Pursuant to the issuance of the Companies (Prospectus and Allotment of Securities) Second Amendment Rules, 2023, with effect from September 30, 2024, both public and private limited companies are required to convert the existing shares and issue new shares exclusively in dematerialised form, bringing an end to physical share certificates. While this seems like a small change, this post seeks to trace the transformation of ‘dematerialisation’ from a progressive and secure option for security holders to a compliance requirement, signifying an increased and progressive threshold of regulation. The post also highlights the key challenges that companies and investors may face with this change.Continue Reading Enforcing progressive compliance: Push for digitalisation by dematerialising shares of all Companies
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) issued a notification on October 03, 2023 under Section 14(3)(a) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”), exempting the applicability of moratorium under Section 14(1) of the IBC to transactions, arrangements or agreements under the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (“Convention”) and the Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment (“Protocol”) (the “Notification”).Continue Reading Sky is the Actual Limit for IBC? – Exemption from Moratorium over Aircraft Objects during Insolvency
The ability to undertake corporate restructuring and M&A through private or statutory arrangements has served as a touchstone in deal making globally. Statutory arrangements, at times, offer several advantages over contractual/ private arrangements. There are, however, several commercial, legal and tax considerations that have to be considered before opting between a statutory and private arrangement. The speed and ease with which a business can undertake an arrangement also plays an important part in such decision-making. In India, private arrangement is more popular than statutory arrangement for undertaking M&A as the latter is contingent on receipt of regulatory authorisation. Statutory arrangements in India were initially permitted only by way of National Company Law Tribunal (“NCLT”) approval.Continue Reading Mergers on a Fast-Track
In the judgment of Union of India and Another vs. Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP & Another, 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
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
On July 12, 2022, the Supreme Court of India (“Supreme Court”) passed a judgment in Vidarbha Industries Power Limited v. Axis Bank Limited (“Vidarbha”), which considered the question whether Section 7(5)(a) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“Code”), is mandatory or discretionary in nature. Section 7(5)(a) of the Code states that the National Company Law Tribunal (“NCLT”) “may” admit an Application filed under Section 7 of the Code (“Application”), if (a) a default has occurred; (b) the Application is complete; and (c) there is no disciplinary proceeding pending against the proposed resolution professional. The Supreme Court held that Section 7(5)(a) of the Code allows the NCLT to reject an Application even if the financial creditor establishes ‘debt’ and ‘default’ on the part of the corporate debtor.Continue Reading The Vidarbha Aftermath
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) is entrusted with the responsibility of administering the Companies Act, 2013 (“2013 Act”). To this end, it has issued many a circulars to clarify the provisions of the 2013 Act and the rules made thereunder from time to time. On important matters like CSR, the ministry has issued detailed FAQs in the form of clarificatory circulars. Till date, the MCA has issued more than 210 clarificatory circulars under the 2013 Act.Continue Reading Are Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) Circulars constitutionally valid?
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”). 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
In part 2 of this series of blogs (Key Features IFSC Lisiting Regulations in Relation to Listing of SPACs), we touched upon the newly-introduced framework for the issuance and listing of special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) at the International Financial Services Centres (“IFSC”) under the International Financial Services Centres Authority (Issuance and Listing of Securities) Regulations, 2021 (“IFSC Listing Regulations”). In this part of the blog we are going to look at the IFSC Listing Regulations with a critical eye to detect the gaps that continue to exist despite the framework being put in place and identify areas that can be improved upon to leverage the unique status of entities in IFSC.Continue Reading Role of IFSC in the Indian SPAC Dream: An Overview – Part 3
The recent judgment of the Supreme Court (“SC”) in Devas Multimedia Private Limited v. Antrix Corporation Limited (“the Antrix case”) has many interesting facets. It brings to light some interesting questions of law on the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and the Bilateral Investment Treaties when the claimant company (Decree holder) is ordered to be wound up (for the first time in India) on the grounds of fraud, which is against the public policy of India and most jurisdictions that are signatories to the New York Convention.Continue Reading SC’s decision in the Devas Antrix Case: Does it dilute evidentiary value of the Auditor’s Report under the Companies Act?