any member, of the company has been guilty of any offence in relation to the company under this Act, he shall forthwith report the matter to the Registrar and shall furnish to him such information and give to him such access to and facilities for inspecting and taking copies of any books and papers, being information or books and papers in the possession or under the control of the Company Liquidator and relating to the matter in question, as the Registrar may require.

(3) Where any report is made under sub-section (2) to the Registrar,–

(a) if he thinks fit, he may apply to the Central Government for an order to make further inquiry into the affairs of the company by any person designated by him and for conferring on such person all the powers of investigation as are provided under this Act;

(b) if he considers that the case is one in which a prosecution ought to be instituted, he shall report the matter to the Central Government, and that Government may, after taking such legal advice as it thinks fit, direct the Registrar to institute prosecution:

Provided that no report shall be made by the Registrar under this clause without first giving the accused person a reasonable opportunity of making a statement in writing to the Registrar and of being heard thereon.

(4) If it appears to the Tribunal in the course of a voluntary winding up that any person, who is or has been an officer, or any member, of the company has been guilty as aforesaid, and that no report with respect to the matter has been made by the Company Liquidator to the Registrar under sub-section (2), the Tribunal may, on the application of any person interested in the winding up or suo motu, direct the Company Liquidator to make such a report, and on a report being made, the provisions of this section shall have effect as though the report had been made in pursuance of the provisions of sub-section (2).

(5) When any prosecution is instituted under this section, it shall be the duty of the liquidator and of every person, who is or has been an officer and agent of the company to give all assistance in connection with the prosecution which he is reasonably able to give.

Explanation. — For the purposes of this sub-section, the expression “agent”, in relation to a company, shall include any banker or legal adviser of the company and any person employed by the company as auditor.

(6) If a person fails or neglects to give assistance required by sub-section (5), he shall be liable to pay fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to one lakh rupees.

Section 343 – Company Liquidator to exercise certain powers subject to sanction
(1) The Company Liquidator may–

(a) with the sanction of the Tribunal, when the company is being wound up by the Tribunal; and

(b) with the sanction of a special resolution of the company and prior approval of the Tribunal, in the case of a voluntary winding up,–

(i) pay any class of creditors in full;

(ii) make any compromise or arrangement with creditors or persons claiming to be creditors, or having or alleging themselves to have any claim, present or future, certain or contingent, against the company, or whereby the company may be rendered liable; or

(iii) compromise any call or liability to call, debt, and liability capable of resulting in a debt, and any claim, present or future, certain or contingent, ascertained or sounding only in damages, subsisting or alleged to subsist between the company and a contributory or alleged contributory or other debtor or person apprehending liability to the company, and all questions in any way relating to or affecting the assets or liabilities or the winding up of the company, on such terms as may be agreed, and take any security for the discharge of any such call, debt, liability or claim, and give a complete discharge in respect thereof.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), in the case of a winding up by the Tribunal, the Central Government may make rules to provide that the Company Liquidator may, under such circumstances, if any, and subject to such conditions, restrictions and limitations, if any, as may be prescribed, exercise any of the powers referred to in sub-clause (ii) or sub-clause (iii) of clause (b) of sub-section (1) without the sanction of the Tribunal.

(3) Any creditor or contributory may apply in the manner prescribed to the Tribunal with respect to any exercise or proposed exercise of powers by the Company Liquidator under this section, and the Tribunal shall after giving a reasonable opportunity to such applicant and the Company Liquidator, pass such orders as it may think fit.

Section 344 – Statement that company is in liquidation
(1) Where a company is being wound up, whether by the Tribunal or voluntarily, every invoice, order for goods or business letter issued by or on behalf of the company or a Company Liquidator of the company, or a receiver or manager of the property of the company, being a document on or in which the name of the company appears, shall contain a statement that the company is being wound up.

(2) If a company contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1), the company, and every officer of the company, the Company Liquidator and any receiver or manager, who wilfully authorises or permits the non-compliance, shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to three lakh rupees.

