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The Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986

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Requisition and seizure of books and papersN.I.

Department's power to require production of documentsN.I.

F1440 .F2  Para. (1) rep. by 1990 NI 10

(2) The Department may at any time, if it thinks there is good reason to do so, give directions to[F3 a company] requiring it, at such time and place as may be specified in the directions, to produce such[F3 documents] as may be so specified

(3) The Department may at any time, if it thinks there is good reason to do so, authorise an officer of the Department[F3 or any other competent person], on producing (if so required) evidence of his authority, to require[F3 a company] to produce to him forthwith any[F3 documents] which[F3 he] may specify.

(4) Where by virtue of paragraph (2) or (3) the Department or an officer of the Department[F3 or other person] has power to require the production of[F3 documents] from[F3 a company], the Department or the officer[F3 or other person] has the like power to require production of those[F3 documents] from any person who appears to the Department or the officer[F3 or other person] to be in possession of them; but where any such person claims a lien on[F3 documents] produced by him, the production is without prejudice to the lien.

(5)The power under this Article to require[F3 a company] or other person to produce[F3 documents] includes power—

(a)

if the[F3 documents] are produced—

(i)

to take copies of them or extracts from them, and

(ii)

to require that person, or any other person who is a present or past officer of, or is or was at any time employed by,[F3 the company] in question, to provide an explanation of any of them;

(b)

if the[F3 documents] are not produced, to require the person who was required to produce them to state, to the best of his knowledge and belief, where they are.

(6) If the requirement to produce[F3 documents] or provide an explanation or make a statement is not complied with,[F3 the company] or other person on whom the requirement was so imposed is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine.

[F3Articles 680 (restriction on prosecutions), 680A (liability of individuals for corporate default) and 680B (criminal proceedings against unincorporated bodies) apply to this offence.]

(7) However, where a person is charged with an offence under paragraph (6) in respect of a requirement to produce any[F3 documents], it is a defence to prove that they were not in his possession or under his control and that it was not reasonably practicable for him to comply with the requirement.

(8) A statement made by a person in compliance with such a requirement may be used in evidence against him.

[F4(8A) However, in criminal proceedings in which that person is charged with an offence to which this paragraph applies—

(a)no evidence relating to the statement may be adduced, and

(b)no question relating to it may be asked,

by or on behalf of the prosecution, unless evidence relating to it is adduced, or a question relating to it is asked, in the proceedings by or on behalf of that person.

(8B) Paragraph (8A) applies to any offence other than—

(a)an offence under paragraph (6) or Article 444; or

(b)an offence under Article 10 of the Perjury (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (false statements made otherwise than an oath.]

[F3(9) In this Article “documents” includes information recorded in any form; and, in relation to information recorded otherwise than in legible form, the power to require its production includes power to require the production of a copy of it in legible form[F5, or in a form from which it can readily be produced in visible and legible form].]

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F1prosp. subst. by 2005 NI 17 (which amendment repealed (1.10.2009) by Companies Act 2006 (c. 46), s. 1295, Sch. 16; S.I. 2008/2860, art. 4, Sch. 1 Pt. 2)

F2mod. by SR 2004/307

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .F6N.I.

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F6prosp. insertion by 2005 NI 17 (which amendment repealed (1.10.2009) by Companies Act 2006 (c. 46), s. 1295, Sch. 16; S.I. 2008/2860, art. 4, Sch. 1 Pt. 2)

[F7Entry and search of premisesN.I.

441 .F8(1) A justice of the peace may issue a warrant under this Article if satisfied by complaint on oath made by or on behalf of the Department, or by a person appointed or authorised to exercise powers under this Part, that there are reasonable grounds for believing that there are on any premises documents whose production has been required under this Part and which have not been produced in compliance with the requirement.

(2) A justice of the peace may also issue a warrant under this Article if satisfied by complaint on oath made by or on behalf of the Department, or by a person appointed or authorised to exercise powers under this Part—

(a)that there are reasonable grounds for believing that an offence has been committed for which the penalty on conviction on indictment is imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and that there are on any premises documents relating to whether the offence has been committed,

(b)that the Department, or the person so appointed or authorised, has power to require the production of the documents under this Part, and

(c)that there are reasonable grounds for believing that if production was so required the documents would not be produced but would be removed from the premises, hidden, tampered with or destroyed.

