Winding Up of Companies | Modes of Winding Up | Powers and Duties of Official Liquidator |Company Law Notes for BCom, BBA and MBA| B.Com Notes CBCS

Winding Up of Companies
Meaning and Provisions under the Companies Act 2013
Company Law Notes for BCom, BBA and MBA

Winding up - Meaning and Modes

Meaning: Winding up of a company is defined as a process by which the life of a company is brought to an end and its property administered for the benefit of its members and creditors. In words of Professor Gower, “Winding up of a company is the process whereby its life is ended and its Property is administered for the benefit of its members & creditors. An Administrator, called a liquidator is appointed and he takes control of the company, collects its assets, pays its debts and finally distributes any surplus among the members in accordance with their rights.”

Modes of winding up of a company

As per section 270 of the Companies Act 2013, the procedure for winding up of a company can be initiated either:

a) By the tribunal or,

b) Voluntary.

a) Winding up by the tribunal: 

As per new Companies Act 2013, a company can be wound up by a tribunal in the below mentioned circumstances:

1. When the company is unable to pay its debts

2. If the company has by special resolution resolved that the company be wound up by the tribunal.

3. If the company has acted against the interest of the integrity or morality of India, security of the state, or has spoiled any kind of friendly relations with foreign or neighboring countries.

4. If the company has not filled its financial statements or annual returns for preceding 5 consecutive financial years.

5. If the tribunal by any means finds that it is just & equitable that the company should be wound up.

6. If the company in any way is indulged in fraudulent activities or any other unlawful business, or any person or management connected with the formation of company is found guilty of fraud, or any kind of misconduct.

Filling up winding up petition: Section 272 provides that a winding up petition is to be filed in the prescribed form no 1, 2 or 3 whichever is applicable and it is to be submitted in 3 sets. The petition for compulsory winding up can be presented by the following persons:

a)      The company

b)      The creditors ; or

c)       Any contributory or contributories

d)      By the central or state govt.

e)      By the registrar of any person authorized by central govt. for that purpose

FINAL ORDER AND ITS CONTENT: The tribunal after hearing the petition has the power to dismiss it or to make an interim order as it think appropriate or it can appoint the provisional liquidator of the company till the passing of winding up order. An order for winding up is given in form 11.

b) Voluntary winding up of a company: The company can be wound up voluntarily by the mutual decision of members of the company, if:

a)      The company passes a Special Resolution stating about the winding up of the company.

b)      The company in its general meeting passes a resolution for winding up as a result of expiry of the period of its duration as fixed by its Articles of Association or at the occurrence of any such event where the articles provide for dissolution of company.


1. Conduct a board meeting with 2 Directors and thereby pass a resolution with a declaration given by directors that they are of the opinion that company has no debt or it will be able to pay its debt after utilizing all the proceeds from sale of its assets.

2. Issues notices in writing for calling of a General Meeting proposing the resolution along with the explanatory statement.

3. In General Meeting pass the ordinary resolution for the purpose of winding up by ordinary majority or special resolution by 3/4th majority. The winding up shall be started from the date of passing the resolution.

4. Conduct a meeting of creditors after passing the resolution, if majority creditors are of the opinion that winding up of the company is beneficial for all parties then company can be wound up voluntarily.

5. Within 10 days of passing the resolution, file a notice with the registrar for appointment of liquidator.

6. Within 14 days of passing such resolution, give a notice of the resolution in the official gazette and also advertise in a newspaper.

7. Within 30 days of General meeting, file certified copies of ordinary or special resolution passed in general meeting.

8. Wind up the affairs of the company and prepare the liquidators account and get the same audited.

9. Conduct a General Meeting of the company.

10. In that General Meeting pass a special resolution for disposal of books and all necessary documents of the company, when the affairs of the company are totally wound up and it is about to dissolve.

11. Within 15 days of final General Meeting of the company, submit a copy of accounts and file an application to the tribunal for passing an order for dissolution.

12. If the tribunal is of the opinion that the accounts are in order  and all the necessary compliances have been fulfilled, the tribunal shall pass an order for dissolving the company within 60 days of receiving such application.

13. The appointed liquidator would then file a copy of order with the registrar.

14. After receiving the order passed by tribunal, the registrar then publish a notice in the official Gazette declaring that the company is dissolved.

Effect of Winding up:

Effect of winding up by tribunal (Sec. 279): According to this section, the order for winding up of a company shall operate in favour of all the creditors and all contributories of the company as if it had been made out or the joint petition of creditors and contributories.