Section 345 – Books and papers of company to be evidence
Where a company is being wound up, all books and papers of the company and of the Company Liquidator shall, as between the contributories of the company, be prima facie evidence of the truth of all matters purporting to be recorded therein.

Section 346 – Inspection of books and papers by creditors and contributories
(1) At any time after the making of an order for the winding up of a company by the Tribunal, any creditor or contributory of the company may inspect the books and papers of the company only in accordance with, and subject to such rules as may be prescribed.

(2) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall exclude or restrict any rights conferred by any law for the time being in force–

(a) on the Central Government or a State Government;

(b) on any authority or officer thereof; or

(c) on any person acting under the authority of any such Government or of any such authority or officer.

Section 347 – Disposal of books and papers of company
(1) When the affairs of a company have been completely wound up and it is about to be dissolved, its books and papers and those of the Company Liquidator may be disposed of as follows:–

(a) in the case of winding up by the Tribunal, in such manner as the Tribunal directs; and

(b) in the case of voluntary winding up, in such manner as the company by special resolution with the prior approval of the creditors direct.

(2) After the expiry of five years from the dissolution of the company, no responsibility shall devolve on the company, the Company Liquidator, or any person to whom the custody of the books and papers has been entrusted, by reason of any book or paper not being forthcoming to any person claiming to be interested therein.

(3) The Central Government may, by rules,–

(a) prevent for such period as it thinks proper the destruction of the books and papers of a company which has been wound up and of its Company Liquidator; and

(b) enable any creditor or contributory of the company to make representations to the Central Government in respect of the matters specified in clause (a) and to appeal to the Tribunal from any order which may be made by the Central Government in the matter.

(4) If any person acts in contravention of any rule framed or an order made under sub-section (3), he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees, or with both.

Section 348 – Information as to pending liquidations
(1) If the winding up of a company is not concluded within one year after its commencement, the Company Liquidator shall, unless he is exempted from so doing either wholly or in part by the Central Government, within two months of the expiry of such year and thereafter until the winding up is concluded, at intervals of not more than one year or at such shorter intervals, if any, as may be prescribed, file a statement in such form containing such particulars as may be prescribed, duly audited, by a person qualified to act as auditor of the company, with respect to the proceedings in, and position of, the liquidation,–

(a) in the case of a winding up by the Tribunal, with the Tribunal; and

(b) in the case of a voluntary winding up, with the Registrar:

Provided that no such audit as is referred to in this sub-section shall be necessary where the provisions of section 294 apply.

(2) When the statement is filed with the Tribunal under clause (a) of sub-section (1), a copy shall simultaneously be filed with the Registrar and shall be kept by him along with the other records of the company.

(3) Where a statement referred to in sub-section (1) relates to a Government company in liquidation, the Company Liquidator shall forward a copy thereof–

(a) to the Central Government, if that Government is a member of the Government company;

(b) to any State Government, if that Government is a member of the Government company; or

(c) to the Central Government and any State Government, if both the Governments are members of the Government company.

(4) Any person stating himself in writing to be a creditor or contributory of the company shall be entitled, by himself or by his agent, at all reasonable times, on payment of the prescribed fee, to inspect the statement referred to in sub-section (1), and to receive a copy thereof or an extract therefrom.

(5) Any person fraudulently stating himself to be a creditor or contributory under subsection (4) shall be deemed to be guilty of an offence under section 182 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), and shall, on the application of the Company Liquidator, be punishable accordingly.

(6) If a Company Liquidator contravenes the provisions of this section, the Company Liquidator shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every day during which the failure continues.

(7) If a Company Liquidator makes wilful default in causing the statement referred to in sub-section (1) audited by a person who is not qualified to act as an auditor of the company, the Company Liquidator shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.

Section 349 – Official Liquidator to make payments into public account of India
Every Official Liquidator shall, in such manner and at such times as may be prescribed, pay the monies received by him as Official Liquidator of any company, into the public account of India in the Reserve Bank of India.

