Tag Archives: Director

PLANNING RETIREMENT/BREAK FROM DIRECTORSHIP


We received a query multiple time – how to plan retirement from directorship? Certainly, they are not asking me about post-retirement financial planning. This question particularly concerns professional directors, employee director, or independent directors concerned. This is not easy to plan a retirement which might have legal consequences up to the next 8 years. Moreover, retirement as directors is not one time exercise but a continuous one. It starts with your joining as director.

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Director employed elsewhere


A director may be an employee in any organisation and may draw a salary from that other organisation. However, there may be two different situations –

  1. Director is actually an employee of that other organization and nominated by that organisation as a director in this company by virtue of an agreement;
  2. Director is a promoter director of a company but due to some reason join another organisation under a contract of employment. His employer may or may not have knowledge of his directorship in any company.

Indian law does not prohibit outside employment by a director of a company outside its own company. The prospective employer will take a call whether one of its employees should continue to be a director in its own private company.

The prospective employer will pay the employee for his 100% quality working time and 100% quality services. Where prospective employer feels, the employees should not have any other responsibilities except that of employment and of personal life, it may ask the employee to resign from other responsibilities.

The underlying question shall always remain, will that employee be able to honestly devote his time and efforts for its prospective paymaster, the employer.

According to Section 166 of the Companies Act, 2013, a director has certain duties towards the company.

DUTIES OF DIRECTORS (SECTION 166):

  1. A director of a company shall act in accordance with the articles of the company.
  2. A director of a company shall act in good faith to promote the objects of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole, and in the best interests of the company, its employees, the shareholders, the community and for the protection of the environment.
  3. A director of a company shall exercise his duties with due and reasonable care, skill and diligence and shall exercise independent judgment.
  4. A director of a company shall not involve in a situation in which he may have a direct or indirect interest that conflicts, or possibly may conflict, with the interest of the company.
  5. A director of a company shall not make or attempt to make any undue gain or advantage either to himself or to his relatives, partners, or associates and if such director is found guilty of making any undue gain, he shall be liable to pay an amount equal to that gain to the company.
  6. A director of a company shall not assign his office and any assignment so made shall be void.

If a director of the company contravenes the provisions of this section such director shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees.

Where a director took employment outside the company, he needs to be careful in the performance of his duties towards the company. He needs to answer the following question to himself:

a. can he exercise his independent judgement in the decision making the process of the company?

b. is there any conflict of interest?

If yes, I do not find any restriction on his gainful employment.

However, a company may by way of Articles of Association restrict its directors from outside employment.

However, one should not sail in two boats unless both boats are compatible.

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Election of Directors – Companies limited by Guarantee without Share Capital


I received this interesting question on Quora and replied here. Other replies to the answer prompt me to post a short write up here on my blog. It seems it is a quite confusing and lesser explored area of most of us. We all students of corporate law at least once wonder about it and sometimes continue to do so.

The base question is – “How to decide voting rights of members in a guarantee company not having share capital?”

Here, before coming to the main question, it is prudent to discuss briefly the concept of the member under the Companies Act, 2013. Most of us use the terms members and shareholders as interchangeable. It is not so. All shareholders are generally members, but all members are not shareholders. When we say so, we usually think about shareholders pending registration of transfer or transmission. We miss 50% of the theoretical portion of the subject – Company limited by guarantee.

According to clause (55) of Section 2 the “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; and

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

Membership of a company may or may not be in the form of shareholding. Membership is transferable. In the case of a company limited by shares, a member may transfer his membership by transfer of share. In the case of a company limited by guarantee, a member may transfer his membership by just transferring membership. If a reader is confused about such transfer of share, he may just discuss himself about a transfer of shares not fully paid.

As I mentioned some of my earlier answers on the Quora and on my blog, a company limited by shares and a company limited by guarantee have no practical difference except one. A reader may look into the definition given here as the footnote[1].

May you for a moment consider a company having a share capital with all members decided to pay only at the time of liquidation or winding up. It is akin to a guarantee company. A company with uncalled unpaid shares has no practical difference with a guarantee company. ( see footnote [2])

The voting rights in a guarantee company may be decided on the basis of the ratio of guarantee or say the amount of percentage of guarantee given by a member against total guarantee given to the company by all member combine.

A, B, C and D may form a guarantee company by a promising guarantee of Re.5,000/, Rs. 15,000/-, Rs. 12,000 and Rs 8,000/-respectively. They may have respectively 5, 15, 12 and 8 votes in the General Meeting of the company.

Now, you may understand how to elect directors in general meeting other than first directors.

All practical provisions related to appointment of directors and passing any resolution shall remain the same.