(3) A warrant under this Article shall authorise a constable, together with any other person named in it and any other constables—

(a)to enter the premises specified in the complaint, using such force as is reasonably necessary for the purpose;

(b)to search the premises and take possession of any documents appearing to be such documents as are mentioned in paragraph (1) or (2), as the case may be, or to take, in relation to any such documents, any other steps which may appear to be necessary for preserving them or preventing interference with them;

(c)to take copies of any such documents; and

(d)to require any person named in the warrant to provide an explanation of them or to state where they may be found.

(4) If in the case of a warrant under paragraph (2) the justice of the peace is satisfied by complaint on oath that there are reasonable grounds for believing that there are also on the premises other documents relevant to the investigation, the warrant shall also authorise the actions mentioned in paragraph (3) to be taken in relation to such documents.

(5) A warrant under this Article shall continue in force until the end of the period of one month beginning with the day on which it is issued.

(6) Any documents of which possession is taken under this Article may be retained—

(a)for a period of three months; or

(b)if within that period proceedings to which the documents are relevant are commenced against any person for any criminal offence, until the conclusion of those proceedings.

(7) Any person who intentionally obstructs the exercise of any rights conferred by a warrant issued under this Article or fails without reasonable excuse to comply with any requirement imposed in accordance with paragraph (3)(d) is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine.

Articles 680 (restriction on prosecutions), 680A (liability of individuals for corporate default) and 680B (criminal proceedings against unincorporated bodies) apply to this offence.

(8) For the purposes of Articles 442 and 444A (provision for security of information) documents obtained under this Article shall be treated as if they had been obtained under the provision of this Part under which their production was or, as the case may be, could have been required.

(9) In this Article “document” includes information recorded in any form.]

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F8mod. by SR 2004/307

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .F9N.I.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

F9prosp. insertion by 2005 NI 17 (which amendment repealed (1.10.2009) by Companies Act 2006 (c. 46), s. 1295, Sch. 16; S.I. 2008/2860, art. 4, Sch. 1 Pt. 2)

Provision for security of information obtainedN.I.

442 .F10—(1) No information or document relating to a[F11 company] which has been obtained under Article 440F11. . . shall, without the previous consent in writing of that[F11 company], be published or disclosed, except to a competent authority, unless the publication or disclosure is required—

[F12(a)with a view to the institution of or otherwise for the purposes of criminal proceedings;]

[F13(b)with a view to the institution of, or otherwise for the purposes of, any proceedings on an application under[F14 Article 9, 10 or 11 of the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002];]

[F11(c)for the purposes of enabling or assisting any inspector appointed under this Part,F15. . . , to discharge his functions;]

[F11(cc)for the purpose of enabling or assisting any person authorised to exercise powers[F15 Article 440 of this Order] or section 84 of the Companies Act 1989 to discharge his functions;]

[F15(cd)for the purposes of enabling or assisting a person appointed under—

(i)section 167 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (general investigations),

(ii)section 168 of that Act (investigations in particular cases),

(iii)section 169(1)(b) of that Act (investigation in support of overseas regulator),

(iv)section 284 of that Act (investigations into affairs of certain collective investment schemes), or

(v)regulations made as a result of section 262(2)(k) of that Act (investigations into open-ended investment companies),

to conduct an investigation to discharge his functions;]

[F12(d)for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Department to exercise any of its functions under this Order, the Insider Dealing Order[F11 Part III of the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1990, Part II or V of the Companies (No. 2) (Northern Ireland) Order 1990] orF16. . . ;

(dd)for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Secretary of State to exercise any functions conferred on him by the enactments relating to companies or insolvency, the Prevention of Fraud (Investments) Act 1958,[F17 or the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000,] or for the purpose of enabling or assisting any inspector appointed by him under the enactments relating to companies to discharge his functions;]

Sub.‐paras. (de), (df) rep. by SI 2001/3649

[F18(dg)for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Pensions Regulator to discharge the functions conferred on it by or by virtue of the Pension Schemes (Northern Ireland) Act 1993, the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, the Welfare Reform and Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 or the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 or any enactment in force in Great Britain corresponding to any of those provisions;

(dh)for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Board of the Pensions Protection Fund to discharge the functions conferred on it by or by virtue of Part III of the Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 or any provision in force in Great Britain corresponding to that Part.]