Section 350 – Company Liquidator to deposit monies into scheduled bank
(1) Every Company Liquidator of a company shall, in such manner and at such times as may be prescribed, deposit the monies received by him in his capacity as such in a scheduled bank to the credit of a special bank account opened by him in that behalf:

Provided that if the Tribunal considers that it is advantageous for the creditors or contributories or the company, it may permit the account to be opened in such other bank specified by it.

(2) If any Company Liquidator at any time retains for more than ten days a sum exceeding five thousand rupees or such other amount as the Tribunal may, on the application of the Company Liquidator, authorise him to retain, then, unless he explains the retention to the satisfaction of the Tribunal, he shall–

(a) pay interest on the amount so retained in excess, at the rate of twelve per cent. per annum and also pay such penalty as may be determined by the Tribunal;

(b) be liable to pay any expenses occasioned by reason of his default; and

(c) also be liable to have all or such part of his remuneration, as the Tribunal may consider just and proper, disallowed, or may also be removed from his office.

Section 351 – Liquidator not to deposit monies into private banking account
Neither the Official Liquidator nor the Company Liquidator of a company shall deposit any monies received by him in his capacity as such into any private banking account.

Section 352 – Company Liquidation Dividend and Undistributed Assets Account
(1) Where any company is being wound up and the liquidator has in his hands or under his control any money representing–

(a) dividends payable to any creditor but which had remained unpaid for six months after the date on which they were declared; or

(b) assets refundable to any contributory which have remained undistributed for six months after the date on which they become refundable,

the liquidator shall forthwith deposit the said money into a separate special account to be known as the Company Liquidation Dividend and Undistributed Assets Account maintained in a scheduled bank.

(2) The liquidator shall, on the dissolution of the company, pay into the Company Liquidation Dividend and Undistributed Assets Account any money representing unpaid dividends or undistributed assets in his hands at the date of dissolution.

(3) The liquidator shall, when making any payment referred to in sub-sections (1) and (2), furnish to the Registrar, a statement in the prescribed form, setting forth, in respect of all sums included in such payment, the nature of the sums, the names and last known addresses of the persons entitled to participate therein, the amount to which each is entitled and the nature of his claim thereto, and such other particulars as may be prescribed.

(4) The liquidator shall be entitled to a receipt from the scheduled bank for any money paid to it under sub-sections (1) and (2), and such receipt shall be an effectual discharge of the Company Liquidator in respect thereof.

(5) Where a company is being wound up voluntarily, the Company Liquidator shall, when filing a statement in pursuance of sub-section (1) of section 348, indicate the sum of money which is payable under sub-sections (1) and (2) of this section during the six months preceding the date on which the said statement is prepared, and shall, within fourteen days of the date of filing the said statement, pay that sum into the Company Liquidation Dividend and Undistributed Assets Account.

(6) Any person claiming to be entitled to any money paid into the Company Liquidation Dividend and Undistributed Assets Account, whether paid in pursuance of this section or under the provisions of any previous company law may apply to the Registrar for payment thereof, and the Registrar, if satisfied that the person claiming is entitled, may make the payment to that person of the sum due:

Provided that the Registrar shall settle the claim of such person within a period of sixty days from the date of receipt of such claim, failing which the Registrar shall make a report to the Regional Director giving reasons of such failure.

(7) Any money paid into the Company Liquidation Dividend and Undistributed Assets Account in pursuance of this section, which remains unclaimed thereafter for a period of fifteen years, shall be transferred to the general revenue account of the Central Government, but a claim to any money so transferred may be preferred under sub-section (6) and shall be dealt with as if such transfer had not been made and the order, if any, for payment on the claim will be treated as an order for refund of revenue.

(8) Any liquidator retaining any money which should have been paid by him into the Company Liquidation Dividend and Undistributed Assets Account under this section shall–

(a) pay interest on the amount so retained at the rate of twelve per cent. per annum and also pay such penalty as may be determined by the Registrar:

Provided that the Central Government may in any proper case remit either in part or in whole the amount of interest which the liquidator is required to pay under this clause;

(b) be liable to pay any expenses occasioned by reason of his default; and

(c) where the winding up is by the Tribunal, also be liable to have all or such part of his remuneration, as the Tribunal may consider just and proper, to be disallowed, and to be removed from his office by the Tribunal.

