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Companies (Consolidation) Act 1908

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Extraordinary Powers of Court

174Power to summon persons suspected of having property of company

(1)The court may, after it has made a winding-up-order, summon before it any officer of the company or person known or suspected to have in his possession any property of the company or supposed to be indebted to the company, or any person whom the court deems capable of giving information concerning the trade, dealings, affairs, or property of the company.

(2)The court may examine him on oath concerning the same, either by word of mouth or on written interrogatories, and may reduce his answers to writing and require him to sign them.

(3)The court may require him to produce any books and papers in his custody or power relating to the company ; but, where he claims any lien on books or papers produced by him, the production shall be without prejudice to that lien, and the court shall have jurisdiction in the winding up to determine all questions relating to that lien.

(4)If any person so summoned, after being tendered a reasonable sum for his expenses, refuses to come before the court at the time appointed, not having a lawful impediment (made known to the court at the time of its sitting, and allowed by it), the court may cause him to be apprehended, and brought before the court for examination.

175Power in England to order public examination of promoters, directors, &c

(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 referee, 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.

176Power to arrest absconding contributory

The court, at anytime either before or after making a winding-up order, on proof of probable cause for believing that a contributory is about to quit the United Kingdom, or otherwise to abscond, or to remove or conceal any of his property for the purpose of evading payment of calls, or of avoiding examination respecting the affairs of the company, may cause the contributory to be arrested, and his books and papers and moveable personal property to be seized, and him and them to be safely kept until such time as the court may order.

177Powers of court cumulative

Any powers by this Act conferred on the court shall be in addition to and not in restriction of any existing powers of instituting proceedings against any contributory or debtor of the company, or the estate of any contributory or debtor, for the recovery of any call or other sums.

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