Section 164 of Companies Act, 2013 – Disqualifications for appointment of director

  • Updated Till : July 20, 2018

SECTION 164. DISQUALIFICATIONS FOR APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTOR

[Effective from 1st April, 2014]

(1) A person shall not be eligible for appointment as a director of a company, if—

(a) he is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court;

(b) he is an undischarged insolvent;

(c) he has applied to be adjudicated as an insolvent and his application is pending;

(d) he has been convicted by a court of any offence, whether involving moral turpitude or otherwise, and sentenced in respect thereof to imprisonment for not less than six months and a period of five years has not elapsed from the date of expiry of the sentence:

Provided that if a person has been convicted of any offence and sentenced in respect thereof to imprisonment for a period of seven years or more, he shall not be eligible to be appointed as a director in any company;

(e) an order disqualifying him for appointment as a director has been passed by a court or Tribunal and the order is in force;

(f) he has not paid any calls in respect of any shares of the company held by him, whether alone or jointly with others, and six months have elapsed from the last day fixed for the payment of the call;

(g) he has been convicted of the offence dealing with related party transactions under section 188 at any time during the last preceding five years; or

(h) he has not complied with sub-section (3) of section 152.

(2) No person who is or has been a director of a company which—

(a) has not filed financial statements or annual returns for any continuous period of three financial years; or

(b) has failed to repay the deposits accepted by it or pay interest thereon or to redeem any debentures on the due date or pay interest due thereon or pay any dividend declared and such failure to pay or redeem continues for one year or more,

shall be eligible to be re-appointed as a director of that company or appointed in other company for a period of five years from the date on which the said company fails to do so.

[1] [Provided that where a person is appointed as a director of a company which is in default of clause (a) or clause (b), he shall not incur the disqualification for a period of six months from the date of his appointment.]

EXEMPTIONS

Section 164(2) shall not apply to a Government Company, vide Notification No. GSR 463(E) dated 5th June, 2015.

The above mentioned exception shall be applicable to a government company which has not committed a default in filing its financial statements under section 137 of the said Act or annual return under section 92 of the said Act with the Registrar, vide amendment notification F. No. 1/2/2014- CL-V dated 13th June 2017. 

(3) A private company may by its articles provide for any disqualifications for appointment as a director in addition to those specified in sub-sections (1) and (2):

[2] [Provided that the disqualifications referred to in clauses (d), (e) and (g) of sub-section (1) shall continue to apply even if the appeal or petition has been filed against the order of conviction or disqualification.]

Applicable Rules

Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules, 2014

[Effective from 1st April, 2014]

Rule 14. Disqualification of directors sub-section (2) of section 164.—(1) Every director shall inform to the company concerned about his disqualification under sub-section (2) of section 164, if any, in Form DIR-8 before he is appointed or re-appointed.

(2) Whenever a company fails to file the financial statements or annual returns, or fails to repay any deposit, interest, dividend, or fails to redeem its debentures, as specified in sub-section (2) of section 164, the company shall immediately file Form DIR-9, to the Registrar furnishing therein the names and addresses of all the directors of the company during the relevant financial years.

(3) When a company fails to file the Form DIR-9 within a period of thirty days of the failure that would attract the disqualification under sub-section (2) of section 164, officers of the company specified in clause (60) of section 2 of the Act shall be the officers in default.

(4) Upon receipt of the Form DIR-9 under sub-rule (2), the Registrar shall immediately register the document and place it in the document file for public inspection.

(5) Any application for removal of disqualification of directors shall be made in Form DIR-10.

Applicable Circulars

Company Law Settlement Scheme, 2014 (CLSS-2014) -Clarification u/s 164(2) of the Companies Act, 2013.

Representations have been received from stakeholders seeking clarification as to whether immunity from disqualification of directors pursuant to clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 164 of the Companies Act, 2013 will be applicable with respect to companies who have filed Balance Sheets and Annual Returns on or after 01/04/2014, but before coming into force of CLSS-2014 with effect from 15.08.2014 as contained in General Circular No. 34/2014 dated 12/08/2014.

2. The matter has been examined and it is hereby clarified that in case of companies, who have filed their balance sheets and annual returns on or after 01/04/2014 but prior to launch of CLSS-2014, disqualification under clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 164 of the Companies Act, 2013 shall apply only for prospective defaults, if any, by such companies.

 

Condonation of Delay Scheme, 2018

 General Circular No. 16/2017 dated 29th December, 2017

Whereas, companies registered under the Companies Act, 2013 (or its predecessor Act) are inter-alia required to file their Annual Financial statements and Annual Returns with the Registrar of Companies and non-filing of such reports is an offence under the said Act.

Whereas, section 164(2) of the Act read with section 167 of the Companies Act,2013 [the Act], which provisions were commenced with effect from 01.04.2014, provide for disqualification of a director on account of default by a company in filing an annual return or a financial statement for a continuous period of three years.

Whereas, Rule 14 of the Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules, 2014 further prescribes that every director shall inform to the company concerned about his disqualification, if any, under section 164(2), in form DIR-8.

Whereas, consequent upon notification of provisions of section 164(2), Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) had launched a Company Law Settlement Scheme 2014 providing an opportunity to the defaulting companies to clear their defaults within the time period specified therein and following the due process as notified.

