33. Liability in case of company in liquidation.
(1) Every person
(a) who is a liquidator of any company which is being wound up whether under the orders of a court or otherwise; or
(b) who has been appointed the receiver of any assets of a company (hereinafter referred to as the "liquidator"),
shall, within thirty days after he has become such liquidator, give notice of his appointment as such to the Commissioner.
(2) The Commissioner shall, after making such inquiries or calling for such information as he may deem fit, notify the liquidator within three months from the date on which he received notice of the appointment of the liquidator, the amount which, in the opinion of the Commissioner, would be sufficient to provide for any tax (including any penalty) which is then, or is likely thereafter to become, payable by the company.
(3) The liquidator shall not part with any of the assets of the company or the properties in his hand until he has been notified by the Commissioner under sub-section (2) and on being so notified, the liquidator shall set aside an amount equal to the amount notified and, until he so sets aside such amount, he shall not part with any of the assets of the company or the properties in his hand:
Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall debar the liquidator from parting with such assets or properties in compliance with any order of a court or for the purpose of the payment of the tax and penalty, if any, payable by the company under this Act or for making any payment to secured creditors whose debts are entitled under law to priority of payment over debts due to Government on the date of liquidation or for meeting such costs and expenses of the winding up of the company as are in the opinion of the Commissioner reasonable.
(4) If the liquidator fails to give notice in accordance with sub-section (1) or fails to set aside the amount as required by sub-section (3) or parts with any assets of the company or the properties in his hand in contravention of the provisions of that sub-section, he shall be personally liable for the payment of the tax and penalty, if any, which the company would be liable to pay under this Act:
Provided that if the amount of any tax and penalty, if any, payable by the company is notified undersub-section (2), the personal liability of the liquidator under this sub-section shall be to the extent of such amount.
(5) Where there are more liquidators than one, the obligations and liabilities attached to the liquidator under this section shall attach to all the liquidators jointly and severally.
(6) When any private company is wound up and any tax and penalty, if any, assessed under this Act on the company for any period, whether before or in the course of or after its liquidation, cannot be recovered, then every person who was director of the private company at any time during the period for which the tax is due, shall be jointly and severally liable for the payment of such tax and penalty, if any, unless he proves to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that non-recovery cannot be attributed to any gross neglect, misfeasance or breach of duty on his part in relation to the affairs of the company.
(7) The provisions of this section shall have effect notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force.
(8) For the purposes of this section, the expressions "company" and "private company" shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them under clauses (i) and (iii) of sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956).