Delay in Filing of Return under Companies act 2013

Every company shall file with the Registrar a copy of the annual return, within sixty days from the date on which the annual general meeting is held or where no annual general meeting is held in any year within sixty days from the date on which the annual general meeting should have been held together with the statement specifying the reasons for not holding the annual general meeting

Delayed Annual returnIf a company fails to file its annual return under sub-section (4), before the expiry of the period specified under section 403 with additional fee, the company shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakhs rupees and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees, or with both.

If a company secretary in practice certifies the annual return otherwise than in conformity with the requirements of this section or the rules made thereunder, he shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees.

Period specified under section 403

Any document, required to be submitted, filed, registered or recorded, or any fact or information required or authorised to be registered under this Act, shall be submitted, filed, registered or recorded within the time specified in the relevant provision on payment of such fee as may be prescribed:

Provided that any document, fact or information may be submitted, filed, registered or recorded, after the time specified in relevant provision for such submission, filing, registering or recording, within a period of two hundred and seventy days from the date by which it should have been submitted, filed, registered or recorded, as the case may be, on payment of such additional fee as may be prescribed.

Provided further that any such document, fact or information may, without prejudice to any other legal action or liability under the Act, be also submitted, filed, registered or recorded, after the first time specified in first proviso on payment of fee and additional fee specified under this section.

Where a company fails or commits any default to submit, file, register or record any document, fact or information under sub-section (1) before the expiry of the period specified in the first proviso to that sub-section with additional fee, the company and the officers of the company who are in default, shall, without prejudice to the liability for payment of fee and additional fee, be liable for the penalty or punishment provided under this Act for such failure or default.

The due date for filing annual return for the financial year 2013-14 has expired. What are the provisions will be applicable for delay annual return filing for financial year 2013-14 is not very clear. MCA had issued a General Notification No; 22/2014 dated 25th June, 2014 clarified that Form MGT-7 shall not apply to annual returns in respect of companies whose financial year ended on or before 1st April, 2014 and for annual returns pertaining to earlier years. These companies may file their returns in the relevant Form applicable under the Companies Act, 1956. Accordingly, the annual return in terms of section 92 of the Companies Act, 2013 in form MGT. 7 as covered in this guidance note will be applicable for the financial years commencing on or after 1st April, 2014.

It’s apparently clear that provisions of Companies Act 1956 is applicable for the Annual return filing for the financial year 2013-14. Therefore it may be assume that for delayed annual return for the financial year 2013-14 provisions of companies Act 1956 i.e., Sec 162(1) would be applicable.

Section 162(1) in the Companies Act, 1956

If a company fails to comply with any of the provisions contained in section 159, 160 or 161, the company, and every officer of the company who is in default, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty rupees for every day during which the default continues.

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