By Smriti Wadehra, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The recent massive clean-up operation of Ministry, whereby RoCs started issuing public notices in April, 2017 to strike off the name of the companies from the register of companies and to dissolve them unless a cause is shown to the contrary, within thirty days from the date of the notice, has come to centre of focus. Thereafter, on September 5, 2017 the government confirmed that names of over 2.09 lakh companies have been struck off from the Register of Companies for failing to comply with regulatory requirements and was decided that the Directors of such shell companies which have not filed returns for three or more years, will be disqualified from being appointed in any other company as Director or from being reappointed as Director in any of the companies where they had been Directors, thereby compelling them to vacate office. It has been reported that as a result of this exercise, at least two to three lakh of such disqualified Directors has been debarred and Roc wise list of directors was uploaded on MCA website along with MCA circular stating as:
“Pursuant to Section 164 (2) (a) of Act, 2013 the directors of the companies which have not filed financial statements or annual returns for any continuous period of three financial Years 2014, 2015 and 2016 have been hereby declared disqualified. Accordingly, Directors enlisted in Annexure A attached shall stand disqualified upto 31.10.2021.”
Further, pursuant to the action of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs of removing/striking-off and consequent cancellation of the registration of around 2,09,032 shell companies, the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance has directed all the Banks to restrict operations of bank accounts of such companies by the Directors of such companies or their authorized representatives making the clean up operation a massive drive.
This drive was undertaken for companies but its seems that Ministry has extended its ambit to include Limited Liablility Partnerships (“LLPs”) registered under Limited Liability Act, 2008 (“Act”) under its scrutiny process. It is being noticed that the Ministry has recently started issuing notices to LLPs individually by way of a reminder notice to make the compliances w.r.t filing of necessary returns/ statements as per the Act failing which the LLP and its designated partners will be liable to prosecution apart from unlimited penalty.
As per the provisions of sections 23 and 34 of the Act read with Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Rules, 2017 all the Limited Liability Partnerships is statutorily required to file:
- the Initial Agreement constituting the LLP in Form-3 within 30 days of its incorporation;
- a Statement of Account & Solvency has to be filed in Form-8 within 30 days from the end of six months of the financial year; and
- Annual Return 11 has to be filed within 60 days of closure of its financial year.
Vide the aforesaid notices, the Ministry has provided a firm reminder to comply with the reporting requirements as aforesaid failure of which may lead to prosecution of defaulting LLPs along with their designated partners, besides being liable for unlimited penalty on per diem basis.