Note -To my understanding, there will not be any differential voting rights in the guarantee company. Readers may also discuss the same.

[1] Two other important definitions in this regards are as under

(21) “company limited by guarantee” means a company having the liability of its members limited by the memorandum to such amount as the members may respectively undertake to contribute to the assets of the company in the event of its being wound up.

(22) “company limited by shares” means a company having the liability of its members limited by the memorandum to the amount, if any, unpaid on the shares respectively held by them.

[2] It is a secondary thing that present law requires receiving of money shares subscribed in the memorandum of association by the promoters.

Chairman, Managing Director, CEO, Proprietor – the Difference


Difference between various business positions is quite confusing for the general public. Here, we will discuss, what is the difference between a chairman, a managing director, a CEO, and a proprietor?

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Qualification of Independent Director


The qualification of independent director is among few provisions where the Companies Act, 2013 become stringent after amendments. The Companies Amendment Act, 2017 read with Notification S.O. 1833(E) dated 7th May 2018 amended sub-section (6) of 149.

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Designation and Category of Directors


When an applicant files a form for incorporation of a company, we need to select the designation and category of first directors in incorporation Form 32 (popularly called Spice) or wherever company appoints a director. There are four different categories of directors. We will discuss confusion regarding these categories of directors.

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Directorship within limit


Ministry of Corporate Affairs issued an advertisement (a Public Notice) in newspapers asking all directors to bring down number of their directorship to the permissible limit as prescribed under Section 165 of the Companies Act, 2013.

“All such individual who are holding directorship in more than, the limit of number of companies prescribed per the aforesaid mentioned provisions of the Act, are hereby notified to bring down the number of their directorship to / below the permissible limits as also prefer compounding application before the competent authority in terms of Section 621A of the Companies Act, 1956 within 30 days hereof and get the offence compounded. In case of non – compliance with the above directions, the jurisdictional ROC will initiate prosecution without further individual notices to them.”

In this blog post, we will discuss this Public Notice and applicable provisions.

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BASIC INFORMATION FOR INVESTORS


Recently, this blog received request form small promoters and investors asking information to receive information about company. Individual investors express fear about own investment in own companies.

Though, I suggest them to get professional help from local company secretary or chartered accountant, if company secretary is not available in their locality. But a simple, Do It Yourself (DIY) may help them.
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Resident and Residential Address


Form – DIR – 3 of the Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules, 2014, asked strange information therein – 5 – Whether (applicant is) resident in India – yes or no (radio button). Any person filing and certifying the form should be confirm what is asked and what is purpose? Whether permanent residential address or present resident address has any relation with resident status? What is definition of these terms; Resident Status, Permanent Residential Address and Present Residential Address?

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REGISTER OF DIRECTORS AND KEY MANAGERIAL PERSONNEL


Sub – Section (1) of Section 170 of the Companies Act 2013 mandate that every company shall keep at its registered office a register containing such particulars of its directors and key managerial personnel as may be prescribed, which shall include the details of securities held by each of them in the company or its holding, subsidiary, subsidiary of company’s holding company or associate companies.

Rule 17 of the Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules 2014 prescribed Every company shall keep at its registered office a register of its directors and key managerial personnel containing the following particulars, namely:-

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RESIGNATION OF A DIRECTOR


According to Section 168 of the Companies Act 2013 A director may resign from his office by giving a notice in writing to the company and the Board shall on receipt of such notice take note of the same and the company shall intimate the Registrar in such manner, within such time and in such form as may be prescribed and shall also place the fact of such resignation in the report of directors laid in the immediately following general meeting by the company. A director shall also forward a copy of his resignation along with detailed reasons for the resignation to the Registrar within thirty days of resignation in such manner as may be prescribed.

Rule 16 of the Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules 2014 prescribed that where a director resigns from his office, he shall within a period of thirty days from the date of resignation, forward to the Registrar a copy of his resignation along with reasons for the resignation in Form DIR – 11 along with the fee as provided in the Companies (Registration Offices and Fees) Rules, 2014.

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APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTOR


Appointment of directors for this blog post does not include re – appointment of directors as such. But surely provisions are different only on compliance with Section 160 of the Companies Act 2013.

When an appointment of a director is proposed, the process starts with Notice of candidature under Section 160.

A person who is not a retiring director in terms of section 152 shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be eligible for appointment to the office of a director at any general meeting, if he, or some member intending to propose him as a director, has, not less than fourteen days before the meeting, left at the registered office of the company, a notice in writing under his hand signifying his candidature as a director or, as the case may be, the intention of such member to propose him as a candidate for that office, along with the deposit of one lakh rupees or such higher amount as may be prescribed which shall be refunded to such person or, as the case may be, to the member, if the person proposed gets elected as a director or gets more than twenty-five percent of total valid votes cast either on show of hands or on poll on such resolution. The company shall inform its members of the candidature of a person for the office of director under sub-section (1) in such manner as may be prescribed.

