In the year 2019, Ministry of Corporate Affairs has launched new monitoring system – ‘Ministry of Corporate Affairs-Compliance Monitoring System’ (‘MCA-CMS’), which is a step taken by the MCA towards the adoption of Artificial Intelligence and to deal with matters of non-compliance more effectively and expediently.

In the Company Law Committee Report dated 18th November, 2019, wherein lot of changes have been introduced to enhance the concept of in-house Adjudication Mechanism, above monitoring system will play an effective role.

It is pertinent to note here that MCA has de-criminalized many provisions in the Companies Act, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as ‘2013 Act’) and brought many of offences under the category of ‘civil offence’ only, with an intent to resolve cases of less critical nature in more expedient manner. This will allow court/tribunals to devote their valuable time for matters of critical nature only.

Now, it has been a matter of doubt that as to how to ascertain whether any particular offence can be adjudicated or not, or which offence can be adjudicated and which can be compounded or go into prosecution.

In this article we will be discussing as to how to recognize if any offence or default can be adjudicated or not, or has to undergo prosecution/compounding by understanding the concept of ‘Adjudication’ and ‘Compounding of Offences’, meaning of phrases ‘Liable to Penalty’ and ‘Punishable with fine’ used under the 2013 Act, and will be concluding by explaining on how we shall deal with notices issued by MCA-CMS in respect to non-compliance of section 96 and 204 of the 2013 Act.

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[2020] 116 66 (Article)

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