The Companies Act, 1956
67. Construction of references to offering shares or debentures to the public, etc.
(1) Any reference in this Act or in the articles of a company to offering shares or debentures to the public shall, subject to any provision to the contrary contained in this Act and subject also to the provisions of sub-sections (3) and (4), be construed as including a reference to offering them to any section of the public, whether selected as members or debenture-holders of the company concerned or as clients of the person issuing the prospectus or in any other manner.
(2) Any reference in this Act or in the articles of a company to invitations to the public to subscribe for shares or debentures shall, subject as aforesaid, be construed as including a reference to invitations to subscribe for them extended to any section of the public, whether selected as members or debenture-holders of the company concerned or as clients of the person issuing the prospectus or in any other manner.
(3) No offer or invitation shall be treated as made to the public by virtue of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), as the case may be, if the offer or invitation can properly be regarded, in all the circumstances
(a)as not being calculated to result, directly or indirectly, in the shares or debentures becoming available for subscription or purchase by persons other than those receiving the offer or invitation; or
(b)otherwise as being a domestic concern of the persons making and receiving the offer or invitation:
1[Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall apply in a case where the offer or invitation to subscribe for shares or debentures is made to fifty persons or more:
Provided further that nothing contained in the first proviso shall apply to the non-banking financial companies or public financial institution specified in section 4A of the Companies Act, 1956.]
1[(3A) Nothwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3), the Securities and Exchange Board of India shall, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify the guidelines in respect of offer or invitation made to the public by a public financial institution specified under section 4A or non-banking financial company’s referred to in clause (f) of section 45-I of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (2 of 1934).]
(4) Without prejudice to the generality of sub-section (3), a provision in a company’s articles prohibiting invitations to the public to subscribe for shares or debentures shall not be taken as prohibiting the making to members or debenture-holders of an invitation which can properly be regarded in the manner set forth in that sub-section.
(5) The provisions of this Act relating to private companies shall be construed in accordance with the provisions contained in sub-sections (1) to (4).
1. Ins. by Act 53 of 2000, sec. 24 (w.e.f. 13-12-2000).