Companies (Prevention of Oppression and Mismanagement) Rules 2016
THE GAZETTE OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS
New Delhi, ______________
G.S.R. ….(E).- In exercise of the powers conferred by section 469 read with Chapter XVI, the Central Government hereby makes the following rules, namely:-
1. Short title and commencement. -
(1) These rules may be called the Companies (Prevention of Oppression and Mismanagement) Rules, 2016.
(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
2. Definitions. –
(1) In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires, -
(a) “Act” means the Companies Act, 2013;
(b) “Annexure” means the Annexure appended to these Rules;
(c) “Form” means a form set forth in Annexure to these rules or a form prescribed under National Company Law Tribunal Rules, 2016, as the case may be, and includes an electronic version thereof;
(e) “Section” means section of the Act;
(f) “Application” means application in the form of a petition.
(2) Words and expressions used and not defined in these rules but defined in the Act shall have the same meanings respectively assigned to them in the Act.
(3) The provisions of the National Company Law Tribunal Rules, 2016 shall apply to these rules, mutatis mutandis.
3. Application under section 241
(1) An Application under clause (a) or clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 241 of the Act, shall be filed in the Form as prescribed under the National Company Law Tribunal Rules, 2016.
(2) Where an Application is presented under section 241 on behalf of any members of a company entitled to apply under section 244(1), by any one or more of them, the letter of consent signed by the rest of the members so entitled authorising the applicant or the applicants to present the petition on their behalf, shall be annexed to the Application, and the names and addresses of all the members on whose behalf the Application is presented shall be set out in a schedule to the Application, and where the company has a share capital, the Application shall state whether the applicants have paid all calls and other sums due on their respective shares.
(3) A copy of every Application made under this rule shall be served on the company, other respondents and all such persons as the Tribunal may direct.
4. Withdrawal of Application filed under section 241. -
(1) An Application under clause (a) or clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 241 of the Act, filed as per rule 3 shall not be withdrawn without the leave of the Tribunal.
(2) Where the applicant withdraws an Application under this rule, he may be liable for such costs as the Tribunal may award and such withdrawal may also be subject to such conditions as the Tribunal may impose.
(3) An Application for withdrawal under this Rule shall be filed in the appropriate Form as prescribed under the National Company Law Tribunal Rules, 2016.
5. Application under section 243
(1) An Application under clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 243 of the Act for leave to any of the persons mentioned therein to be appointed or to act as the managing director or other director or manager of the company, shall be filed as per the appropriate Form prescribed under the National Company Law Tribunal Rules, 2016, as applicable.
(2) An Application under sub - rule (1) shall state whether a notice of intention to apply for such leave, as required under the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 243 of the Act, has been given to the Central Government and such Application shall also be accompanied by a copy of such notice.
(3) The notice of the date of hearing of the Application together with a copy of the Application shall be served on the Central Government not less than fifteen days before the date fixed for the hearing.
6. Right to apply under section 245
(1) An Application under sub-section (1) of section 245, read with sub-section (3) of section 245 of the Act, shall be filled in Form as prescribed under the National Company Law Tribunal Rules, 2016. A copy of every Application shall be served on the company, other respondents and all such persons as the Tribunal may direct.
(2) For the purposes of sub-clause (a) of clause (i) of sub-section (3) of section 245, the number of members that may file such Application for class action shall not be less than one hundred members of the company or ten per cent of the total number of its members, whichever is less. Such Application may also be filed by any member or members of such company, singly or jointly holding not less than ten per cent of the issued share capital of the company, subject to the condition that the applicant or applicants have paid all calls and other sums due on his or their shares.
(3) For the purpose of sub-clause (b) of sub-section (3) of section 245, the number of members that may file such Application for class action, shall not be less than one-fifth of the total number of members of the company.
(4) For the purposes of sub-clause (ii) of sub-section (3) of section 245, the number of depositors that may file an Application for class action, shall be not less than one hundred depositors or ten per cent of the total number of depositors, whichever is less. Such Application may also be filed by any depositor or depositors, singly or jointly holding not less than ten per cent of the total value of the outstanding deposits of the company.
Explanation.- For the purposes of this rule, the word “depositor” shall have the same meaning assigned to it under Rule 2(c)(xiv)(c) of the Companies (Acceptance of Deposit) Rules, 2014.
7. Order involving reduction of share capital or alteration of memorandum or articles of association
Where an order made by the Tribunal on an Application under these rules involves a reduction of share capital or alteration of the memorandum or articles of association, the provisions of the Act and rules relating to such matters shall apply as the Tribunal may direct.
8. Conducting a class action suit.-
(1) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (4) of section 245 of the Act, the Tribunal may, while considering the admissibility of an Application under the said section, in addition to the grounds specified therein, take into account the following:
(a) whether the class has so many members that joining them individually would be impractical, making a class action desirable;
(b) whether there are questions of law or fact common to the class;
(c) whether the claims or defences of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defences of the class;
(d) whether the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.
(2) For the purposes of clause (c) of sub-section (4) of section 245, while considering the desirability of an individual/separate action as opposed to a class action, the Tribunal may take into account, in particular, whether admitting separate actions by member or members or depositor or depositors would create a risk of:
(a) inconsistent or varying adjudications in such separate actions; or
(b) adjudications that, as a practical matter, would be dispositive of the interests of the other members;
(c) adjudications which would substantially impair or impede the ability of other members of the class to protect their interests.
