Holding-Subsidiary Relationship – Legal & Regulatory Architecture

Background

Companies, as the business grows, operate through their subsidiaries for various reasons such as flexibility in operation of different units, expansion in different geographies, etc. While subsidiary is an entity over which the wholly owned subsidiary has control, the Companies Act, 2013 (“CA 2013”) recognises subsidiary companies as a separate legal entity.Continue Reading Holding-Subsidiary Relationship – Legal & Regulatory Architecture

When is a Holding Company liable for the acts and omissions of its Subsidiary? A Jurisprudential Analysis

The Companies Act in India and jurisdictions all over the world have statutorily recognised subsidiaries as a separate legal entity. Section 2(87)[1] of the Companies Act, 2013 (“CA 2013”), defines “subsidiary company” or “subsidiary” as a company in which the holding company controls the composition of the Board of Directors; or exercises or controls more than one-half of the total voting power either on its own or together with one or more of its subsidiary companies.Continue Reading When is a Holding Company liable for the acts and omissions of its Subsidiary? A Jurisprudential Analysis

Substantial Issues in Defining “Substantially the Whole of the Undertaking”

Section 180(1)(a) of the Companies Act 2013 (“2013 Act”) requires a company to obtain prior approval by a special resolution to sell, lease or dispose of the whole or substantially the whole of the undertaking of the company or, when the company owns more than one undertaking, of the whole or substantially the whole of any of such  undertakings.Continue Reading Substantial Issues in Defining “Substantially the Whole of the Undertaking”

Declaration of Dividend: Interplay of law and business dynamics

Context

The aim of any business organisation is to earn profit and distribute it among the owners. In case of a company, such distribution of profits is connoted as Dividend. The Companies Act, 2013 (“the Act”), inter alia provides for declaration of dividend out of profits. Profit here is the net profit of a company, as determined for preparing financial statements, as per the provisions of Section 129 of the Act and after complying with all the applicable accounting standards notified under Section 133 of the Act.Continue Reading Declaration of Dividend: Interplay of law and business dynamics

Key issues under Section 186 for a corporate lawyer

Legislative History of Section 186:

Granting of inter-corporate loans, making investments and provisions for guarantees was previously regulated by Sections 370 and 372 of the Companies Act, 1956 (the“1956 Act”), which mandated prior Central Government approval (along with compliance with certain other stringent guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs) for giving loans/ guarantee/ security in excess of the limits prescribed under the said sections. This position was subsequently changed with the enactment of Section 372A of the 1956 Act (by the Companies (Amendment) Act, 1999), which replaced the need to obtain prior government approval with a self-regulatory mechanism, which mandated prior shareholder approval by a special resolution before granting inter-corporate loans, guarantees or securities beyond the limits prescribed therein..Continue Reading Key issues under Section 186 for a corporate lawyer

What is the Business Judgment Rule?

The Business Judgment Rule is a legal presumption evolved by Delaware courts. It was thereafter adopted by most commonwealth countries. The presumption is that while making business decisions, Directors of a company act in good faith, on an informed basis and in the honest belief that the action is in the best interest of the company. If the above conditions are satisfied, the Board of Directors will not suffer a legal liability from a bad business decision. The rationale being that in an inherently risky global business environment, the Board should be allowed to take business risks without the constant fear of lawsuits.Continue Reading The Business Judgment Rule: The Indian context

Will ‘sale of shares’ amount to ‘sale of an undertaking’ – Has the Conundrum been resolved?

Context

‘What would constitute an ‘undertaking’ of a company’ has been among the most hotly debated topics in the history of India’s company law regime. This question arises while evaluating whether a transaction falls within the purview of Section 180(1)(a) of the Companies Act, 2013 (“2013 Act”), which corresponds to Section 293(1)(a) of

The lack of a fixed time limit for adjudication of applications for proper stamp duty under the provisions of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (“Act”) often results in inordinate delays in stamping of instruments. In a judgment that will exponentially expedite the process of adjudication, the Delhi High Court (“Delhi HC”) has now opined that the Collector of Stamps shall communicate to the parties the proper stamp duty within 30 days of the date of the application.Continue Reading Application for Payment of Stamp Duty must be Adjudicated within 30 Days: Delhi High Court

Disenfranchising Majority Shareholders

Context

Even after the ‘right to property’ was abolished as a fundamental right by the 44th Amendment to our Constitution[1], it has continued as a ‘constitutional right’ by virtue of Article 300-A, which provides that – “No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law”.Continue Reading Disenfranchising Majority Shareholders – Is it Constitutionally Valid?