Applying for or Possessing more than one DIN — is a Criminal Offence

Faced with the fact that she had made multiple applications for a director identification number (DIN), a violation, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has sought to be let off by paying a fine for what she described as “inadvertent mistakes which were unintentional”.

A DIN is like the number of a passport or a driving licence and is meant for identification of directorships in companies.

In a letter to the Corporate Affairs Ministry, Priyanka, daughter of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, admitted to having made multiple DIN applications. She has now applied for compounding of these to the Registrar of Companies concerned.

The Corporate Affairs Ministry has informed senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, who had lodged a criminal complaint against Priyanka for legal breach on the DIN issue, about the development.

Legal pundits term the issue a violation of the erstwhile company law — Companies Act, 1956 — as this legislation prohibits an individual from applying, obtaining or possessing more than one DIN. Such a default — applying for or possessing more than one DIN — is a criminal offence, inviting six months’ imprisonment and a fine of ?50,000. Swamy had also made a criminal complaint against Karti Chidambaram, son of outgoing Finance Minister P Chidambaram, for possessing multiple DINs.

In Chidambaram’s case, the Ministry’s regional director (North) has been asked to seek an explanation.

Karti Chidambaram has been given 15 days, after which action will be decided in the light of his explanation, said a Corporate Affairs Ministry letter to Swamy.

The letter also said that the matter had been examined and that the case, prima facie, attracts Section 266A of the Companies Act, 1956. 

Business Line, New Delhi, 20-05-2014

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