National

We accept info ‘on good faith’: UK Companies House

Vidya Ram London | Updated on January 22, 2018

Whether or not Rahul Gandhi incorrectly stated his citizenship on records supplied to Companies House in the UK, it is highly unlikely that any further action will be taken.

Companies House, the body that incorporates, dissolves, and registers the information of limited companies in the UK, accepts information provided to them “on good faith,” a spokesperson for the company told BusinessLine on Thursday.

‘Errors do creep in’

If a company had been dissolved for a number of years – as BackOps Limited, the private company set up by Rahul Gandhi and Ulrik McKnight in 2003 and dissolved in 2009 –had been, there are no routes for any action, even if information had been wrongly provided. “There would be no avenues to go down, as you can’t file any forms about it or make any amendments,” said the spokesperson, who said that errors did creep into the system while people were filing.

“We take the information supplied to us on good faith and we don’t question it unless there is a formal complaint,” they said. “We don’t ask for any proof or identification or nationality.”

Controversy has erupted around the Congress Vice-President’s BPO company, which had registered offices in the English city of Winchester, with Gandhi registered as a director and secretary and McKnight registered as a director. Both were registered at an address in the leafy London borough of Hampstead.

The Companies House spokesperson said that to qualify as the directors’ address it would either have to be a registered office, or the person or people would have to be resident there.

In the incorporation document Gandhi is listed as an Indian citizen, and McKnight as an American. According to the annual return submitted in 2004, the form, which mostly has printed answers at one point Gandhi’s nationality printed as “British” is crossed out and submitted by hand as “Indian”.

An annual return submitted in 2006 refers to Gandhi as “British”. He owned 65 per cent of the shareholding and McKnight 35 per cent. While the company generated revenues, over the years it appeared to have high administrative costs, generating small profits of 6,042 pounds, 8,066 pounds and 1,923 pounds in the years ending in March 2004, 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Published on November 19, 2015

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