NA passes Companies Appointment of Legal Advisors bill

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ISLAMABAD Feb 1 (APP): The National Assembly Wednesday
passed the Companies Appointment of Legal Advisors (Amendment) Act 2016 to enable Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to take timely cognizance of violation of this act.
The bill will also enable SECP to take cognizance of violation
of rules and regulations made there under and impose penalties besides giving reprieve to small companies from the mandatory requirement of appointing legal advisors.
The bill adopted by the House unanimously provides that every
legal advisor appointed by a company shall be paid a retainer which
shall not be less than Rs 5000 per mensum or such higher amount as
may be notified by the federal government in the official gazette.
This law also proposes that any person who contravenes any
provision of this act or rules or regulations made there under shall
be guilty of an offense and liable to a penalty amounting to Rs 100,000 in case of an individual including directors and up to Rs 200,000 in case of a company.
The amount of penalty imposed under this law shall be payable
to the Commission and any person aggrieved by the order of the Commission or officer authorized in this behalf may refer an appeal to Appellate Bench of the Commission.
Furthermore, the Commission, before adjudication of contravention or, or failure in complying with, any provision of this act, rules or regulations, shall give show cause notice and reasonable opportunity being heard to the company or person.
The bill also provides that whoever, in any return or
document, required by or for the purpose of any of the provisions of
this Act, willfully makes a statement false in any material
particular, knowing it to be false, shall be punishable with
imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or fine which
may extend to Rs 200,000 or both.