Legal Thesaurus

Pari passu

At an equal rate or pace.

In exercising the discretion under Section 227(2) of 1913 Companies Act the Court must have in mind the fundamental principle that the assets of the company shall be, so far as is possible and subject to certain well-recognised exceptions distributed pari passu between the creditors, and, subject as aforesaid, no creditor shall obtain an advantage over any other creditor. [AIR 1942 All 141]. [Section 536, Companies Act, 1956] .

The Companies Act also authorizes the company to take power in their regulations (articles) to alter that maximum amount. [(1909) 1 KB 677 at p. 685]. The memorandum is only required to state the amount of the share capital and its division into shares of a fixed amount. In other respects, the rights of the members in respect of their shares, e.g., whether the shares shall be divided into different classes with different rights, are matters to be regulated by the articles rather than by the memorandum; and, in the absence of an express provision in the memorandum that the shares are all to rank pari passu, no such condition is to be implied, but the articles either as originally framed or as altered by special resolution can authorize the issue of preference shares. (1897) 1 Ch 361, (Andrews v. Gas Meter Co.), followed by the Privy Council in Campbell v. Rofe, 1933 AC 91 (appeal from Australia). [Section 13, Companies Act, 1956].

The provision that the assets of the company in voluntary liquidation shall be applied in satisfaction of its liabilities pari passu is intended for the guidance of the private liquidator and does not control the court’s power to entertain applications for execution against the assets of the company to the detriment of other creditors. [Section 511, Companies Act, 1956].
In a voluntary winding-up, the creditors are to be paid pari passu, and, therefore, the court would in general, restrain actions and proceedings against the company after voluntary winding-up commenced. [Palmer, Vol. II, p. 865; Buckley, p. 334]. [Section 442, Companies Act, 1956].

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