Effect of voluntary winding up (Sec. 309): In the case of a voluntary winding up, the company shall from the commencement of the winding up cease to carry on its business except as far as required for the beneficial winding up of its business. The corporate state and corporate powers of the company shall continue until it is dissolved.

Appointment of Official Liquidator (Sec. 359)

For the purposes of this Act, so far as it relates to the winding up of companies by the Tribunal, the Central Government may appoint as many Official Liquidators, Joint, Deputy or Assistant Official Liquidators as it may consider necessary to discharge the functions of the Official Liquidator. The liquidators so appointed under this section shall be whole-time officers of the Central Government. The salary and other allowances of the Official Liquidator, Joint Official Liquidator, Deputy Official Liquidator and Assistant Official Liquidator shall be paid by the Central Government.

Powers and duties of Company liquidator

Powers and duties of Company Liquidator in case of winding up by tribunal (Sec. 290):

1. Subject to directions by the Tribunal, if any, in this regard, the Company Liquidator, in a winding up of a company by the Tribunal, shall have the power:

a.       to carry on the business of the company so far as may be necessary for the beneficial winding up of the company;

b.      to do all acts and to execute, in the name and on behalf of the company, all deeds, receipts and other documents, and for that purpose, to use, when necessary, the company’s seal;

c.       to sell the immovable and movable property and actionable claims of the company by public auction or private contract, with power to transfer such property to any person or body corporate, or to sell the same in parcels;

d.      to sell the whole of the undertaking of the company as a going concern;

e.      to raise any money required on the security of the assets of the company;

f.        to institute or defend any suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding, civil or criminal, in the name and on behalf of the company;

g.       to invite and settle claim of creditors, employees or any other claimant and distribute sale proceeds in accordance with priorities established under this Act;

h.      to inspect the records and returns of the company on the files of the Registrar or any other authority;

i.         to prove rank and claim in the insolvency of any contributory for any balance against his estate, and to receive dividends in the insolvency, in respect of that balance, as a separate debt due from the insolvent, and rateably with the other separate creditors;

j.        to draw, accept, make and endorse any negotiable instruments including cheque, bill of exchange, hundi or promissory note in the name and on behalf of the company, with the same effect with respect to the liability of the company as if such instruments had been drawn, accepted, made or endorsed by or on behalf of the company in the course of its business;

k.       to take out, in his official name, letters of administration to any deceased contributory, and to do in his official name any other act necessary for obtaining payment of any money due from a contributory or his estate which cannot be conveniently done in the name of the company, and in all such cases, the money due shall, for the purpose of enabling the Company Liquidator to take out the letters of administration or recover the money, be deemed to be due to the Company Liquidator himself;

l.         to obtain any professional assistance from any person or appoint any professional, in discharge of his duties, obligations and responsibilities and for protection of the assets of the company, appoint an agent to do any business which the Company Liquidator is unable to do himself;

m.    to take all such actions, steps, or to sign, execute and verify any paper, deed, document, application, petition, affidavit, bond or instrument as may be necessary,—

1.       for winding up of the company;

2.       for distribution of assets;

3.       in discharge of his duties and obligations and functions as Company Liquidator; and

n.      to apply to the Tribunal for such orders or directions as may be necessary for the winding up of the company.

2.     The exercise of powers by the Company Liquidator under sub-section (1) shall be subject to the overall control of the Tribunal.

3.     Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (1), the Company Liquidator shall perform such other duties as the Tribunal may specify in this behalf.

Powers and duties of Company Liquidator in voluntary winding up (Sec. 314):

1.       The Company Liquidator shall perform such functions and discharge such duties as may be determined from time to time by the company or the creditors, as the case may be.

2.       The Company Liquidator shall settle the list of contributories, which shall be prima facie evidence of the liability of the persons named therein to be contributories.

3.       The Company Liquidator shall call general meetings of the company for the purpose of obtaining the sanction of the company by ordinary or special resolution, as the case may require, or for any other purpose he may consider necessary.

4.       The Company Liquidator shall maintain regular and proper books of account in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed and the members and creditors and any officer authorised by the Central Government may inspect such books of account.

5.       The Company Liquidator shall prepare quarterly statement of accounts in such form and manner as may be prescribed and file such statement of accounts duly audited within thirty days from the close of each quarter with the Registrar, failing which the Company Liquidator shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every day during which the failure continues.

6.       The Company Liquidator shall pay the debts of the company and shall adjust the rights of the contributories among themselves.

7.       The Company Liquidator shall observe due care and diligence in the discharge of his duties.

8.       If the Company Liquidator fails to comply with the provisions of this section except sub-section (5) he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

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