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Understanding Provisions for Penalties on Resolution Professionals and Liquidators by IBBI and IPA

In the dynamic landscape of insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings, the roles of Resolution Professionals (RPs) and Liquidators are pivotal. These professionals are entrusted with the responsibility of navigating distressed companies through the insolvency process, ensuring fair treatment of creditors, and maximizing the value of assets.

However, with great power comes great responsibility, and failure to adhere to prescribed norms can attract penalties from regulatory authorities such as the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) and the Insolvency Professional Agency (IPA). This article delves into the provisions governing penalties on RPs and Liquidators and explores their implications.

Role of Resolution Professionals and Liquidators:

Resolution Professionals are appointed to oversee the insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). They act as intermediaries between the insolvent entity, its creditors, and the adjudicating authority. Their duties include managing the affairs of the corporate debtor, convening meetings of the committee of creditors, inviting resolution plans, and ensuring compliance with statutory requirements.

Liquidators, on the other hand, step in when the resolution process fails, and the corporate debtor is ordered to be liquidated. Their primary task is to realize the assets of the insolvent company, distribute proceeds among creditors in accordance with the priority of claims, and ultimately dissolve the company.

Enforcement Mechanisms: Section 220 of the IBC

Section 220 of the IBC empowers IBBI to investigate complaints of misconduct against insolvency professionals and take disciplinary action where necessary. Through its adjudicating authority, IBBI conducts inquiries and investigations into alleged violations, ensuring due process and procedural fairness in enforcement proceedings. This section provides the legal framework for the enforcement of penalties on RPs and Liquidators for non-compliance and professional misconduct.

Provisions for Penalties:

The IBBI, empowered by the IBC, has the authority to impose penalties on RPs and Liquidators for various transgressions. Similarly, the IPA, as a self-regulatory body for insolvency professionals, also plays a role in disciplinary actions.

Penalties under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)


  • Section 208 of the IBC mandates compliance with its provisions, regulations, and guidelines issued by the IBBI.
  • Failure to adhere to these norms can lead to penalties.
  • Non-compliance may include:
    • Failure to submit requisite reports on time
    • Inadequate disclosure of information
    • Violation of ethical standards

Code of Conduct:

  • Section 181 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, mandates compliance with the IPA's code of conduct for IPs, including RPs and Liquidators.
  • Violation of this code, such as acts detrimental to stakeholders' interests, failure to maintain independence and integrity, or professional misconduct, can attract penalties.


  • Section 208(2)(a) of the IBC defines misconduct as any act or omission by RPs or Liquidators that contravenes the specified code of conduct or is prejudicial to the interest of creditors or the insolvency process.
  • This can range from financial impropriety to negligence in performing duties.

Contravention of Duties:

  • RPs and Liquidators are bestowed with specific duties delineated in the IBC, under Sections 25 and 35, respectively.
  • Any contravention of these duties, such as mismanagement of corporate affairs or failure to realize assets in a timely manner, may attract penalties from both the IBBI and the IPA.

False Representation:

  • Section 208(2)(e) of the IBC prohibits providing false or misleading information, either intentionally or negligently, in documents submitted to the IBBI or during the insolvency process.
  • Such actions can result in penalties.

Lack of Professionalism:

  • Maintaining the highest standards of professionalism is imperative for RPs and Liquidators.
  • Any conduct deemed unprofessional, such as conflict of interest, breach of confidentiality, or engaging in activities detrimental to the integrity of the profession, may lead to penalties.

Implications and Enforcement:
Penalties imposed by the IBBI or IPA can range from monetary fines to suspension or cancellation of registration, effectively barring the erring professional from practicing as an insolvency professional. The severity of the penalty depends on the gravity of the offense and may also consider factors such as the individual's past record and cooperation during investigations.

Enforcement mechanisms include inquiries conducted by the IBBI or IPA, wherein the accused professional is given an opportunity to present their case. These inquiries are conducted in a quasi-judicial manner, ensuring principles of natural justice are upheld. Upon finding the professional guilty, the regulatory authority may levy penalties as deemed fit.

Challenges to the Provisions for Penalties on RP's and Liquidators:

  • Ambiguity in Regulatory Provisions:
    • Lack of clarity in regulatory provisions leads to inconsistent enforcement.
    • Vague criteria for determining misconduct result in varied interpretations.
  • Limited Enforcement Capacity:
    • Insufficient resources and expertise hinder timely investigation and adjudication.
    • Delays in disciplinary actions occur due to inadequate enforcement capacity.
  • Lack of Transparency:
    • Opacity in the disciplinary process leads to perceptions of bias.
    • Lack of transparency undermines stakeholder trust in regulatory actions.
  • Legal Complexity and Lengthy Adjudication Process:
    • Complex legal proceedings prolong resolution and enforcement.
    • Lengthy adjudication processes contribute to delays in disciplinary actions.
  • Resistance to Regulatory Oversight:
    • Some professionals resist compliance, undermining enforcement efforts.
    • Circumvention of regulations poses challenges to effective enforcement.


The provisions for penalties on RPs and Liquidators by the IBBI and IPA serve as a deterrent against malpractice and non-compliance, thereby safeguarding the integrity and efficacy of the insolvency resolution and liquidation processes. It is incumbent upon insolvency professionals to uphold the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in carrying out their duties, thereby fostering trust and confidence in the insolvency regime. 

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