Whereas, MCA in September 2017, identified 3,09,614 directors associated with the companies that had failed to file financial statements or annual returns in the MCA21 online registry for a continuous period of three financial years 2013-14 to 2015-16 in terms of provisions of section 1.64(2) r /w 167(1)(a) of the Act and they were barred from accessing the online registry and a list of such directors was published on the website of MCA.

Whereas, as a result of above action, there have been a spate of representations from industry, defaulting companies and their directors seeking an opportunity for the defaulting companies to become compliant and normalize operations.

Whereas, certain affected persons have also filed writ petitions before various High Courts seeking relief from the disqualification.

Whereas, with a view to giving an opportunity for the non-compliant, defaulting companies to rectify the default, in exercise of its powers conferred under sections 403, 459 and 460 of the Companies Act, 2013, the Central Government has decided to introduce a Scheme namely “Condonation of Delay Scheme 2018″ [CODS-2018] as follows.

1.The scheme shall come into force with effect from 01.01.2018 and shall remain in force up to 31.03.2018

2.Definitions – In this scheme, unless the context otherwise requires, –

i.“Act” means the Companies Act,2013 and Companies Act, 1956 (where ever applicable);

ii. ‘overdue documents’ means the financial statements or the annual returns or other associated documents, as applicable, in the case of a defaulting company and refer to documents mentioned in paragraph 5 of the scheme.

iii. “Company” means a company as defined in clause of 20 of section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013;

iv. “Defaulting company// means a company which has not filed its financial statements or annual returns as     required under the Companies Act, 1956 or Companies Act, 2013, as the case may be, and the Rules rnade  thereunder for a continuous period of three years.

v. “Designated authority” means the Registrar of Companies having jurisdiction over the registered office of the company.

3.Applicability: – This scheme is applicable to all defaulting companies (other than the companies which have been stuck off/ whose names have been removal from the register of companies under section 248(5) of the Act). A defaulting company is permitted to file its overdue documents which were due for filing till30.06.2017 in accordance with the provisions of this Scheme.

4.Procedure to be followed for the purposes of the scheme:- (1) In the case of defaulting companies whose names have not been removed from register of companies,-

i.The DINs of the concerned disqualified directors de-activated at present, shall be temporarily activated during    the validity of the scheme to enable them to file the overdue documents.

ii. The defaulting company shall file the overdue documents in the respective prescribed eForms paying the statutory filing fee and additional fee payable as per section 403 of the Act read with Companies (Registration Offices and fee) Rules, 2014 for filing these overdue documents.

iii. The defaulting company after filing documents under this scheme, shall seek condonation of delay by filing form e-CODS attached to this scheme online on the MCA21 portal. The fee for filing application eform CODS is Rs.30,000/- (Rs. Thirty Thousand only).

iv. The DINs of the Directors associated with the defaulting companies that have not filed their overdue documents and the eform CODS, and these are not taken on record in the MCA21 registry and are still found to be disqualified on the conclusion of the scheme in terms of section 164(2)(a) r/w 167(1)(a) of the Act shall be liable to be deactivated on expiry of the scheme period.

v. In the event of defaulting companies whose names have been removed from the register of companies under section 248 of the Act and which have filed applications for revival under section 252 of the Act up to the date of this scheme, the Director’s DIN shall be re-activated only NCLT order of revival subject to the company having filing of all overdue documents.

5.Scheme not to apply for certain documents – This scheme shall not apply to the filing of documents other than the following overdue documents:

i) Form Number 208/MGT-7- Form for filing company having share capital.

ii) Form 21A/MGT-7- Particulars of Annual return for the company not having share capital.

iii) Form 23AC, 23ACA, 23AC-XBRL, 23ACA-XBRL, AOC-4, AOC-4(CFS), AOC (XBRL) and AOC- 4(non-XBRL)             – Forms for filing Balance Sheet/Financial Statement and profit and loss account.

iv) Form 66 – Form for submission of Compliance Certificate with the Registrar.

v) Form 238/ADT-1- Form for intimation for Appointment of Auditors.

6.The Registrar concerned shall withdraw the prosecution(s) pending if any before the concerned Court(s) for all documents filed under the scheme. However, this scheme is without prejudice to action under section 167(2) of the Act or civil and criminal liabilities, if any, of such disqualified directors during the period they remained disqualified.

7.At the conclusion of the Scheme, the Registrar shall take all necessary actions under the Companies Act, 1956 / 2013 against the companies who have not availed themselves of this Scheme and continue to be in default in filing the overdue documents.

8.The e-Form CODS 2018 would be available from 20.02.2018 or an alternate date, which will be intimated by the ministry on www.mca.gov.in. The stakeholder should complete the necessary procedural requirements and file overdue documents without waiting for the availability of the e-CODS form.

 

 

[1] Inserted by the Companies (Amendment) Act 2017 vide Notification No. S.O. 1833(E) dated 7th May, 2018.

[2] Substituted by the Companies (Amendment) Act 2017 vide Notification No. S.O. 1833(E) dated 7th May, 2018. Prior to the substitution it read as under:

“Provided that the disqualifications referred to in clauses (d), (e) and (g) of sub-section (1) shall not take effect—

(i) for thirty days from the date of conviction or order of disqualification;

(ii) where an appeal or petition is preferred within thirty days as aforesaid against the conviction resulting in sentence or order, until expiry of seven days from the date on which such appeal or petition is disposed off; or

(iii) where any further appeal or petition is preferred against order or sentence within seven days, until such further appeal or petition is disposed off.”

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