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Regulatory Oversight and Fairness: The Supreme Court's Ruling on Company Name Restoration


The recent judgment from the Hon’ble Supreme Court (‘SC’) in the case of R. P. Casting (P.) Ltd. v. Registrar of Companies, NCT of Delhi & Haryana[i], elucidated a crucial matter regarding the restoration of a company’s name in the register of companies (‘Register’) under the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 (‘Act’). The central issue addressed by the SC pertained to the authority and discretion vested in the Registrar of Companies (‘ROC’) under s. 248 of the Act to strike off the name of a company from the register for non-compliance with statutory requirements. Subsequently, it analysed the process and conditions for restoring such names upon appeal under s. 252 of the Act. This case delves into the balance between regulatory enforcement and procedural fairness, particularly examining the circumstances under which a company’s name may be removed and the grounds upon which restoration may be granted.


  • The Appellant’s directors were alleged to have been negligent in their duties by failing to adhere to the statutory obligations outlined in the Act. These included the timely filing of annual returns and responding to notices issued under s. 248(1) of the Act. Accordingly, the ROC passed an order for the removal of the Appellant's name from the Register.

  • The Appellant moved an application under s. 252(3) of the Act, seeking restoration of its name in the Register. However, NCLT dismissed the application. This decision was subsequently affirmed by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (‘NCLAT’), leading to an appeal to the SC by the Appellant for the restoration of its name.


  • The SC set aside the decisions passed by the NCLT and the NCLAT and directed the restoration of the name of the Appellant in the Register. This decision was based on the finding that the Appellant was indeed in existence and operational during the relevant period. The SC emphasized that the removal of the Appellant’s name by the ROC was unsustainable, given the absence of grounds justifying such action.

  • The central issue in the case revolved around the authority vested in the ROC to strike off the name of a company from the Register for non-compliance with statutory requirements. The SC affirmed the authority of the ROC to pass orders for the removal of company names under s. 248 of the Act, acknowledging that such action could be taken when companies failed to comply with legal obligations such as filing annual returns and responding to notices under s. 248(1) of the Act. However, the SC emphasized the necessity of exercising this power judiciously, ensuring procedural fairness and adherence to principles of natural justice.

  • Despite dissolution, a company remains entitled to dues and payments under s. 250 of the Act, the SC held that the directors of the Appellant were negligent in their duties under the Act. Consequently, the SC imposed a cost of Rs. 5,00,000 on the Appellant for non-compliance, payable to the ROC within 60 days, and made the restoration of the company’s name subject to such payment.

  • The SC further clarified the procedural aspects concerning the restoration of company names under s. 252 of the Act. It affirmed the appeal process and the NCLT’s discretion to order restoration if it found the removal unjustified based on the evidence presented.

  • In addition, the SC addressed the company’s liability for a compounding fee for its failure to adhere to statutory provisions. It authorized the ROC to initiate appropriate proceedings for the compounding fee, highlighting the company’s obligation to comply with statutory requirements.


In its deliberation, the SC critically scrutinized the ROC’s authority to strike off company names under the Act. The SC emphasized the necessity for the ROC to exercise this power judiciously, ensuring that strike-offs are warranted and justified, thereby preventing arbitrary or unfair removals from the Register. This judicial scrutiny serves to safeguard the interests of companies and stakeholders while maintaining regulatory integrity. By questioning the ROC’s authority and laying down the principle that such actions should be undertaken with careful consideration, the SC aims to prevent arbitrary or unfair removals from the Register. Additionally, the SC’s finding of directorial negligence highlights the accountability of company directors in ensuring compliance with statutory obligations, setting a precedent for directorial duties and liabilities under the statutory framework.

End Note

[i] [2024] 161 162 (SC) [dated: 12.03.2024]

Authored by Muskaan Jain, Intern at Metalegal Advocates. The views expressed are personal and do not constitute legal opinion.


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