Category Archives: Company Secretary

Posts written on the Provisions related to Company Secretaries under various laws

Corporate Law – Post Election

Unless a general election is crucial there is no purpose to conduct such a huge exercise. The best part of democracy is to give the opportunity for new ideas. Without going to any political prediction we will discuss possible post-election scenario after 23rd May 2019. This may help us to be prepared for the volatility of corporate law in India.

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Rechristening the ICSI

Like Olympics, world cups and leap year, another thing sure to happen is some party talk around rechristening the ICSI. Usually, this informally happens just before leap year for a single reason already in public. This event occasionally gets formal. There are similar reasons used every time for acceptance and refusal of the exercise. Most company secretaries with humble backgrounds have an issue with term “secretary” and other with restrictive term “company”.

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ICSI National Convention 2017

I love ICSI National Conventions for knowledge, networking and new places. This was the turn of Southern India regional office of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India to host this yearly event. ICSI National Convention 2017 was held in Kazhakoottam (कष़ऽक्कूट्टम), a suburb of state capital Thiruvananthapuram. This time about 1200 attained the National Convention which is claimed to be the second highest turnaround for ICSI National Convention. This high turnaround certainly puts pressure on organizers but attendance in technical sessions was reduced to less than 50% of total delegates, thanks to Kerala and Kerala Tourism. Kerala Tourism is one of most proactive state tourism department/company in India.

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‘Withdrawal’ of Secretarial Standards 1 & 2

In post “Technical Fault in issuance of Secretarial Standards” posted long ago, I humbly made certain observations on notifications of two Secretarial Standards which was approved by Central Government and specified by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). A surprise notification of withdrawal published on 17th august 2017 come in support of my prima facie views. This withdrawal is effective with effect from 30th September 2017. Here, a discussion.

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Bye – Bye Digital Signature Certificates!!

Inter – ministerial task force on secured authentication of legal documents actively discussing retina signatures which next logical step after introduction of biometric identification system in India. Indian mainstream media undermined these reports amid its stir on recent development in Uttar Pradesh.

Under critically proactive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi an inter-ministerial task force was formed just after demonetization to consider digital cash, digital contracts and digitization of legal and court documents. The task force includes highly places officers of Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Law & Justice, Ministry of Information Technology, Unique Identification Authority of India, Ministry of Health & Family welfare. Highly placed sources suggest that a prime intelligence agency of nation is also involved and getting help from an agency of a friendly foreign nation.

Retina signature is a unique technique developed by a research group consist of countries premier medical colleges and information technology universities. This is quite advance technique user shall sign just showing his retina to camera attached to his laptop, mobile or desktop. This futuristic system shall replace token based digital signature certificate and can be used anytime anywhere by anybody. Though, it will be restricted presently for human need, this technique is so advance that it can be even be used by advance animals using their retina. Retina signature will eradicate need for renewal of digital signature certificates. This technology provides lifelong free signatures subject to good health and maintenance of retina. Any kind of file type may be signed using retina signature.

Retina is third and inner coat of eye which is a light-sensitive layer of tissue. The unique structure of the blood vessels in the retina has been used for biometric identification. Changes in the retinal microcirculation are seen with aging, exposure to air pollution and may indicate cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and atherosclerosis.

In proposed methodology, a user shall place his eyes before camera of his mobile or laptop when a document to be signed should be opened before him on same device. It is also possible to sign a documents placed in another device. The retina signature shall capture bio-metrics of retina, system time, internet protocol address and geo-positioning of signatory. Once, signed there shall be no removal of signature from the documents shall be possible unless authorized by competent authority, which shall be a civil judge.

As usual, human right activists are planning to oppose the move. Activists argue that scrupulous elements and police authorities may get retina signature using force and other means. However, government authority denies any such possibilities. The task force working on modalities to make it happened in case blind, mentally challenged and otherwise unhealthy people.

