The Companies Act, 2013 vide its 2nd proviso to section 14(1) provides that conversion of public company into private company shall take only with the approval of the Tribunal which shall make such order as it may deem fit.
Now Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has clarified vide its circular no. 18 dated 11th June, 2014 that the provisions of section 14(1) and (2) having not been notified so far, the corresponding provisions of Companies Act, 1956 shall apply to such conversion of public company into private company. The Government has vide its notification of 10th July 2012 delegated such approval powers to the Registrar of Companies and such delegations are still in force.
So this means that public companies which want to convert themselves into private companies can do so with the approval of the Registrar of companies until the section 14(1) and (2) of the 2013 is notified.
With the increase in compliance requirements for public companies especially with respect to key managerial personnel, audit committee, managing director appointment and remuneration etc. public companies have been given the leeway to convert themselves into a private company while the 1956 provisions are still in force.
The relevant circular is available at