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Chapter XXI

Part I – COMPANIES AUTHORISED TO REGISTER UNDER THIS ACT

Section 366 – Companies capable of being registered
(1) For the purposes of this Part, the word “company” includes any partnership firm, limited liability partnership, cooperative society, society or any other business entity formed under any other law for the time being in force which applies for registration under this Part.

(2) With the exceptions and subject to the provisions contained in this section, any company formed, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, in pursuance of any Act of Parliament other than this Act or of any other law for the time being in force or being otherwise duly constituted according to law, and consisting of seven or more members, may at any time register under this Act as an unlimited company, or as a company limited by shares, or as a company limited by guarantee, in such manner as may be prescribed and the registration shall not be invalid by reason only that it has taken place with a view to the company’s being wound up:

Provided that–

(i) a company registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1882 (6 of 1882) or under the Indian Companies Act, 1913 (7 of 1913) or the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956), shall not register in pursuance of this section;

(ii) a company having the liability of its members limited by any Act of Parliament other than this Act or by any other law for the time being in force, shall not register in pursuance of this section as an unlimited company or as a company limited by guarantee;

(iii) a company shall be registered in pursuance of this section as a company limited by shares only if it has a permanent paid-up or nominal share capital of fixed amount divided into shares, also of fixed amount, or held and transferable as stock, or divided and held partly in the one way and partly in the other, and formed on the principle of having for its members the holders of those shares or that stock, and no other persons;

(iv) a company shall not register in pursuance of this section without the assent of a majority of such of its members as are present in person, or where proxies are allowed, by proxy, at a general meeting summoned for the purpose;

(v) where a company not having the liability of its members limited by any Act of Parliament or any other law for the time being in force is about to register as a limited company, the majority required to assent as aforesaid shall consist of not less than three-fourths of the members present in person, or where proxies are allowed, by proxy, at the meeting;

(vi) where a company is about to register as a company limited by guarantee, the assent to its being so registered shall be accompanied by a resolution declaring that each member undertakes to contribute to the assets of the company, in the event of its being wound up while he is a member, or within one year after he ceases to be a member, for payment of the debts and liabilities of the company or of such debts and liabilities as may have been contracted before he ceases to be a member, and of the costs, charges and expenses of winding up, and for the adjustment of the rights of the contributories among themselves, such amount as may be required, not exceeding a specified amount.

(3) In computing any majority required for the purposes of sub-section (1), when a poll is demanded, regard shall be had to the number of votes to which each member is entitled according to the regulations of the company.

Section 367 – Certificate of registration of existing companies
On compliance with the requirements of this Chapter with respect to registration, and on payment of such fees, if any, as are payable under section 403, the Registrar shall certify under his hand that the company applying for registration is incorporated as a company under this Act, and in the case of a limited company that it is limited and thereupon the company shall be so incorporated.

Section 368 – Vesting of property on registration
All property, movable and immovable (including actionable claims), belonging to or vested in a company at the date of its registration in pursuance of this Part, shall, on such registration, pass to and vest in the company as incorporated under this Act for all the estate and interest of the company therein.

Section 369 – Saving of existing liabilities
The registration of a company in pursuance of this Part shall not affect its rights or liabilities in respect of any debt or obligation incurred, or any contract entered into, by, to, with, or on behalf of, the company before registration.

Section 370 – Continuation of pending legal proceedings
All suits and other legal proceedings taken by or against the company, or any public officer or member thereof, which are pending at the time of the registration of a company in pursuance of this Part, may be continued in the same manner as if the registration had not taken place:

Provided that execution shall not issue against the property or persons of any individual member of the company on any decree or order obtained in any such suit or proceeding; but, in the event of the property of the company being insufficient to satisfy the decree or order, an order may be obtained for winding up the company.

Section 371 – Effect of registration under this Part
(1) When a company is registered in pursuance of this Part, sub-sections (2) to (7) shall apply.