A copy of relevant study document may be assessed here on or after 1st April.


contract or agreement

In company law, there is interchangeable use of term contract and agreement. Though, they does not refer to same things. There is another term arrangement which also relevant in this context but not relevant to present post, here.

Agreement is an action of being agree. A contract is more than that.

“All contracts are agreements but all agreements are not contract.”

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Which Bank for your company?

Most young entrepreneur has this question in mind – which is suitable bank for my company or firm.

Most banks are here to do business and have physical and online services. Mindset of banker may affect business of their clients. They all have their target clients – you must be one of target client. A software company may not have good business relation with regional rural banks. Likewise a personal banking branch may not serve as good as corporate banking branch.

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Accommodation Entry of Professional Misconduct

Recently, an order of honorable Punjab and Haryana High Court was point of discussion and hot debate in professional circle in India. In the order, the High Court direct that name of respondent Vivek Kapoor be removed from the register of members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India for life.

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Redefining role of Professional Bodies

A policy document, copy of which is available, say that Ministry of Corporate Affairs is planning to reorganise role of three corporate bodies namely; Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICSI), Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) and Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI). After introduction of National Financial Regulatory Authority (NFRA) under the Companies Act, 2013, there was long-standing speculation about the role of these three professional bodies. This policy document, which is in nascent stage, say all policies and standard making powers shall vast in either in the National Financial Regulatory Authority (NFRA) or some other body with broader mandate. Regulatory role of these three bodies is also under public discussion after concerns raised by parliamentarians and top foreign investors.

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Announcement: ICSI – CCGRT Research Circle Brain Storming on Indian Company Law

[This announcement is posted on request of ICSI – CCGRT. This is researched based program and I was mentor of one of the group in its original version. – Aishwarya Mohan Gahrana]

The Trajectory

In its endeavor to provide impetus to research activities and taking it to the zenith, CCGRT is organizing the aforesaid program to explore into various Sections and Critical Aspects of Companies Act, 2013 and to emerge with a literature that will be incredible and an exemplar in Indian Corporate Law.

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Letter to FM regarding Presumptive Income Scheme

Dear Finance Minister,

Regarding – Presumptive Income Scheme – Income from Profession

In present Budget 2016 – 17, you rightly made a proposal for a presumptive Income Scheme by introduction of Section 44ADA in the Income Tax Act, 1962. This proposal is based on recommendations of “Income Tax Simplification Committee” constituted by Central Government under the chairmanship of Justice R. V. Easwar, Former Judge of the Delhi High Court and Former President of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.

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Presumptive taxation scheme for persons having income from profession

The simplified presumptive taxation scheme is extended to persons earning professional income. According to government, this scheme will help to rationalize the presumptive taxation scheme and to reduce the compliance burden of the small tax payers having income from profession and to facilitate the ease of doing business.

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On 1st February 2016, Ministry of Corporate Affairs uploaded the report of Companies Law Committee on its website here. In this post, I will discuss recommendations which might affect Company Secretaries.

Before reading further, I would like to disclose that I was part of two groups; Task Force on Companies Law and Research Group on Companies Law constituted by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. All view here are personal and not of these groups or ICSI.

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Today, I am posting an article posted earlier on my Hindi Blog which was criticized just because it made public a view many time reflected by Industry but various interest groups do not want to debate; and certainly not a correction. But, this need debate. I invite views of readers in comment section given after the post. Though, this post took example of Company Secretaries, many other professions and vocations are in similar situation.

