Appeal against Order of Adjudicating Officer


Sub – section (5) (6) and (7) of Section 454 of the Companies Act 2013 discussed earlier here, deal with adjudication of penalties. This Section is supplemented by the Companies (adjudication of Penalties) Rules 2014.

Any person aggrieved by an order made by the adjudicating officer may prefer an appeal to the Regional Director having jurisdiction in the matter. [Section 454(5)]

Every appeal under sub-section (5) shall be filed within sixty days from the date on which the copy of the order made by the adjudicating officer is received by the aggrieved person and shall be in such form, manner and be accompanied by such fees as may be prescribed. [Section 454(6)]

Every appeal against the order of the adjudicating officer shall be filed in writing with the Regional Director having jurisdiction in the matter within a period of sixty days from the date of receipt of the order of adjudicating officer by the aggrieved party, in Form ADJ setting forth the grounds of appeal and shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the order against which the appeal is sought. [Rule 4(1)]

Where the party is represented by an authorised representative, a copy of such authorisation in favour of the representative and the written consent thereto by such authorised representative shall also be appended to the appeal. [First Proviso to Rule 4(1)]

An appeal in Form ADJ shall not seek relief(s) therein against more than one order unless the reliefs prayed for are consequential. [Second Proviso to Rule 4(1)]

Every appeal filed under this rule shall be accompanied by such fee as provided in the Companies (Registration Offices and Fees) Rules, 2014. [Rule 4(2)]

On the receipt of an appeal, office of the Regional Director shall endorse the date on such appeal and shall sign such endorsement. [Rule 5(1)]

If, on scrutiny, the appeal is found to be in order, it shall be duly registered and given a serial number. [Rule 5(2)]

Where the appeal is found to be defective, the Regional Director may allow the appellant such time, not being less than fourteen days following the date of receipt of intimation by the appellant from the Regional Director about the nature of the defects, to rectify the defects and if the appellant fails to rectify such defects within the time period allowed as above, the Regional Director may by order and for reasons to be recorded in writing, decline to register such appeal and communicate such refusal to the appellant within a period of seven days thereof. [First Proviso to Rule 5(2)]

The Regional Director may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, extend the period by a further period of fourteen days if an appellant satisfies the Regional Director that the appellant had sufficient cause for not rectifying the defects within the period of fourteen days referred to in the first proviso. [Second Proviso to Rule 5(2)]

On the admission of the appeal, the Regional Director shall serve a copy of appeal upon the adjudicating officer against whose order the appeal is sought along-with a notice requiring such adjudicating officer to file his reply thereto within such period, not exceeding twenty-one days, as may be stipulated by the Regional Director in the said notice. The Regional Director may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, extend the period for a further period of twenty-one days, if the adjudicating officer satisfies the Regional Director that he had sufficient cause for not being able to file his reply to the appeal within the above-said period of twenty-one days. [Rule 6(1)]

A copy of every reply, application or written representation filed by the adjudicating officer before the Regional Director shall be forthwith served on the appellant by the adjudicating officer. [Rule 6(2)]

The Regional Director shall notify the parties, the date of hearing of the appeal which shall not be a date earlier than thirty days following the date of such notification for hearing of the appeal. [Rule 6(3)]

The Regional Director may, after giving the parties to the appeal an opportunity of being heard, pass such order as he thinks fit, confirming, modifying or setting aside the order appealed against. [Section 454(7)]

On the date fixed for hearing the Regional Director may, subject to the reasons to be recorded in writing, pass any order as he thinks fit including an order for adjournment of the hearing to a future date. [Rule 6(4)]

In case the appellant or the adjudicating officer does not appear on the date fixed for hearing, the Regional Director may dispose of the appeal ex-parte. [Rule 6(5)]

Where the appellant appears afterwards and satisfies the Regional Director that there was sufficient cause for his non-appearance, the Regional Director may make an order setting aside the ex-parte order and restore the appeal. [Proviso to Rule 6(5)]

Every order passed under this rule shall be dated and signed by the Regional Director. [Rule 6(6)]

A certified copy of every order passed by the Regional Director shall be communicated to the adjudicating officer and to the appellant forthwith and to the Central Government. [Rule 6(7)]

Please note: I welcome your comments and feedback. This blog post is not a professional advice. Readers may share this post on social media by using buttons given here.

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