The judgments of the Delhi HC in Cruz City and SRM Exploration, discussed in Part 1, appears to ignore the earlier decision of the SC in Dropti Devi v Union of India, where the SC held (in the context of prosecution under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act) that the legislative objectives of FERA and FEMA are identical, namely, preservation of the foreign exchange resources of the country.Continue Reading Legislative gap between the Arbitration Act and FEMA: Should Parliament step in? – Part II
Since the enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, (“IBC”), the Indian judiciary has been facing numerous interpretational challenges on various provisions of the IBC. While certain challenges have been put to rest by introducing amendments to the legislation, a larger bunch of the issues have been settled by interpretations adopted by the judiciary. The Courts and Tribunals, in interpreting the provisions of the IBC, have aspired to achieve the objective of the IBC, i.e. maximising the value of assets of the corporate debtor.Continue Reading Is Claim for Refund of Advance an ‘Operational Debt’? SC Comes to Rescue
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.Continue Reading Rights Issue – Is the Board’s Discretion to Allot Unsubscribed Shares Absolute?
The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (‘SFIO’) is an organisation established under the aegis of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (‘MCA’) – for investigation and prosecution of white-collar crimes. The SFIO was constituted in July 2003 following the recommendations of the Naresh Chandra Committee. In 2002, the Naresh Chandra Committee had recommended setting up a ‘Corporate Serious Fraud Office’, to uncover corporate fraud, and supervise prosecutions under various economic legislations.
Continue Reading Serious Fraud Investigation Office – Keeping a close watch on frauds in India Inc
The provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 (the Act), and the rules framed thereunder, mandate companies to file requisite documents, including annual returns and financial statements, with the concerned Registrar of Companies (RoC) of their jurisdiction. Non-adherence to such provisions and non-filing of the requisite documents is an offence, exposing non-complaint companies and its directors to severe penal consequences, including fines and prosecution.
However, the records of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) and the National Company Law Tribunals (NCLT) would clearly reveal that a lot of companies have been non-compliant with their filings. This non-compliance has been a menace to all the stakeholders involved, including, inter alia, (i) the companies and directors who have to face penal consequences for such non-compliances; (ii) the MCA and its administration who are engaged in the process of updating the records; (iii) the public/ shareholders who do not get access to the records of the companies; and (iv) the NCLT and the office of Regional Directors, which are burdened with compounding cases.Continue Reading A Fresh Start for Companies
In the battle for good governance, India Inc. keeps tripping on three letters – RPT. Related-Party Transactions. This, despite the fact that India has one of the most elaborate set of rules and regulations for disclosures and approval of RPT by both listed and unlisted companies.
Historically, the Companies Act, 1956 did not specifically regulate RPTs. It had provisions that only restricted certain types of transactions.
The Companies Act, 2013 (CA, 2013) enacted Section 188, which for the first time began regulating certain types of transactions between companies and its “related parties” (as defined in CA 2013), and provided for the approval of such transactions (exceeding a prescribed monetary threshold) by non-related parties.
Continue Reading SEBI Working Group on Related Party Transactions: Will the net be cast too wide?
Share transfer restrictions come in various shapes and sizes and in so far as they relate to shares of public companies, their validity has been a topic of hot debate. In several cases, Indian courts have considered and opined on the legality of contractual restrictions on the transfer of shares of public companies. The position in this regard now appears to be much clearer than before with changes also being introduced in the Companies Act, 2013 (CA 2013). However, one aspect of this debate that has hitherto gained lesser traction is the ability of a public company to refuse registration of share transfers pursuant to section 58(4) of the CA 2013.
Section 58(2) of CA 2013 states that the securities of any member in a public company are freely transferable, while under section 58(4) of CA 2013, it is open to the public company to refuse registration of the transfer of securities for a ‘sufficient cause’. To that extent, section 58(4) of CA 2013 can be read as a limited restriction on the free transfer permitted under section 58(2) of CA 2013. However, the statute does not provide any guidance on what would constitute ‘sufficient cause’ and leaves it open to the company itself to ascertain the same.
Continue Reading Share Transfers: Can the Company Say No?