In the judgment of Union of India and Another vs. Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP & Another[1], the Supreme Court has enunciated and cleared the law pertaining to the removal and resignation of a statutory auditor vis-à-vis the proceedings initiated under Section 140(5) of the Companies Act, 2013 (“Act”). The Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Section 140(5) of the Act and interpreted it as “neither discriminatory, arbitrary and/or violative of Articles 14, 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India”. The Supreme Court clarified that the resignation of an auditor after filing an application under Section 140(5) of the Act does not automatically terminate the proceedings initiated under this Section.Continue Reading Supreme Court Sets the Bar Too High for the Statutory Auditors

Employee Provident Fund EPF

In its recent judgment in State Bank of India vs Moser Baer Karamchari Union[1], the Apex court has reiterated the settled legal position of law pertaining to treatment of Employees’ provident fund, pension fund and gratuity Fund (“EPF Dues”) under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“Code”). The primary reason for various interpretations of how PF dues are treated under the Code ensues from the overlapping nature of certain provisions within the Code itself, the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (“EPF Act”) and the Companies Act, 2013. The article traces the judicial trend in treatment of EPF dues under the code and analyses the reasoning put forth by various adjudicating authorities in deciding on the rights of the employees of the corporate debtor.Continue Reading Treatment of Employees Provident Fund Dues under the IBC

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

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

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