BVI Business Companies Act, 2004
INVESTIGATION OF COMPANIES
222. In sections 223 to 228, “inspector” means an inspector appointed by an order made under section 223(2).
223. (1) A member or the Registrar may apply to the Court ex parte or upon such notice as the Court may require, for an order directing that an investigation be made of the company and any of its affiliated companies.
(2) If, upon an application under subsection (1), it appears to the Court that
(a) the business of the company or any of its affiliates is or has been carried on with intent to defraud any person;
(b) the company or any of its affiliates was formed for a fraudulent or unlawful purpose or is to be dissolved for a fraudulent or unlawful purpose; or
(c) persons concerned with the incorporation, business or affairs of the company or any of its affiliates have in connection therewith acted fraudulently or dishonestly;
the Court may make any order it thinks fit with respect to an investigation of the company and any of its affiliated companies by an inspector, who may be the Registrar.
(3) If a member makes an application under subsection (1), he shall give the Registrar reasonable notice of it, and the Registrar is entitled to appear and be heard at the hearing of the application.
(4) The Regulations may define an affiliated company for the purposes of this Part.
(5) An applicant under this section shall not be required to give security for costs.
224. (1) An order made under section 223(2) shall include an order appointing an inspector to investigate the company and an order fixing the inspector’s remuneration.
(2) The Court may, at any time, make any order it considers appropriate with respect to the investigation, including but not limited to making any one or more of the following orders, that is to
(a) replace the inspector;
(b) determine the notice to be given to any interested person, or dispense with notice to any person;
(c) authorise the inspector to enter any premises in which the Court is satisfied there might be relevant information, and to examine anything, and to make copies of any documents or records, found on the premises;
(d) require any person to produce documents or records to the inspector;
(e) authorise the inspector to conduct a hearing, administer oaths or affirmations and examine any person upon oath or affirmation, and prescribe rules for the conduct of the hearing;
(f) require any person to attend a hearing conducted by the inspector and to give evidence upon oath or affirmation;
(g) give directions to the inspector or any interested person on any matter arising in the investigation;
(h) require the inspector to make an interim or final report to the Court;
(i) determine whether a report of the inspector should be published, and, if so, order the Registrar to publish the report in whole or in part, or to send copies to any person the Court designates;
(j) require an inspector to discontinue an investigation; or
(k) require the company to pay the costs of the investigation in part or in full.
(3) The inspector shall file a copy of every report he makes under this section.
(4) A report received by the Registrar under subsection (3) shall not be disclosed to any person other than in accordance with an order of the Court made under subsection (2)(i).
225. An inspector
(a) has the powers set out in the order appointing him; and
(b) shall upon request produce to an interested person a copy of the order.
226. (1) An application under this Part and any subsequent proceedings, including applications for directions in respect of any matter arising in the investigation, shall be heard in camera unless the Court orders otherwise.
(2) A person whose conduct is being investigated or who is being examined at a hearing conducted by an inspector under this Part may appear or be heard at the hearing and has a right to be represented by a legal practitioner appointed by him for the purpose.
(3) No person shall publish anything relating to any proceedings under this Part except with the authorisation of the Court.
227. No person is excused from attending and giving evidence and producing documents and records to an inspector appointed by the Court under this Part by reason only that the evidence tends to incriminate that person or subject him to any proceeding or penalty, but the evidence may not be used or received against him in any proceeding thereafter instituted against him, other than a prosecution for perjury in giving the evidence.
228. (1) An oral or written statement or report made by an inspector or any other person in an investigation under this Part has absolute privilege.
(2) Nothing in this Part affects the legal privilege that exists in respect of a legal practitioner and his client.