(2) All provisions contained in any Act of Parliament or any other law for the time being in force, or other instrument constituting or regulating the company, including, in the case of a company registered as a company limited by guarantee, the resolution declaring the amount of the guarantee, shall be deemed to be conditions and regulations of the company, in the same manner and with the same incidents as if so much thereof as would, if the company had been formed under this Act, have been required to be inserted in the memorandum, were contained in a registered memorandum, and the residue thereof were contained in registered articles.

(3) All the provisions of this Act shall apply to the company and the members, contributories and creditors thereof, in the same manner in all respects as if it had been formed under this Act, subject as follows:–

(a) Table F in Schedule I shall not apply unless and except in so far as it is adopted by special resolution;

(b) the provisions of this Act relating to the numbering of shares shall not apply to any company whose shares are not numbered;

(c) in the event of the company being wound up, every person shall be a contributory, in respect of the debts and liabilities of the company contracted before registration, who is liable to pay or contribute to the payment of any debt or liability of the company contracted before registration, or to pay or contribute to the payment of any sum for the adjustment of the rights of the members among themselves in respect of any such debt or liability, or to pay or contribute to the payment of the costs, charges and expenses of winding up the company, so far as relates to such debts or liabilities as aforesaid;

(d) in the event of the company being wound up, every contributory shall be liable to contribute to the assets of the company, in the course of the winding up, all sums due from him in respect of any such liability as aforesaid; and in the event of the death or insolvency of any contributory, the provisions of this Act with respect to the legal representatives of deceased contributories, or with respect to the assignees of insolvent contributories, as the case may be, shall apply.

(4) The provisions of this Act with respect to–

(a) the registration of an unlimited company as a limited company;

(b) the powers of an unlimited company on registration as a limited company, to increase the nominal amount of its share capital and to provide that a portion of its share capital shall not be capable of being called-up except in the event of winding up;

(c) the power of a limited company to determine that a portion of its share capital shall not be capable of being called-up except in the event of winding up,

shall apply, notwithstanding anything in any Act of Parliament or any other law for the time being in force, or other instrument constituting or regulating the company.

(5) Nothing in this section shall authorise the company to alter any such provisions contained in any instrument constituting or regulating the company as would, if the company had originally been formed under this Act, have been required to be contained in the memorandum and are not authorised to be altered by this Act.

(6) None of the provisions of this Act (apart from those of section 242) shall derogate from any power of altering its constitution or regulations which may be vested in the company, by virtue of any Act of Parliament or any other law for the time being in force, or other instrument constituting or regulating the company.

(7) In this section, the expression “instrument” includes deed of settlement, deed of partnership, or limited liability partnership.

Section 372 – Power of Court to stay or restrain proceedings
The provisions of this Act with respect to staying and restraining suits and other legal proceedings against a company at any time after the presentation of a petition for winding up and before the making of a winding up order, shall, in the case of a company registered in pursuance of this Part, where the application to stay or restrain is by a creditor, extend to suits and other legal proceedings against any contributory of the company.

Section 373 – Suits stayed on winding up order
Where an order has been made for winding up, or a provisional liquidator has been appointed for, a company registered in pursuance of this Part, no suit or other legal proceeding shall be proceeded with or commenced against the company or any contributory of the company in respect of any debt of the company, except by leave of the Tribunal and except on such terms as the Tribunal may impose.

Section 374 – Obligations of companies registering under this Part
Every company which is seeking registration under this Part shall,–

(a) ensure that secured creditors of the company, prior to its registration under this Part, have either consented to or have given their no objection to company’s registration under this Part;

(b) publish in a newspaper, advertisement one in English and one in vernacular language in such form as may be prescribed giving notice about registration under this Part, seeking objections and address them suitably;

(c) file an affidavit, duly notarised, from all the members or partners to provide that in the event of registration under this Part, necessary documents or papers shall be submitted to the registering or other authority with which the company was earlier registered, for its dissolution as partnership firm, limited liability partnership, cooperative society, society or any other business entity, as the case may be.

(d) comply with such other conditions as may be prescribed.

