2022 (11) TMI 934 - HC - Corporate Laws
Initiation of multiple proceedings by ROC under section 206(4) of The Companies Act, 2013, in respect of the same alleged contraventions - submission of report on the inspection under section 208 of the Act - HELD THAT:- A careful perusal of the provisions relating to inspection, inquiry and investigation of companies under sections 206-210 of the Companies Act, 2013 indicates that the sequential steps required to be taken by the ROC must be followed before the ROC submits the report in writing to the Central Government for further investigation into the affairs of the company if necessary. The stage of filing a report comes only after inspection of books of accounts or conducting inquiry under sections 206 and 207 of the Act. Section 210 is the culmination of this batch of provisions relating to inspection, inquiry and investigation into the affairs of the company where the Central Government may investigate into the affairs of a company if it is of the opinion that it is necessary to do so and on fulfillment of the conditions under section 210(1)(a)-(c).
The contention that the respondents are statutorily precluded from initiating a proceeding under section 206(4) after the impugned inquiry report dated 13th April, 2021 is mis-reading the relevant provisions. Sections 206-210 of the Act do not contain a bar on the Registrar calling for information or conducting an inspection or inquiry if the Registrar comes across additional material warranting the second proceeding under section 206. The presumption that the impugned report dated 13th April, 2021 should be stayed since a parallel inquiry has been initiated in July, 2022 is not borne out from the relevant statutory provisions.
It is also relevant to state that the provisions for inspection, inquiry and investigation are distinct from sections 271-273 dealing with the circumstances in which a company may be wound up by the Tribunal. Section 273 in fact empowers the Tribunal not only to make an interim order but to pass any other orders as it may deem fit subject to the three provisos following section 273(1)(e) of the Act.
This Court is hence not inclined to interfere with or interdict the impugned inquiry report dated 13th April, 2021 - Application dismissed.