The Companies Act, 1956
477. Power to summon persons suspected of having property of company, etc.
(1) The 1[Tribunal] may, at any time after the appointment of a provisional liquidator or the making of a winding up order summon before it any officer of the company or person known or suspected to have in his possession any property or books or papers, of the company or known or suspected to be indebted to the company, or any person whom the 1[Tribunal] deems capable of giving information concerning the promotion, formation, trade, dealings, property, books or papers or affairs of the company.
(2) The 1[Tribunal] may examine any officer or person so summoned on oath concerning the matters aforesaid, either by word of mouth or on written interrogatories; and may, in the former case, reduce his answers to writing and require him to sign them.
(3) The 1[Tribunal] may require any officer or person so summoned to produce any books and papers in his custody or power relating to the company; but, where he claims any lien on books or papers produced by him, the production shall be without prejudice to that lien, and the 1[Tribunal] shall have jurisdiction in the winding up to determine all questions relating to that lien.
(4) If any officer or person so summoned, after being paid or tendered a reasonable sum for his expenses, fails to appear before the 1[Tribunal] at the time appointed, not having a lawful impediment (made known to the 1[Tribunal] at the time of its sitting and allowed by it), the 1[Tribunal] may cause him to be apprehended and brought before the 1[Tribunal] for examination.
2[(5) If, on his examination, any officer or person so summoned admits that he is indebted to the company, the 1[Tribunal] may order him to pay to the provisional liquidator or, as the case may be, the liquidator at such time and in such manner as to the 1[Tribunal] may seem just, the amount in which he is indebted, or any part thereof, either in full discharge of the whole amount or not, as the 1[Tribunal] thinks fit, with or without costs of the examination.
(6) If, on his examination, any such officer or person admits that he has in his possession any property belonging to the company, the 1[Tribunal] may order him to deliver to the provisional liquidator or, as the case may be, the liquidator, that property or any part thereof, at such time, in such manner and on such terms as to the 1[Tribunal] may seem just.
(7) Orders made under sub-sections (5) and (6) shall be executed in the same manner as decrees for the payment of money or for the delivery of property under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) respectively.
(8) Any person making any payment or delivery in pursuance of an order made under sub-section (5) or sub-section (6) shall by such payment or delivery be, unless otherwise directed by such order, discharged from all liability whatsoever in respect of such debt or property.]
1. Subs. by Act 11 of 2003, sec. 77, for “Court”.
2. Ins. by Act 65 of 1960, sec. 176 (w.e.f. 28-12-1960).