(3) Where an Application has been admitted under section 245, for the purposes of sub-section (5) of section 245, the Tribunal may, after giving due notice to the parties, issue any order altering or amending the Application made under sub-section (1) of section 245 or, where several applications are consolidated under clause (b), framing a consolidated list of issues for consideration by the Tribunal.
(4) For the purposes of clause (b) of sub-section (5) of section 245, the class members or depositors may choose a lead counsel and in the event the members or depositors of the class are unable to come to a consensus on this matter, the Tribunal shall have the power to appoint a lead counsel on their behalf.
9. Settlement or compromise. -
(a) give notice in such manner as it may think fit to all parties who may be affected by the agreement or compromise;
(b) give an opportunity to be heard to the parties referred to in clause (a) above.
(3) In case of an agreement or compromise in an Application under section 245 of the Act, the Tribunal shall afford an opportunity to individual parties to exclude themselves from the class so as to not be bound by the agreement or compromise.
(4) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Tribunal that an Application made under these rules has been addressed appropriately, wholly or in part, by any lawful agreement or compromise among the relevant members of the class, the Tribunal may order such agreement or compromise to be recorded, and dispose of the Application accordingly.
10. Rule of Opt-Out
(1) A member of a class action under section 245 of the Act is entitled to opt-out of the proceedings at any time after the institution of the class action, with the permission of the Tribunal, as per Form No. ONM. 1.
(2) For the purposes of this rule, a class member who receives a notice under clause (a) of sub section (5) of section 245 of the Act shall be deemed to be the member of a class, unless he expressly opts out of the proceedings, as per the requirements of the notice issued by the Tribunal in accordance with Rule 11.
(3) A class member so opting out will be not be precluded from pursuing a claim against the company on an individual basis under any other law, where a remedy may be available, subject to any conditions imposed by the Tribunal.
11. Publication of Notice.
(1) For the purposes of clause (a) of sub section (5) of section 245 of the Act, on the admission of an Application filed under sub-section (1) of section 245 of the Act, a public notice shall be issued by the Tribunal as per Form No. ONM 2 to all the members of the class by-
(a) publishing the same within seven days of admission of the Application by the Tribunal at least once in a vernacular newspaper in the principal vernacular language of the state in which the registered office of the company is situated and at least once in English in an English newspaper that is in circulation in that State;
(b) requiring the company to place the public notice on the website of such company, if any, in addition to publication of such public notice in newspaper under sub-clause (a) above:
Provided that such notice shall also be placed on the websites of the Tribunal and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the concerned Registrar of Companies and in respect of a listed company on the website of the concerned stock exchange(s) where the company has any of its securities listed, until the application is disposed of by the Tribunal.
(2) The date of issue of the newspaper in which such notice appears shall be considered as the date of serving the public notice to all the members of the class.
(3) The public notice shall, inter alia, contain the following-
(a) name of the lead applicant;
(b) brief particulars of the grounds of Application;
(c) relief sought by such Application;
(d) statement to the effect that Application has been made by the requisite number of members/depositors;
(e) statement to the effect that the Application has been admitted by the Tribunal after considering the matters stated under sub-section (4) of section 245 and these rules and it is satisfied that the Application may be admitted;
(f) date and time of the hearing of the said Application;
(g) time within which any representation may be filed with the Tribunal on the Application;
(h) the details of the admission of the Application and the date by which the form of opt out has to be completed and sent as per Form ONM1; and
(i) such other particulars as the Tribunal thinks fit.
(4) The cost or expenses connected with the publication of the public notice under this rule shall be borne by the applicant and shall be defrayed by the company or any other person responsible for any oppressive act in case order is passed in favour of the applicant.
Annexure - Forms
FORM NO. ONM.1
[Pursuant to rule 10]
BEFORE THE _________
AT __________________ BENCH
NOTICE OF OPT-OUT
From: _________________________________ (Insert name of class member/depositor)
To : The Registrar,
NCLT (_________ Bench).
The Party named above requests that the Tribunal grant the opt-out in terms of Rule 10 of the Companies (Prevention of Oppression and Mismanagement) Rules, 2016.
For the following reasons:
(Insert a concise statement of the circumstances, and the particulars of the opt out)
In support of this Application, the applicant has attached an affidavit setting out the facts on which the Applicant relies.
Name and Title of person signing on behalf of Applicant:
Authorised Signature and Address:
This form is prescribed under Rule 10 of the Companies (Prevention of Oppression and Mismanagement) Rules, 2016.
For rehabilitation : Rehab. Petition No.
For Transferred Transfer Petition (CLB/BIFR/AIFR/HHC) No.
Matters from the :
For Other matters : Company Petition No.
FORM NO. ONM. 2
[Pursuant to rule 11]
Public Notice of petition under Section 245.
Take notice that a class action petition under section 245 of the Companies Act, 2013 dated…… was presented by………… before ………… Bench, National Company Law Tribunal. The lead applicant in the said petition is…………….. The respondents in that petition are………..
The said petition/ satisfies the admission related conditions stipulated in section 245 and has been admitted. It is fixed for hearing before the Bench on ………………..
The petition has been filed on the following grounds…………………
The petition seeks the following relief……………..
The members of the class for the purpose of this class action petition shall mean………..If you belong to the class in relation to which this Application has been filed, you will be a bound by the outcome of this Application, unless you decide to opt-out from the proceedings by submitting the relevant form issued under Rule 10 of the Companies (Prevention of Oppression and Mismanagement) Rules, 2016 by ……. to the following address…………., subject to the Tribunal’s permission.
(Registrar, National Company Law Tribunal, ……Bench)