Further procedure related to the notice is explained under Rule 13 of the Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules 2014.

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DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST


Recently this blog received many queries regarding provisions relating to disclosure of interest under Section 184 and rules made there under including form prescribed in these Rules.

We have discussed Section 184 here earlier. Every director shall disclose his concern or interest in any company or companies or bodies corporate, firms, or other association of individuals which shall include the shareholdings, in such manner as may be prescribed. Such disclosure shall be made on three particular point of time:

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DIRECTOR IDENTIFICATION NUMBER


After promoters and subscriber to memorandum of a proposed company proposed directors are most important persons for a proposed company. Once, a promoter selects proposed first directors of a company, first legal step is to check whether they have a director identification number. Incorporation documentation asks to disclose name of proposed first directors of a company.

We have already discussed the law related to Director Identification Number in an earlier post here. However, we still need to understand some legal procedures as mentioned in the relevant Rules also.

Every individual intending to be appointed as director of a company shall make an application for allotment for Director Identification Number (DIN) to the Central government. [Section 153]

This application shall be made electronically in Form DIR -3 of the Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules 2014. [Rule 9]

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DIRECTOR IDENTIFICATION AND REGISTER OF DIRECTOR


English: Sir Ratan Tata, founder of Sir Ratan ...

English: Sir Ratan Tata, founder of Sir Ratan Tata Trust (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Director identification Number is a prerequisite for appointment as director in a company in India. Same time Register of Directors and Key Managerial personnel serve the purpose of Record of interests of these persons in company and otherwise.

DIRECTOR IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (SECTIONS 153 – 159)

Every individual intending to be appointed as director of a company shall make an application for allotment for Director Identification Number (DIN) to the Central government. (Section 153)

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Quotes from Companies Bill debate in Rajya Sabha


UPDATE: on 30th August 2013: Companies Bill 2012 became the Companies Act, 2013 (Act 18 of 2013).

For every new law, legislative intent, which show it in debates taken place in Parliament, become important. These debates offer a guide while drafting subordinate legislation. There are many questions about future rules and regulations. I, here, compiled some important quotes from this debates from Rajya Sabha.[i][ii][iii]

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Board Structure in Central Public Sector Enterprises


Central Public Enterprises in India are not simple business enterprises, but fall under definition of “State” under Article 12 of the Constitution of India. They are subject to Writ Jurisdiction. The Right to Information Act, 2005 is applicable to them.

The Law governing Central Public Sector Enterprises are complex mix of Guidelines/instructions issued by Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), the Companies Act, 1956 regulations of Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Central Vigilance Commission, and administrative Ministry.

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PENALTIES RELATED TO OPPRESSION & MISMANAGEMENT UNDER COMPANIES ACT 2013


UPDATE: on 30th August 2013: Companies Bill 2012 became the Companies Act, 2013 (Act 18 of 2013).

In my last two post, I wrote about “Oppression and Mismanagement” and “Class Action” under the Companies Bill 2012. Section 246 makes it necessary for me to discuss Sections 337 to 341 of the Bill. These sections are natural extension to provisions related to “Oppression and Management” and “Class Action” under Chapter XVI.

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CLASS ACTION IN COMPANIES ACT, 2013


UPDATE: on 30th August 2013: Companies Bill 2012 became the Companies Act, 2013 (Act 18 of 2013).

In continuation with my last blog post on Oppression and Mismanagement; I am reading Class Action under Clause 245 of the Bill. Provisions relating to Class Action are under Chapter XVI of the Companies Bill, 2012 and basically target to achieve investor protection in a limited manner and on an experimental basis.

[Law discussed in this post was valid till 8 May 2019 and have academic and Historic value.]

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OPPRESSION & MISMANAGEMENT UNDER COMPANIES ACT 2013


UPDATE: on 30th August 2013: Companies Bill 2012 became the Companies Act, 2013 (Act 18 of 2013).

Class Action is one of the youngest additions to Indian jurisprudence particularly, in Indian Corporate Jurisprudence. Class Action aims to prevent Oppression and Mismanagement in Companies. The Provisions relating to Oppression and Mismanagement are in Chapter XVI of the Companies Bill, 2012.

In this post, I will cover Section 241 – 244 which deals with normal provisions.

In next post, I will discuss Section 245 dealing with Class Action and after that Section 246 read with Section 373 to 341.

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