ESQUIRE ELECTRONICS Vs. NETHERLANDS INDIA COMMUNICATIONS ENTERPRISES LTD
NATIONAL COMPANY LAW TRIBUNAL
Netherlands India Communications Enterprises Ltd
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M.M. Kumar, President -
(1.)It is a well settled principle of law that law comes to the rescue of those who are vigilant about their rights. For measuring the extent of vigilance, the legislature has provided period of limitation under the Limitation Act, 1963 (for brevity, 'Limitation Act.'). The Limitation Act incorporated by reference and has been applied to matters concerning companies by Section 433 of the Companies Act, 2013 (for brevity, '2013 Act'). It is pertinent to first notice Section 433 of 2013 Act which reads as follows:
"433 - The provisions of the Limitation Act, 1963 (36 of 1963) shall, as far as may be, apply to proceedings or appeals before the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal, as the case may be,"
(2.)A perusal of the aforesaid provision makes it patent that the Limitation Act would apply to the proceedings or appeals before the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal. The question then is, what would be the period of limitation in cases where the petitioner has complained of illegal induction of respondents as directors and wrongful reduction of their share capital with the allegations against the respondents of grabbing majority shareholding unfairly as an act of oppression. It appears that there is no specific provision made either in the substantive section of the Limitation Act or in the Articles as per the Schedule. A close scanning of the schedule, however, reveals that Articles 1-112 deal with various types of suits viz., suits relating to accounts where period of limitation is three years, suits relating to contracts where again the period of limitation is three year; suits relating to declarations, suits relating to immovable properties, suits relating to movable properties, suits relating to Trust and Trust property and miscellaneous matters. In most of the cases, the period of limitation is three years except the suit for possession of a hereditary office etc (from Articles 107 to 110) where the period of limitation prescribed is 12 years or Articles 111 and 112 where the period prescribed is 30 years.
(3.)It appears that the matters concerning illegal removal or induction of directors has not been specifically dealt with in any of the articles. It also becomes obvious that no period of limitation has been provided for illegal reduction of shareholding with malafide intention to acquire majority shareholding. In these circumstances, the question is which provision of the Limitation Act would apply. The answer is found in Article 113 which deals with the subject of suits for which there is no prescribed period of limitation. The aforesaid provision reads as below:-
" PART X - SUIT FOR WHICH THERE IS NO PRESCRIBED PERIOD
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