Companies (Consolidation) Act, 1908

Power in England to order public examination of promoters, directors, &c.

175.(1) When an order has been made in England for winding up a company by the court, and the official receiver has made a further report under this Act stating that in his opinion a fraud has been committed by any person in the promotion or formation of the company, or by any director or other officer of the company in relation to the company since its formation, the court may, after consideration of the report, direct that any person who has taken any part in the promotion or formation of the company, or has been a director, or officer of the company, shall attend before the court on a day appointed by the court for that purpose, and be publicly examined as to the promotion or formation or the conduct of the business of the company, or as to his conduct and dealings as director or officer thereof.

(2) The official receiver shall take part in the examination, and for that purpose may, if specially authorised by the Board of Trade in that behalf, employ a solicitor with or without counsel.

(3) The liquidator, where the official receiver is not the liquidator, and any creditor or contributory, may also take part in the examination either personally or by solicitor or counsel.

(4) The court may put such questions to the person examined as the court thinks fit.

(5) The person examined shall be examined on oath, and shall answer all such questions as the court may put or allow to be put to him.

(6) A person ordered to be examined under this section shall at his own cost, before his examination, be furnished with a copy of the official receiver's report, and may at his own cost employ a solicitor with or without counsel, who shall be at liberty to put to him such questions as the court may deem just for the purpose of enabling him to explain or qualify any answers given by him: Provided that if he is, in the opinion of the court, exculpated from any charges made or suggested against him, the court may allow him such costs as in its discretion it may think fit.

(7) Notes of the examination shall be taken down in writing, and shall be read over to or by, and signed by, the person examined, and may thereafter be used in evidence against him, and shall be open to the inspection of any creditor or contributory at all reasonable times.

(8) The court may, if it thinks fit, adjourn the examination from time to time.

(9) An examination under this section may, if the court so directs, and subject to general rules, be held before any judge of county courts, or before any officer of the Supreme Court, being an official referce, master, or registrar in bankruptcy, or before any district registrar of the High Court named for the purpose by the Lord Chancellor, or, in the case of companies being wound up by a palatine court, before a registrar of that court, and the powers of the court under this section as to the conduct of the examination, but not as to costs, may be exercised by the person before whom the examination is held.