Sub-para. (e) rep. by 1990 NI 10

[F12[F19(f)for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Bank of England to discharge its functions;]

[F15(fa)for the purposes of enabling or assisting the Financial Services Authority ot discharge its functions under the legislation relating to friendly societies or to industrial and provident societies, under the Building Societies Act 1986, under Part 7 of the Companies Act 1989 or under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000;

(g)for the purposes of enabling or assisting a body corporate established in accordance with section 212(1) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (compensation scheme manager) to discharge its functions;

(h)for the purposes of any proceedings before the Financial Services Tribunal by virtue of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Transitional Provisions) (Partly Completed Procedures) Order 2001;

(ha)with a view to the institution of or otherwise for the purposes of proceedings before the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal;

(hb)for the purpose of enabling or assisting a recognised investment exchange or a recognised clearing house to discharge its functions as such;

(hc)for the purpose of enabling or assisting a body designated under section 326(1) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (designated professional bodies) to discharge its functions in its capacity as a body designated under that section;]

  • Sub.‐para. (i) rep. by SI 2001/3649

  • Sub.‐para. (j) rep. by SI 2001/1283

(k)for the purpose of enabling or assisting the official assignee to discharge his functions under the enactments relating to companies or bankruptcy;

(l)with a view to the institution of, or otherwise for the purposes of, any disciplinary proceedings relating to the exercise by a solicitor, auditor, accountant, valuer or actuary of his professional duties;

[F11(ll)with a view to the institution of, or otherwise for the purposes of, any disciplinary proceedings relating to the discharge by a public servant of his duties;]

[F11(m)for the purpose of enabling or assisting an overseas regulatory authority to exercise its regulatory functions.]]

[F20(n)for the purposes of proceedings before the Pensions Regulator Tribunal.]

[F12[F11(1A) In paragraph (1)—

[F15(aa)in sub-paragraph (hb) “recognised investment exchange” and “recognised clearing house” have the same meaning as in section 285 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000;]

(a)in sub-paragraph (ll) “public servant” means an officer or servant of the Crown or of any public or other authority for the time being designated for the purposes of that sub-paragraph by the Department by order;

(b)in sub-paragraph (m) “overseas regulatory authority” and “regulatory functions” have the same meaning as in section 82 of the Companies Act 1989.]

(1B) Subject to paragraph (1C), paragraph (1) shall not preclude publication or disclosure for the purpose of enabling or assisting any public or other authority for the time being[F11 designated for the purposes of this paragraph] by an order made by the Department to discharge any functions which are specified in the order.

(1C) An order under paragraph (1B) designating an authority for the purpose of that paragraph may—

(a)impose conditions subject to which the publication or disclosure of any information or document is permitted by that paragraph; and

(b)otherwise restrict the circumstances in which that paragraph permits publication or disclosure.

Para. (1D) rep. by SI 2001/3649]

(2) A person who publishes or discloses any information or document in contravention of this Article is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment or a fine, or both.

[F11Articles 680 (restriction on prosecutions), 680A (liability of individuals for corporate default) and 680B (criminal proceedings against unincorporated bodies) apply to this offence.]

[F11(3) For the purposes of this Article each of the following is a competent authority—

(a)the Department,

(b)an inspector appointed under this PartF15. . . ,

[F15(ba)a person appointed under—

(i)section 167 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (general investigations),

(ii)section 168 of that Act (investigations in particular cases),

(iii)section 169(1)(b) of that Act (investigation in support of overseas regulator),

(iv)section 284 of that Act (investigations into affairs of certain collective investment schemes), or

(v)regulations made as a result of section 262(2)(k) of that Act (investigations into open-ended investment companies),

to conduct an investigation;]

(c)any person authorised to exercise powers[F21 or appointed[F15 under Article 440 of this Order]] or section 84 of the Companies Act 1989,

(d)the Secretary of State,

(e)the Treasury,

(f)the Bank of England,

(g)the Lord Advocate,

(h)the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland and the Director of Public Prosecutions in England and Wales,

[F15(ha)the Financial Services Authority;]

(l)any constable,

(m)any procurator fiscal.

(3A) Any information which may by virtue of this Article be disclosed to a competent authority may be disclosed to any officer or servant of the authority.]

