Companies Act

Background

Key Managerial Personnel (“KMP”) play an integral role in the management and functioning of a company. Earlier, the Companies Act, 1956 under Section 269, provided for the appointment of managing or whole-time director or manager in certain cases. However, the Dr. J.J. Irani Report[1], recognized that the board of directors (“Board”) typically look towards KMP for formulation and execution of policies and recognized their role in conducting the affairs of the company. The Committee highlighted the need to recognise the concept of KMP, govern such appointments and identify them as officers responsible for certain functions of the company, along with making them liable for any related non-compliances. Further, the Parliamentary Standing Committees on the Companies Bill in 2009 and 2011[2] also discussed the necessity for the concept of KMP to be included in the Companies Act, 2013 (“Companies Act”). Accordingly, the Companies Act, re-envisioned the importance of KMP and for the first time provided for a detailed definition of KMP along with the provisions governing their appointment.

Continue Reading Key Managerial Personnel Appointments: Applicability of Section 203 of the Companies Act, 2013 to private companies: does the NCLAT order cast the net too wide?

Crackdown on shell companies MCA amends the Companies Incorporation Rules to provide for additional physical verification of registered offices

Background:

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”), vide notification dated August 18, 2022, notified the Companies (Incorporation) Third Amendment Rules, 2022, which further amended the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014 (“Companies Incorporation Rules”), through the introduction of Rule 25B. This amendment sets out the process to be followed by the Registrar of Companies (“ROC”) to carry out physical verification of a registered office of a company.[1]

Continue Reading Crackdown on shell companies: MCA amends the Companies Incorporation Rules to provide for additional physical verification of registered offices

The Supreme Court clarifies the law and lays down the guidelines

INTRODUCTION

 The Supreme Court of India has in its recent landmark judgment in Satender Kumar Antil[1] laid down guidelines on the grant of bail to an accused and while doing so, it has reiterated aspects of personal liberty and constitutional guarantees available to an accused under criminal jurisprudence. The Court observed that while its discussion and findings are meant to operate as guidelines, each case pertaining to a bail application is to be decided on its own merits.[2] This article seeks to analyse these guidelines and evaluate their consequences and operation in practice.

Continue Reading Bail or Jail – The Supreme Court clarifies the law and lays down the guidelines

RPT Regulations

Background

SEBI’s amendments to the regulatory architecture for related party transactions (“RPTs”) under the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (“LODR”) came into force from April 1, 2022[1] (“RPT Regulations”), bringing about a paradigm shift in the RPT approval and disclosure requirements applicable to listed companies in India.[2]

Continue Reading RPT Regulations – Some Suggestions for SEBI’s consideration

security clearance

Background:

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”), vide notification dated June 1, 2022, notified the Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Amendment Rules, 2022 (“2022 Amendment Rules”), which amended the Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules, 2014 (“Appointment and Qualification Rules”).[1] This amendment states the security clearance requirements needed to hold directorship position in an Indian company, if an individual is a national of a country which shares land border with India.

Continue Reading Raising the wall higher: This time no directorship without security clearance

Regulatory overload on Audit Committees

Background

The regulatory architecture under the Companies Act, 2013 (“Act”), and the SEBI (LODR) Regulations, 2015 (“LODR”) places significant emphasis on the functioning of various committees of the Board of Directors (“Board”) of a listed company. While all Board committees have been entrusted with important responsibilities, a disproportionate amount of the regulatory burden has been placed on the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee has multifarious responsibilities under Section 177 and various other provisions of the Act, the LODR, and the SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 2015 (“PIT Regulations”).

Continue Reading Regulatory overload on Audit Committees – Is there a need to have a fresh look at its role?

Dissolution of a partnership firm

Introduction:

Dissolution of a partnership firm entails closure of the business of the partnership, settlement of books and accounts of the partnership and distribution of the surplus property (i.e. remaining property of the partnership after settlement of debts and liabilities of the firm) among partners as per their respective shares in the partnership firm.

Continue Reading Distribution of Assets of a Partnership Firm upon Dissolution – Is Registration of Deed of Dissolution or an Arbitration Award mandatory when Immovable Property is involved?

Revised threshold of Rs. 1000 Crore for ‘material’ RPTs under LODR – Does it pass the Article 14 test

Background

SEBI[1] has recently revised the materiality threshold for obtaining shareholder approval for related party transactions (“RPTs”) under Regulation 23(1) of the SEBI (LODR) Regulations, 2015 (“LODR”), to cover RPTs that exceed INR 1000 crore or 10% of a listed entity’s annual consolidated turnover (as per the last audited financial statements), whichever is lower.

The revised materiality threshold has come into effect on April 1, 2022, and this change assumes significance, as prior to April 1, 2022, there was no absolute numerical threshold for RPTs that require shareholders’ approval.

This also raises the question as to whether an absolute numerical threshold of INR 1000 crore could potentially be considered as violative of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

In this post, the authors aim to probe deeper into this constitutional aspect and examine some of the arguments that can be made from both sides of the spectrum.

Continue Reading Revised threshold of Rs. 1000 Crore for ‘material’ RPTs under LODR – Does it pass the Article 14 test?

Invesco v Zee

In a recent judgment pronounced in Invesco Developing Markets Fund v. Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited[1] (“Judgment”), on March 22, 2022, a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court (“BHC”) allowed Invesco’s appeal against a judgment dated October 26, 2021[2]. The October 26 judgment was passed by a Single Judge of the BHC (referred to hereinafter as the “Impugned Order”), which had granted an injunction restraining Invesco from calling for and holding an extraordinary general meeting (“EGM”) of Zee.

Continue Reading Bombay High Court’s Judgment in Invesco v Zee– A major boost for shareholders’ rights in India