Companies Act, 1990

Application of certain provisions to companies not in liquidation.

251.—(1) This section applies in relation to a company that is not being wound up where—

(a) execution or other process issued on a judgment, decree or order of any court in favour of a creditor of the company is returned unsatisfied in whole or in part; or

(b) it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that the company is unable to pay its debts, taking into account the contingent and prospective liabilities of the company, and

it appears to the court that the reason or the principal reason for its not being wound up is the insufficiency of its assets.

(2) The following sections, with the necessary modifications, shall apply to a company to which this section applies, notwithstanding that it is not being wound up—

(a) sections 139 , 140 , 203 , and 204 of this Act, and

(b) the provisions of the Principal Act mentioned in the Table to this section.

(3) References in the sections mentioned in subsection (2) to the commencement of the winding-up of a company, the appointment of a provisional liquidator or the making of a winding up order and to the “relevant date” shall, for the purposes of this section, be construed as references to the date—

(a) of the judgment, decree or order mentioned in subsection (1) (a); or

(b) on which the court determines that the company is unable to pay its debts.

(4) Where, by virtue of this section, proceedings are instituted under section 139 , 140 or 204 of this Act or section 245A, 297A or 298 of the Principal Act, section 297A (7) (b) of the Principal Act shall apply in relation to any order made as a result of those proceedings.

(5) Where section 295 of the Principal Act is applied by virtue of this section, it shall apply as if the words “which is subsequently ordered to be wound up or subsequently passes a resolution for voluntary winding-up” were deleted therefrom


Sections of Principal Act to which this section applies





Inspection of books by creditors and contributories


Power of court to summon persons for examination

Inserted by section 126 of this Act


Order for payment or delivery of property against person examined under section 245

Inserted by section 127 of this Act


Power to arrest absconding contributory


Frauds by officers of companies which have gone into liquidation


Criminal liability for fraudulent trading

Inserted by section 137 of this Act


Civil liability for fraudulent trading

Inserted by section 138 of this Act


Power of court to assess damages against directors

Amended by section 142 of this Act