[F12(4) An order under[F11 paragraph (1A)(a) or (1B)] is subject to negative resolution.]

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F10mod. by SR 2004/307

F15SI 2001/3649

F16Words in art. 442(1)(d) repealed (29.4.1988 for certain purposes, otherwise prosp.) by Financial Services Act 1986 (c. 60), ss. 211(1), 212(3), Sch. 17 Pt. II; S.I. 1988/740, art. 2, Sch.

F17SI 2004/355

F21SI 1994/1696

Punishment for destroying, mutilating, etc. company documentsN.I.

443.—(1) [F22An officer of a companyF23. . . ] who—

(a)destroys, mutilates or falsifies, or is privy to the destruction, mutilation or falsification of a document affecting or relating to the[F22 company's] property or affairs, or

(b)makes, or is privy to the making of, a false entry in such a document,

is guilty of an offence, unless he proves that he had no intention to conceal the state of affairs of[F22 the company] or to defeat the law.

[F23(1A )F24 Paragraph (1) applies to an officer of an authorised insurance company which is not a body corporate as it applies to an officer of a company.]

(2) Such a person as is mentioned in paragraph (1) who fraudulently either parts with, alters or makes an omission in any such document or is privy to fraudulent parting with, fraudulent altering or fraudulent making of an omission in, any such document, is guilty of an offence.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this Article is liable to imprisonment or a fine, or both.

[F22(4) Articles 680 (restriction on prosecutions), 680A (liability of individuals for corporate default) and 680B (criminal proceedings against unincorporated bodies) apply to an offence under this Article.]

[F22(5) In this Article “document” includes information recorded in any form.]

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F23SI 2001/3649

F24mod. by SR 2004/307

Punishment for furnishing false informationN.I.

F25444 .F26  A person who, in purported compliance with a requirement imposed under Article 440 to provide an explanation or make a statement, provides or makes an explanation or statement which he knows to be false in a material particular or recklessly provides or makes an explanation or statement which is so false, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment or a fine, or both.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

F25prosp. subst. by 2005 NI 17

F26mod. by SR 2004/307

[F27Articles 680 (restriction on prosecutions), 680A (liability of individuals for corporate default) and 680B (criminal proceedings against unincorporated bodies) apply to this offence.

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[F28Disclosure of information by Department or inspectorN.I.

444A.F29(1 )F30 This Article applies to information obtained under Articles 427 to 439.

(2) The Department may, if it thinks fit—

(a)disclose any information to which this Article applies to any person to whom, or for any purpose for which, disclosure is permitted under Article 442, or

(b)authorise or require an inspector appointed under this Part to disclose such information to any such person or for any such purpose.

[F31(3) Information to which this Article applies may also be disclosed by an inspector appointed under this Part to—

(a)another inspector appointed under this Part;

(b)a person appointed under—

(i)section 167 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (general investigations),

(ii)section 168 of that Act (investigations in particular cases),

(iii)section 169(1)(b) of that Act (investigation in support of overseas regulator),

(iv)section 284 of that Act (investigations into affairs of certain collective investment schemes), or

(v)regulations made as a result of section 262(2)(k) of that Act (investigations into open-ended investment companies),

to conduct an investigation; or

(c)a person authorised to exercise powers under—

(i)Article 440 of this Order; or

(ii)section 84 of the Companies Act 1989 (exercise of powers to assist overseas regulatory authority).]

(4) Any information which may by virtue of paragraph (3) be disclosed to any person may be disclosed to any officer or servant of that person.

(5 )F30 The Department may, if it thinks fit, disclose any information obtained under Article 437 to—

(a)the company whose ownership was the subject of the investigation,

(b)any member of the company,

(c)any person whose conduct was investigated in the course of the investigation,

(d)the auditors of the company, or

(e)any person whose financial interests appear to the Department to be affected by matters covered by the investigation.F32]]

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

F29prosp. subst. by 2005 NI 17

F30mod. by SR 2004/307

F31SI 2001/3649

F32prosp. insertion by 2005 NI 17 (which amendment repealed (1.10.2009) by Companies Act 2006 (c. 46), s. 1295, Sch. 16; S.I. 2008/2860, art. 4, Sch. 1 Pt. 2)

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