Companies Act, 1963

Responsibility of persons concerned for fraudulent trading of company.

297.—(1) If in the course of the winding up of a company it appears that any business of the company has been carried on with intent to defraud creditors of the company or creditors of any other person or for any fraudulent purpose, the court on the application of the liquidator or any creditor or contributory of the company, may, if it thinks proper so to do, declare that any persons who were knowingly parties to the carrying on of the business in manner aforesaid shall be personally responsible, without any limitation of liability, for all or any of the debts or other liabilities of the company as the court may direct.

On the hearing of an application under this subsection the liquidator may himself give evidence or call witnesses.

(2) Where the court makes any such declaration, it may give such further directions as it thinks proper for the purpose of giving effect to that declaration and in particular may make provision for making the liability of any such person under the declaration a charge on any debt or obligation due from the company to him, or on any mortgage or charge or any interest in any mortgage or charge on any assets of the company held by or vested in him or any company or person on his behalf, or any person claiming as assignee from or through the person liable or any company or person acting on his behalf, and may from time to time make such further order as may be necessary for the purpose of enforcing any charge imposed under this subsection.

For the purpose of this subsection, “assignee” includes any person to whom or in whose favour, by the directions of the person liable, the debt, obligation, mortgage or charge was created, issued or transferred or the interest created, but does not include an assignee for valuable consideration (not including consideration by way of marriage) given in good faith and without notice of any of the matters on the ground of which the declaration is made.

(3) Where any business of a company is carried on with such intent or for such purpose as is mentioned in subsection (1), every person who was knowingly a party to the carrying on of the business in manner aforesaid, shall be liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding £500 or to both or, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding £100 or to both.

(4) This section shall have effect notwithstanding that the person concerned may be criminally liable in respect of the matters on the ground of which the declaration is to be made.