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November 3, 2020

No Territorial Jurisdiction Of Delhi High Court Over Order Passed By ROC, Chennai

Author: Andri Shukla

In the matter of Money Market Services (India) Private Ltd. v. Union of India (represented through the Secretary Ministry of Corporate Affairs) [W.P.(C) 5723/2020], a Single Judge [Prathiba M. Singh, J.] of the High Court of Delhi vide judgement dated August 27, 2020, dismissed the petition, challenging the striking off order passed by the Registrar of Companies (“ROC”), Chennai, due to lack of territorial jurisdiction.

The Petitioner challenged the order passed by the ROC in Chennai, striking off the name of the Petitioner form the Register of Companies. The petition has been disputed by the Respondent on the ground of lack of territorial jurisdiction. The Petitioner’s counsel relied on the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (“SFIO”) investigation, ordered under Section 212 of the Companies Act, 2013 by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Delhi to claim jury diction in Delhi.

The Respondent’s counsel relied on three precedents of the High Court and argued that since the striking off order was passed by the ROC, Chennai, the territorial jurisdiction cannot vest in Delhi.

The Court observed that the grievance of Petitioner is not against SFIO investigation but against the striking off order passed by ROC, Chennai and therefore held that “..the cause of action arose due to the act of the ROC in Chennai and not the Central Government’s act of directing the SFIO investigation….The mere fact that the Central Government may have directed the SFIO investigation, would not vest jurisdiction in this Court, especially when the specific order impugned in this case has been passed by the ROC in Chennai.”

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