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?

WOS Exemption

Context:

Ever since the stock market scam of 2001 (Ketan Parekh Scam) was brought to light, regulators have been vigilant about the use of complex corporate structures to circumvent statutory restrictions and divert company funds. After the magnitude of financial irregularities in the Ketan Parekh Scam came to light, the Joint Parliamentary Committee (“JPC”) and the erstwhile Department of Company Affairs (“DCA”) proposed steps to prevent  companies from using the ‘subsidiary route’ to siphon off funds, by providing inter-corporate loans.[1]Continue Reading The Layering Restrictions & WOS exemption – Need for Regulatory clarity

Context

Instances of financial/ accounting frauds and serious corporate governance failures have become endemic in today’s corporate world, leading to huge erosion in shareholder wealth. On most occasions, such irregularities and failures are detected very late, when it becomes impossible to rewind the clock and undo damage that has already been done. Recent cases of financial/ accounting irregularities have demonstrated that several early warning signals (like disclosures made in the ‘notes’ to  the financial statements) are often not recognised by the Board of Directors (“Board”) and other gatekeepers of governance – thereby raising serious questions regarding their effectiveness.Continue Reading Why do Boards fail to catch ‘sub-sonic sounds’ within the Organisation?

Introduction

Ease of doing business also includes the ease with which companies can shut operations and exit the marketplace in a country. Under Indian law, companies (or limited liability partnerships (“LLP”) have various options to wind down operations voluntarily, either under the Companies Act, 2013 (“Companies Act”), (or the Limited Liability Act, 2008, for an LLP) or the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”).Continue Reading Ease of closing a Business in India

Financial Statement

Context

The cardinal principle of company law, as enshrined under Section 129(1) of the Companies Act, 2013 (“Companies Act”), is that the financial statements (“FS”) should give a ‘true and fair view’ of the state of affairs of the company, comply with the accounting standards notified under Section 133, and also be in the form provided for different classes of companies under Schedule III.Continue Reading Non-compliance with Accounting Standards – Will it amount to an FUTP Offence?

Shareholders Rights

In a corporate democracy, the rule of majority prevails, period! Hence, in most jurisdictions, shareholders’ resolutions may be passed by a simple majority, or, where the decision may be critical to the operations or the future of a company, by a super/ special majority of at least, three-fourths. In this way, the decision of the majority binds all members/ shareholders.Continue Reading Protection and Redressal of Minority Shareholder Rights

True and Fair

Context

Forewarned is forearmed” is the cardinal principle underlying company law jurisprudence around the world and the foundation of all disclosure requirements.

Section 129(1) of the Companies Act, 2013 (“Act”), provides that the financial statements (“FS”) shall give a ‘true and fair view’ of the state of affairs of the company, comply with the accounting standards notified under Section 133 of the Act, and also be in the form provided for different classes of companies in Schedule III of the Act.Continue Reading How True is ‘True and Fair’ View?

Gatekeepers of Governance

Context

In an earlier article under the ‘Gatekeepers of Governance’ series, the authors had discussed how the regulatory architecture under the Companies Act, 2013 (“Act”), and the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (“LODR”), places ‘independent directors’ (“IDs”) at the forefront of India’s quest for better corporate governance. However, it is often forgotten that along with IDs, even non-executive non-independent directors (“NENIDs”) on the Board can play a pivotal role in acting as a ‘watchdog’, and safeguarding stakeholder interest.Continue Reading Gatekeepers of Governance: Non-Executive Non-Independent Directors