Tag Archives: Annual General Meeting

Serious Penal Consequence of late Annual Filing – landmine ahead


[The law stated in this post is effective from the 7th day of May 2018]

There is a perception that filing of financial statements and other documents with additional fee absolve the company from consequences under section 92, section 137 and conditional exemption given to certain companies by certain notifications issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

This is also a general view of the companies that any extension granted for the filing of the financial statements and other documents without additional fee grant immunity to the companies from its liabilities under mentioned provisions.

I beg to differ, conditionally.

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Shareholders in General Meeting


To be legally correct I will say, all Members of a company may attend a General Meeting including the Annual General Meeting of a company. I will discuss, related aspects in brief.

Member

In legal terminology Section 2(55) of the Companies Act, 2013 defines the term member:

“member”, in relation to a company, means—

(i) the subscriber to the memorandum of the company who shall be deemed to have agreed to become a member of the company, and on its registration, shall be entered as a member in its register of members;

(ii) every other person who agrees in writing to become a member of the company and whose name is entered in the register of members of the company;

(iii) every person holding shares of the company and whose name is entered as a beneficial owner in the records of a depository.”

Members are those shareholders who got shares registered in their name.

A shareholder, who has recently purchased, inherited or received a gift of shares of a company may not become shareholders unless shares are registered in its name. Likewise, a member who has recently sold, died or given a gift of shares may continue as members til such shares are registered in the name of another person.

Please note in case of de-materialised shares, such registration happened immediately.

Notice of (Annual) General Meeting

According to Section 101(3)(a) of the Act, the notice of every meeting of the company shall be given to every member of the company, legal representative of any deceased member or the assignee of an insolvent member.

Quorum

Normally the quorum of a general meeting:

(a) in case of a public company,—

(i) five members personally present if the number of members as on the date of the meeting is not more than one thousand;

(ii) fifteen members personally present if the number of members as on the date of the meeting is more than one thousand but up to five thousand;

(iii) thirty members personally present if the number of members as on the date of the meeting exceeds five thousand;

(b) in the case of a private company, two members personally present shall be the quorum for a meeting of the company.

There is no discrimination among member, who may present. Every member person who received the notice of a general meeting may attend it.

Voting

In normal circumstances, only members who are equity shareholder may vote as per defined voting rights. According to Section 47(1)(a) of the Act, every member of a company limited by shares and holding equity share capital therein, shall have a right to vote on every resolution placed before the company. Presently, it is possible to have different classes of equity shareholders with differential voting rights.

Members, who are preference shareholders may vote in certain circumstances only. Every member of a company limited by shares and holding any preference share capital therein shall, in respect of such capital, have a right to vote only on resolutions placed before the company which directly affect the rights attached to his preference shares and, any resolution for the winding up of the company or for the repayment or reduction of its equity or preference share capital and his voting right on a poll shall be in proportion to his share in the paid-up preference share capital of the company. Where the dividend in respect of a class of preference shares has not been paid for a period of two years or more, such class of preference shareholders shall have a right to vote on all the resolutions placed before the company.

Emeritus Chairman vs Chairman


In India, most companies have designation of Chairman but there is no legally recognised office of chairman of company under the Companies Act, 2013. In Indian law, chairman or chairperson is not legal position but a momentary position in meetings.

Chairman under the company law is person appointed/elected as chairman of the Meeting of Board of Directors or meetings of members (general meetings). To avoid time to appoint/select/elect chairman in each such meeting, usually board of directors names a person as its chairman once. Chairman of the Board of Directors may act as chairman of the company (means chairman of its general meetings). However, this position usually treated as permanent designation for a person.

Section 104 of the Companies Act, 2013, talk about chairman of meetings. In some later sections term chairperson is also used in same meaning.

Indian Secretarial Standards bring some legal definition for the position of chairman.

For Indian Secretarial Standards SS – 1 dealing with meetings of Board of Directors, Chairman means the Chairman of the Board or its Committee, as the case may be, or the chairman appointed or elected for a meeting.

For Indian Secretarial Standards SS – 2 dealing with general meetings, Chairman means Chairman of the Board or the Chairman appointed or elected for a Meeting.

These definitions given in Indian Secretarial Standards give some legal backing for permanently appointed chairman of the board.

Chairman Emeritus is more ceremonial position. Chairman Emeritus is an honorary position usually given to people who have retired from the position. It is just a respect to person named so. Chairman Emeritus is like a head of family who lost all powers to younger generation but have high regards at least in society (if not in the family). More often than not, Chairman Emeritus conducts meetings just by presence and all legal responsibilities rest on named chairman.

Basic responsibility of chairman is to conduct a meeting and certify as correct the proceeding when noted down as minutes of meeting. Thus, legally chairman is higher and actual position.

In listed companies, Chairman is preferably a non – executive position and sometime independent directors need to be elected as chairman. Chairman of most committees of Board should legally be an independent director. In private companies and closely held companies managing director act as chairman. In family owned head of family acts as chairman.

This post was earlier written as Quora answer here.

 

Notification of Sections Relevant for NCLT


Yesterday late evening, I posted here about press release issued by Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Soon thereafter, two files uploaded on Official Gazette website with two notifications in each. In earlier post here today, we discussed establishment and jurisdiction of various NCLT benches.

In this post, we will have a bird’s eye view on Sections notified on 1st June 2016 related to NCLT.

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City in Companies Act, 2013


Companies Act, 2013 uses city 3 times (without taking subordinate legislations into account):

  • In section 12(5)(a) with reference to registered office;
  • In Section 27(1) for advertisement in news paper in the city of registered office;
  • In Section 96(2) for place of Annual General Meeting in city of registered office.

The Companies Act, 1956 also used this term in similar reference.

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REPORT ON ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING


This is new feature of Indian Corporate Law. Section 121 of the companies Act 2013 simply says that every listed public company shall prepare a report on each annual general meeting including the confirmation to the effect that the meeting was convened, held and conducted as per the provisions of this Act and the rules made there under. The company shall file with the Registrar a copy of the report within thirty days of the conclusion of the annual general meeting.

Rule 31 of the Companies (Management and Administration) Rules 2014 goes into details.

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POSSIBILITY OF PROXY


[This is my write up published in July 2014 edition of eMagazine of Mysore Chapter of Institute of Company Secretaries of India
Download here: 126 ICSI Mysore eMagazine July 2014]

Section 105(2) of the Companies Act, 2013 says in every notice calling a meeting of a company, there shall appear with reasonable prominence a statement that member entitled to appoint a proxy and a proxy need not be a member. Prominent question on ‘proxy’ is where the institution of proxies stands under new corporate law regime.

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