पिछले एक  आलेख में मैंने कंपनी सेक्रेटरी के बहाने देश के रोजगार परिदृश्य की विवेचना की थी| आज कंपनी सेक्रेटरी के बहाने देश में शिक्षा के स्तर की चर्चा करेंगे|

दिल्ली रेडिमेड कंपनी सेक्रेटरी का उत्पाद केंद्र है| यहाँ के उच्च स्तरीय कोचिंग सेंटर परीक्षा की बहुत श्रेष्ठ तैयारी कराते हैं| साथ ही बहुत से श्रेष्ठ कंपनी सेक्रेटरी बिना पैसे लिए संस्थान की ओर से छात्रों के ज्ञान बाँटते हैं|

परन्तु, पिछले वर्ष एक कंपनी के डायरेक्टर ने मुझे कहा था कि एक बार में कंपनी सेक्रेटरी परीक्षा पास कर कर आने वाले दस प्रत्याशी उसे पब्लिक कंपनी और पब्लिक सेक्टर कंपनी का अंतर नहीं बता सके| इसके लिए प्रायः भारतीय कंपनी सेक्रेटरी संस्थान को दोष दिया जाता हैं| मगर इसके कहीं अधिक दोषी हमारा समाज और शिक्षा के प्रति सामाजिक धारणा है|

यह सब हुआ कैसे?

पहला तो छात्र ज्ञान प्राप्त करने के लिए नहीं वरन परीक्षा पास करने के लिए पढने लगे हैं| परीक्षा पास करने के लिए उन गूढ़ प्रश्नों के उत्तर याद कर लिए जाते हैं जिन्हें प्रायः परीक्षा में पूछा जाता है या पूछा जा सकता है| याद करने की यह प्रक्रिया इतनी मशीनी है कि उसमें कानूनी गहराई समझने के लिए गुंजाईश ही नहीं बची है|

जब यह छात्र किसी भी कोचिंग सेंटर में जाते हैं तो कोचिंग सेंटर का लक्ष्य होता है, पास हुए छात्रों की संख्या और प्रतिशत बनाये रखना| उनके यहाँ किसी भी सवाल जबाब का कोई स्थान नहीं रहता| केवल बचकाने प्रश्न छात्रों के सामने रखे जाते है जो उन्हें जबाब याद करने की ओर ले जायें, न कि समझने दें| हाँ, अगर कोई छात्र प्रश्न पूछता है तो उसे उत्तर दिया जाता है मगर इस भगदड़ में प्रायः छात्र प्रश्न पूछने की जगह उत्तर याद करने में लगे रहते है|

संस्थान अपने पुराने ढर्रे पर चल रहा है| प्रायः कोचिंग सेंटर और छात्र पूछे जाने वाले सवालों का पहले से जो अंदाजा लगाते हैं उस से मिलते जुलते सवाल आते है| परीक्षा में बहुत सटीक उत्तर के कमी रहती है| अभी हाल ही में एक सम्म्मेलन में बात उठी थी की अगर कोई परीक्षक जरा भी सख्ती से नंबर देता है तो उसके पास संस्थान की ओर से चेतावनी सन्देश आ जाता है|

जब यह छात्र उत्तीर्ण होकर नौकरी के लिए जाते हैं तो कंपनियां उनको अनुकूल नहीं पातीं| बहुत सी बातें जो छात्र जीवन में डट कर पढ़ी गयीं है वो कई बार कंपनी में नहीं होनी होतीं; जैसे मर्जर| जो कार्य कंपनी में रोज होते हैं उनपर छात्र जीवन में कभी ध्यान नहीं दिया गया होता जैसे; कानूनी विवेचना, रेजोलुसन, बोर्ड मीटिंग, समझौते| यह केवल छात्र की ही गलती है नहीं है वरन उस सिस्टम की भी है जो कोर्स को तैयार करता है| रोजमर्रा के काम पढाई में हल्के लिए जाते हैं जबकि उनमें अगर एक्सपर्ट हों  तो समय भी बचेगा और बोर्ड की निगाह में जगह भी बनेगी| मगर कहा जा रहा है कि आज कंपनी सेक्रेटरी मिनटबुक में दो लाइन भी बिना नक़ल के नहीं लिख सकते|

मगर क्या यह देश का परिदृश्य नहीं हो गया है? क्या इसी कारण अंडर एम्प्लॉयमेंट भारत का एक स्वीकार्य सच नहीं  बन गया है?


