Photo of Varun Kannan

Associate in the General Corporate Practice at the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Varun can be reached at varun.kannan@cyrilshroff.com

Company Law

Background

The law on minority squeeze-out has not been a glorious chapter in the history of India’s company law. The Parliament, as a matter of legislative policy, appears to be uncomfortable with enacting a law that forces minority shareholders to compulsory sell their shares. The government perceives it as a kind of ‘expropriation’. Hence, despite Dr. JJ Irani Committee’s specific recommendation, our Parliament has adopted a conservative approach while providing majority shareholders with the mechanism to ‘buyout’ the shares held by the minority shareholders. Even after the ‘right to property’ was abolished as a fundamental right under our Constitution, law makers seem uncomfortable in giving such right to majority shareholders, and half-hearted attempts have been made to provide majority shareholders with the ability to fully own a company.

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Decoding SEBI’s latest amendments to the RPT regime

Background

After a prolonged and anxious wait, on November 9, 2021, SEBI finally notified its far-reaching amendments to the regulatory regime for Related Party Transactions (“RPT”). The amendments[1] to the RPT regulatory regime under the SEBI (LODR) Regulations, 2015 (“LODR”), have their genesis in the Report of the Working Group on RPTs (“WG Report”), which was issued by SEBI on January 27, 2020.

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MCA’s Notification on Section 67 of the Companies Act, 2013

Introduction

One aspect which English Company Law has always grappled with is the manner in which the capital of a company should be protected for the benefit of its creditors. Way back in 1887, in its celebrated decision in Trevor v Whitworth[1], the House of Lords held that the statutory restrictions on a company’s power to reduce its capital “is to prohibit every transaction between a company and a shareholder, by means of which the money already paid to the company in respect of his shares is returned to him”.

Continue Reading MCA’s Notification on Section 67 of the Companies Act, 2013 – Is it an Exemption or an Inclusion under the Henry VIII Clause?

Madras High Court’s judgment on gaming law – Does it provide absolute immunity from regulatory scrutiny?

Introduction

The online gaming industry is among the few industries that have survived the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, and is projected to witness a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21% over FY21-FY25. Today, online gaming platforms host a diverse variety of games – ranging from rummy and poker to ‘fantasy sports leagues’ relating to cricket.

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Rights Issue – Is the Board’s Discretion to Allot Unsubscribed Shares Absolute?

Introduction

Rights issue, as the term denotes, is the recognition of an inherent right of an equity shareholder against dilution of his shareholding in the company. It is a pre-emptive right of the equity shareholder to subscribe to his proportionate share in all further issuance of equity shares.

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Extra-territorial application of India’s securities law – Has SEBI cast its net too wide?

If a connection exists, it is for the Legislature to decide how far it should go in the exercise of its powers.[1]

Introduction

The territorial application of laws made by Parliament is enshrined in Article 245 of the Constitution of India (“Constitution”). The universal presumption that laws made by a country are limited to its own territorial borders, is provided under Article 245(1) of the Constitution, which provides that “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may make laws for the whole or any part of the territory of India.” However, Article 245(2) of the Constitution carves out a specific exception providing that a law made by Parliament, pursuant to Article 245(1), shall not be invalidated on the ground that such a law would have extra-territorial operation. Most countries have enacted extra-territorial laws with the US being the clear leader in this regard having enacted anti-corruption law, securities laws etc. which have extra-territorial application.

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IS THE AUDIT PROFESSION AT CROSS-ROADS

Introduction

Recent amendments to the statutory framework under the Companies Act, 2013 (“the Act”), have cast focus on the ever-expanding statutory duties of the auditors of a company. The purpose of an audit is to enhance the degree of confidence of users of the financial statements. In this regard, Section 129 of the Act provides that the financial statements prepared by a company should comply with three prime conditions:
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New CSR Regime – Is it a philanthropy or a tax levy?

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”), Govt of India, notified the amendments to Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 (“the Act”), (dealing with CSR contribution), by the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2019 (“2019 Amendment”), and the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2020 (“2020 Amendment”), on January 22, 2021. The MCA has also notified the Companies (CSR Policy) Amendment Rules, 2021 (“new CSR Rules”), which has made some fundamental changes to the CSR Rules, 2014.
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