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Sec 20 (Offences) & Sec 21 (Offences by Companies) Depositories Act 1996

Sections 20 and 21 under Chapter V (Penalty) of the Depositories Act 1996 ⦂‒

Section 20. Offences.—

(1) Without prejudice to any award of penalty by the adjudicating officer under this Act, if any person contravenes or attempts to contravene or abets the contravention of the provisions of this Act or of any rules or regulations or bye-laws made thereunder, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, which may extend to twenty-five crore rupees, or with both.

(2) If any person fails to pay the penalty imposed by the adjudicating officer or fails to comply with any of his directions or orders, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one month but which may extend to ten years, or with fine, which may extend to twenty-five crore rupees, or with both.❞


Section 21. Offences by companies.—

(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:

 Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment provided in this Act, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this section,—
 (a) “company” means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and
 (b) “director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.❞



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Notes:

The Depositories Act 1996 was amended by the:
- Depositories Related Laws (Amendment) Act, 1997 (Act No. 08 of 1997);
- Securities Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 1999 (Act No. 32 of 1999);
- Securities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2004 (Act No. 01 of 2005);
- Securities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2014 (Act No. 27 of 2014);
- Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Act, 2016 (Act No. 44 of 2016);
- Finance Act, 2017 (Act No. 07 of 2017).

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