According to Section 92(2) discussed earlier here, the annual return, filed by a listed company or, by a company having such paid-up capital and turnover as may be prescribed, shall be certified by a company secretary in practice in the prescribed form, stating that the annual return discloses the facts correctly and adequately and that the company has complied with all the provisions of this Act.

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According to Section 103(1), unless the articles of the company provide for a larger number,—

  1. in case of a public company,—
    1. five members personally present if the number of members as on the date of meeting is not more than one thousand;
    2. fifteen members personally present if the number of members as on the date of meeting is more than one thousand but up to five thousand;
    3. thirty members personally present if the number of members as on the date of the meeting exceeds five thousand;
  2. in the case of a private company, two members personally present,

shall be the quorum for a meeting of the company.

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Decoding Secretarial Standards – Preservation, Records, Report and Disclosures

In my earlier post here I have raised some issues related to issuance of secretarial standards. As these are curable technical issues. I continue my study of these Secretarial Standards.

In this post, I will discuss Secretarial Standards related to Preservation, Records, Report and Disclosures under SS – 1 and SS – 2.

Minutes of all Meetings shall be preserved permanently in physical or in electronic form with Timestamp. [Paragraph 8.1 of SS – 1 and Paragraph 18.1 of SS – 2]

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Decoding Secretarial Standards – Contents of Minutes

In my earlier post here I have raised some issues related to issuance of secretarial standards. As these are curable technical issues. I continue my study of these Secretarial Standards.

In this post, I will discuss Secretarial Standards related to Contents of Minutes under SS – 1 and SS – 2.

General Contents:

Minutes shall state, at the beginning the serial number and type of the Meeting, name of the company, day, date, venue and time of commencement and conclusion of the Meeting. [Paragraph of SS – 1]

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Decoding Secretarial Standards – Maintenance of Minutes

In my earlier post here I have raised some issues related to issuance of secretarial standards. As these are curable technical issues. I continue my study of these Secretarial Standards.

In this post, I will discuss Secretarial Standards related to Maintenance of Minutes under SS – 1 and SS – 2.

Every company shall keep Minutes of all General Meetings, Board and Committee Meetings in a Minutes Book. Minutes kept in accordance with the provisions of the Act evidence the proceedings recorded therein. Minutes help in understanding the deliberations and decisions taken at the Meeting. [Paragraph 7 of SS – 1 and Paragraph 17 of SS – 2]

Maintenance of Minutes:

Minutes shall be recorded in books maintained for that purpose. [Paragraph 7.1.1 of SS – 1 and Paragraph 17.1.1 of SS – 2]

A distinct Minutes Book shall be maintained for Meetings of the Board and each of its Committees. A distinct Minutes Book shall be maintained meeting of the Members of the company, creditors and others as may be required under the Act. [Paragraph 7.1.2 of SS – 1 and Paragraph 17.1.2 of SS – 2]

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Decoding Secretarial Standards – Postal Ballot

In my earlier post here I have raised some issues related to issuance of secretarial standards. As these are curable technical issues. I continue my study of these Secretarial Standards.

In this post, I will discuss Secretarial Standards related to Postal Ballot under SS – 2.

Every company, except a company having less than or equal to two hundred Members, shall transact items of business as prescribed, only by means of postal ballot instead of transacting such business at a General Meeting. [Paragraph 16.1]

A company with 200 or more member shall transact prescribed items of business only by means of postal ballot.

The list of items of businesses requiring to be transacted only by means of a postal ballot is given at Annexure to SS -2. [Background Paragraph 1 after Paragraph 16.1]

The Board may however opt to transact any other item of special business, not being any business in respect of which Directors or auditors have a right to be heard at the Meeting, by means of postal ballot. [Background Paragraph 1 after Paragraph 16.1]

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