Section 353 – Liquidator to make returns, etc.
(1) If any Company Liquidator who has made any default in filing, delivering or making any return, account or other document, or in giving any notice which he is by law required to file, deliver, make or give, fails to make good the default within fourteen days after the service on him of a notice requiring him to do so, the Tribunal may, on an application made to it by any contributory or creditor of the company or by the Registrar, make an order directing the Company Liquidator to make good the default within such time as may be specified in the order.

(2) Any order under sub-section (1) may provide that all costs of, and incidental to, the application shall be borne by the Company Liquidator.

(3) Nothing in this section shall prejudice the operation of any enactment imposing penalties on a Company Liquidator in respect of any such default as aforesaid.

Section 354 – Meetings to ascertain wishes of creditors or contributories
(1) In all matters relating to the winding up of a company, the Tribunal may–

(a) have regard to the wishes of creditors or contributories of the company, as proved to it by any sufficient evidence;

(b) if it thinks fit for the purpose of ascertaining those wishes, direct meetings of the creditors or contributories to be called, held and conducted in such manner as the Tribunal may direct; and

(c) appoint a person to act as chairman of any such meeting and to report the result thereof to the Tribunal.

(2) While ascertaining the wishes of creditors under sub-section (1), regard shall be had to the value of each debt of the creditor.

(3) While ascertaining the wishes of contributories under sub-section (1), regard shall be had to the number of votes which may be cast by each contributory.

Section 355 – Court, tribunal or person, etc., before whom affidavit may be sworn
(1) Any affidavit required to be sworn under the provisions, or for the purposes, of this Chapter may be sworn–

(a) in India before any court, tribunal, judge or person lawfully authorised to take and receive affidavits; and

(b) in any other country before any court, judge or person lawfully authorised to take and receive affidavits in that country or before an Indian diplomatic or consular officer.

(2) All tribunals, judges, Justices, commissioners and persons acting judicially in India shall take judicial notice of the seal, stamp or signature, as the case may be, of any such court, tribunal, judge, person, diplomatic or consular officer, attached, appended or subscribed to any such affidavit or to any other document to be used for the purposes of this Chapter.

Section 356 – Powers of Tribunal to declare dissolution of company void
(1) Where a company has been dissolved, whether in pursuance of this Chapter or of section 232 or otherwise, the Tribunal may at any time within two years of the date of the dissolution, on application by the Company Liquidator of the company or by any other person who appears to the Tribunal to be interested, make an order, upon such terms as the Tribunal thinks fit, declaring the dissolution to be void, and thereupon such proceedings may be taken as if the company had not been dissolved.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Company Liquidator or the person on whose application the order was made, within thirty days after the making of the order or such further time as the Tribunal may allow, to file a certified copy of the order with the Registrar who shall register the same, and if the Company Liquidator or the person fails so to do, the Company Liquidator or the person shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees for every day during which the default continues.

Section 357 – Commencement of winding up by Tribunal
(1) Where, before the presentation of a petition for the winding up of a company by the Tribunal, a resolution has been passed by the company for voluntary winding up, the winding up of the company shall be deemed to have commenced at the time of the passing of the resolution, and unless the Tribunal, on proof of fraud or mistake, thinks fit to direct otherwise, all proceedings taken in the voluntary winding up shall be deemed to have been validly taken.

(2) In any other case, the winding up of a company by the Tribunal shall be deemed to commence at the time of the presentation of the petition for the winding up.

Section 358 – Exclusion of certain time in computing period of limitation
Notwithstanding anything in the Limitation Act, 1963 (36 of 1963), or in any other law for the time being in force, in computing the period of limitation specified for any suit or application in the name and on behalf of a company which is being wound up by the Tribunal, the period from the date of commencement of the winding up of the company to a period of one year immediately following the date of the winding up order shall be excluded.