Part II – WINDING UP OF UNREGISTERED COMPANIES

Section 375 – Winding up of unregistered companies
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part, any unregistered company may be wound up under this Act, in such manner as may be prescribed, and all the provisions of this Act, with respect to winding up shall apply to an unregistered company, with the exceptions and additions mentioned in sub-sections (2) to (4).

(2) No unregistered company shall be wound up under this Act voluntarily.

(3) An unregistered company may be wound up under the following circumstances, namely:–

(a) if the company is dissolved, or has ceased to carry on business, or is carrying on business only for the purpose of winding up its affairs;

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

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

(4) An unregistered company shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be unable to pay its debts–

(a) if a creditor, by assignment or otherwise, to whom the company is indebted in a sum exceeding one lakh rupees then due, has served on the company, by leaving at its principal place of business, or by delivering to the secretary, or some director, manager or principal officer of the company, or by otherwise serving in such manner as the Tribunal may approve or direct, a demand under his hand requiring the company to pay the sum so due, and the company has, for three weeks after the service of the demand, neglected to pay the sum or to secure or compound for it to the satisfaction of the creditor;

(b) if any suit or other legal proceeding has been instituted against any member for any debt or demand due, or claimed to be due, from the company, or from him in his character as a member, and notice in writing of the institution of the suit or other legal proceeding having been served on the company by leaving the same at its principal place of business or by delivering it to the secretary, or some director, manager or principal officer of the company or by otherwise serving the same in such manner as the Tribunal may approve or direct, the company has not, within ten days after service of the notice,–

(i) paid, secured or compounded for the debt or demand;

(ii) procured the suit or other legal proceeding to be stayed; or

(iii) indemnified the defendant to his satisfaction against the suit or other legal proceeding, and against all costs, damages and expenses to be incurred by him by reason of the same;

(c) if execution or other process issued on a decree or order of any Court or Tribunal in favour of a creditor against the company, or any member thereof as such, or any person authorised to be sued as nominal defendant on behalf of the company, is returned unsatisfied in whole or in part;

(d) if it is otherwise proved to the satisfaction of the Tribunal that the company is unable to pay its debts.

Explanation. — For the purposes of this Part, the expression “unregistered company”–

(a) shall not include–

(i) a railway company incorporated under any Act of Parliament or other Indian law or any Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom;

(ii) a company registered under this Act; or

(iii) a company registered under any previous companies law and not being a company the registered office whereof was in Burma, Aden, Pakistan immediately before the separation of that country from India; and

(b) save as aforesaid, shall include any partnership firm, limited liability partnership or society or co-operative society, association or company consisting of more than seven members at the time when the petition for winding up the partnership firm, limited liability partnership or society or co-operative society, association or company, as the case may be, is presented before the Tribunal.

Section 376 – Power to wind up foreign companies, although dissolved
Where a body corporate incorporated outside India which has been carrying on business in India, ceases to carry on business in India, it may be wound up as an unregistered company under this Part, notwithstanding that the body corporate has been dissolved or otherwise ceased to exist as such under or by virtue of the laws of the country under which it was incorporated.

Section 377 – Provisions of Chapter cumulative
(1) The provisions of this Part, with respect to unregistered companies shall be in addition to and not in derogation of, any provisions hereinbefore in this Act contained with respect to the winding up of companies by the Tribunal.

(2) The Tribunal or Official Liquidator may exercise any powers or do any act in the case of unregistered companies which might be exercised or done by the Tribunal or Official Liquidator in winding up of companies formed and registered under this Act:

Provided that an unregistered company shall not, except in the event of its being wound up, be deemed to be a company under this Act, and then only to the extent provided by this Part.

Section 378 – Saving and construction of enactments conferring power to wind up partnership firm, association or company, etc., in certain cases
Nothing in this Part, shall affect the operation of any enactment which provides for any partnership firm, limited liability partnership or society or co-operative society, association or company being wound up, or being wound up as a company or as an unregistered company, under the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956), or any Act repealed by that Act:

Provided that references in any such enactment to any provision contained in the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) or in any Act repealed by that Act shall be read as references to the corresponding provision, if any, contained in this Act.

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