Part IV – OFFICIAL LIQUIDATORS

Section 359 – Appointment of Official Liquidator
(1) For the purposes of this Act, so far as it relates to the winding up of companies by the Tribunal, the Central Government may appoint as many Official Liquidators, Joint, Deputy or Assistant Official Liquidators as it may consider necessary to discharge the functions of the Official Liquidator.

(2) The liquidators appointed under sub-section (1) shall be whole-time officers of the Central Government.

(3) The salary and other allowances of the Official Liquidator, Joint Official Liquidator, Deputy Official Liquidator and Assistant Official Liquidator shall be paid by the Central Government.

Section 360 – Powers and functions of Official Liquidator
(1) The Official Liquidator shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as the Central Government may prescribe.

(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1), the Official Liquidator may–

(a) exercise all or any of the powers as may be exercised by a Company Liquidator under the provisions of this Act; and

(b) conduct inquiries or investigations, if directed by the Tribunal or the Central Government, in respect of matters arising out of winding up proceedings.

Section 361 – Summary procedure for liquidation
(1) Where the company to be wound up under this Chapter, —

(i) has assets of book value not exceeding one crore rupees; and

(ii) belongs to such class or classes of companies as may be prescribed,

the Central Government may order it to be wound up by summary procedure provided under this Part.

(2) Where an order under sub-section (1) is made, the Central Government shall appoint the Official Liquidator as the liquidator of the company.

(3) The Official Liquidator shall forthwith take into his custody or control all assets, effects and actionable claims to which the company is or appears to be entitled.

(4) The Official Liquidator shall, within thirty days of his appointment, submit a report to the Central Government in such manner and form, as may be prescribed, including a report whether in his opinion, any fraud has been committed in promotion, formation or management of the affairs of the company or not.

(5) On receipt of the report under sub-section (4), if the Central Government is satisfied that any fraud has been committed by the promoters, directors or any other officer of the company, it may direct further investigation into the affairs of the company and that a report shall be submitted within such time as may be specified.

(6) After considering the investigation report under sub-section (5), the Central Government may order that winding up may be proceeded under Part I of this Chapter or under the provision of this Part.

Section 362 – Sale of assets and recovery of debts due to company
(1) The Official Liquidator shall expeditiously dispose of all the assets whether movable or immovable within sixty days of his appointment.

(2) The Official Liquidator shall serve a notice within thirty days of his appointment calling upon the debtors of the company or the contributories, as the case may be, to deposit within thirty days with him the amount payable to the company.

(3) Where any debtor does not deposit the amount under sub-section (2), the Central Government may, on an application made to it by the Official Liquidator, pass such orders as it thinks fit.

(4) The amount recovered under this section by the Official Liquidator shall be deposited in accordance with the provisions of section 349.

Section 363 – Settlement of claims of creditors by Official Liquidator
(1) The Official Liquidator within thirty days of his appointment shall call upon the creditors of the company to prove their claims in such manner as may be prescribed, within thirty days of the receipt of such call.

(2) The Official Liquidator shall prepare a list of claims of creditors in such manner as may be prescribed and each creditor shall be communicated of the claims accepted or rejected along with reasons to be recorded in writing.

Section 364 – Appeal by creditor
(1) Any creditor aggrieved by the decision of the Official Liquidator under section 363 may file an appeal before the Central Government within thirty days of such decision.

(2) The Central Government may after calling the report from the Official Liquidator either dismiss the appeal or modify the decision of the Official Liquidator.

(3) The Official Liquidator shall make payment to the creditors whose claims have been accepted.

(4) The Central Government may, at any stage during settlement of claims, if considers necessary, refer the matter to the Tribunal for necessary orders.

Section 365 – Order of dissolution of company
(1) The Official Liquidator shall, if he is satisfied that the company is finally wound up, submit a final report to–

(i) the Central Government, in case no reference was made to the Tribunal under sub-section (4) of section 364; and

(ii) in any other case, the Central Government and the Tribunal.

(2) The Central Government, or as the case may be, the Tribunal on receipt of such report shall order that the company be dissolved.

(3) Where an order is made under sub-section (2), the Registrar shall strike off the name of the company from the register of companies and publish a notification to this effect.

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