Sections not yet enforced of Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017

CS Nitin Bohara

corplaw@vinodkothari.com

 

Sr. No Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017 Corresponding section of Companies Act, 2013 Brief of Amendment
1. Section-23 (except clauses (iii) & (iv) ) Section 92-Annual return

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

· Disclosure of indebtedness need not be made in annual return;

 

· No need to specify additional details of shares held by FIIs;

 

· CG may prescribe abridged form of annual return for OPC, Small companies and certain other classes of companies;

 

· Doing away with MGT-9. Placing of annual return on the website and disclosing its link in Board’s report;

2. Section-37 Section 135 (1)  “Corporate Social Responsibility”

 

 

· Clarification already existed under CSR Rules relating to no appointment of independent director in CSR committee in case appointment of ID u/s 149(4) not applicable to company;

· Rectification relating to areas/ subject specified in Schedule VII;

· To substitute ‘average net profit with ‘net profit’.

 

3. Section-66 Section-196 (4)- “Appointment of managing director, whole-time director or manager”

 

· Appoint or continue the appointment of MD/WTD/ manager of age of seventy years in case no special resolution has been passed, but an ordinary resolution has been passed and the Central Government is satisfied on an application that such appointment is beneficial to the company
4. Section-67 Section-197(1)-“Overall maximum managerial remuneration and managerial remuneration in case of absence or inadequacy of profits”

 

· Replaces the approval of the Central Government for managerial remuneration above the prescribed thresholds with approval by shareholders in the general meeting by way of a special resolution.

 

· Approval of banks/ FIs etc. only in case of default.

 

Section 197(3) · Omission of CG approval in case of inadequacy of profits

 

Section 197(9) · 2 years period has been prescribed

 

Section 197(10) · No CG approval for waiver of excess remuneration paid.

· SR will be required within 2 years

 

Section 197(11)

 

· Does away with the requirement of obtaining approval of the Central govt.
Section 197(16) and (17) · New insertion as in auditors will be required to report on remuneration being in compliance of the Act.

 

5. Section-68 Section 198 (3) (a)-“Calculation of profits”

 

· For an investment company premium on shares/ debentures issued/ sold shall form part of the normal profits generated from its ordinary business and not of capital nature;

 

· In calculation of section 198 profit & free reserves credit shall not be given to unrealized gains, notional gains or revaluation of assets;

 

· It shall allow the adjustment of b/f losses incurred prior to the Act,2013

  Section-68 Section 198 (4) (l)

 

· Provide for the deduction of brought forward losses of the years prior to the commencement of the Act, 2013.

 

6. Section-69 Section 200- “Central Government or company to fix limit with regard to remuneration”

 

 

 

· Approval of CG not required in case of payment of remuneration to managerial personnel;

 

· The title of the section to be amended as ‘COMPANY TO FIX LIMIT WITH REGARD TO REMUNERATION’

7. Section-70 Section 201 (1)- “Forms of, and procedure in relation to, certain applications”

 

 

· As requirement of obtaining CG approval has been done away with reference of section 96 shall be inserted;

 

8. Section-77 Section-379 (1)- “Application of Act to foreign companies”

 

 

· Sections 380-386, 392, 393 shall apply to all foreign companies provided Central Government may exempt certain class of foreign companies

· Applicability of the provisions of the Act to foreign companies has been segregated to two parts applicability to all foreign companies and companies covered under this chapter.

9. Section-78 Section 384 (2)- “Debentures, annual return, registration of charges, books of account and their inspection”

 

· It covers a foreign company within the purview of section 135 (clarification)
10. Section-79 Section 391(2)-

“Application of sections 34 to 36 and Chapter XX”

 

· This section is only applicable to a foreign company having pending repayment/redemption of money raised through issue of securities o’wise such foreign companies are required to follow sections 355, 376 & 377 in case of no such pendency.

 

11. Section-80(except first proviso to clause (i) & clause (ii) ) Section 403-“Fee for filing, etc.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

· Any document/fact/information other than referred to in first proviso be submitted/filed/registered/recorded on payment of additional fee;

 

· In case of default for two or more occasions the document/fact/information be submitted/filed/registered/recorded on payment of higher additional fee which shall not be less than twice the additional fee;

12. Section-81 Section 406 (1)-

“Power to modify Act in its application to Nidhis”

 

· A company will be treated as Nidhi or a Mutual Benefit Society only on declaration made by CG by notification in Official Gazette;

 

· A copy of every notification proposed to be issued under sub-section (2), shall be laid in draft before each House of Parliament, while it is in session as specified;

 

· The copies of every notification issued under this section shall, as soon as may be after it has been issued, be laid before each House of Parliament.

Contents of prospectus to be regulated by SEBI-MCA omits Rules under Act, 2013

By Shreya Routh (corplaw@vinodkothari.com)

 The Ministry of Corporate Affairs vide its notification dated 7th May, 2018 notifies further 28 sections of the Companies Amendment Act, 2017 (‘Amendment Act’). With such enforcement, Rules 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Companies (Prospectus and Allotment of Securities) Rules, 2014[1] (‘PAS Rules) have also been omitted vide MCA notification dated 7th May, 2018[2]. Read more

Alignment of Audit & Auditors Rules with Amendment Act, 2017

Relatives’ interest affecting the independence criteria of IDs

By Munmi Phukon & Smriti Wadehra (corplaw@vinodkothari.com)

Introduction

The Ministry, on 7th May, 2018[1], has come out with certain changes in some of the Rules prescribed under the Companies Act, 2013. One of such changes has been made in the Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules, 2014. The amendment is being made under Rule 5 of the said Rules which pertains to qualification of independent directors (IDs) considering the enforcement of the changes in section 149(6)(d) brought by the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017 w.e.f the aforesaid date.[2] Read more

Flexible MBP rules come to life pursuant to Amendment Act, 2017

By Pammy Jaiswal (pammy@vinodkothari.com),(corplaw@vinodkothari.com)

Introduction

MCA vide its notification dated 7th May, 2018[1] has enforced another set of 28 sections of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017 (‘Amendment Act’). The notification has enforced sections primarily dealing with the definition of associate company, doing away with ratification of auditors, charge registration, delay in filing of returns along with additional fees, annual return, etc.

With the third set of enforcement notification, MCA has made corresponding changes in the following Companies Rules under the Companies Act, 2013 (‘Act, 2013’)[2].

  • Companies (Meeting of the Board and its Powers) Rules, 2014 (‘MBP Rules);
  • Companies (Prospectus and Allotment of Securities) Rules, 2014 (‘PAS Rules’);
  • Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules, 2014 (‘AQD Rules’);
  • Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules, 2014 (‘AA Rules’);
  • Companies (Share Capital and Debenture) Rules, 2014 (‘SCD Rules’); and
  • Companies (Specification of Definition and Details) Rules, 2014.

This write up compiles the changes brought in the following Companies Rules namely:

1.        MBP Amendment Rules, 2018[3]

 

Sr. No.

Matter Description

Prior to Amendment

 

Nature of Amendment

 

Impact of the Amendment

 

1. Participation of directors through VC mode for restricted items Section 173 of the Act, 2013 does not allow the participation of directors in board meetings for discussing certain matters in the nature of unpublished price sensitive information (‘UPSI’). Matters dealing with (i) the approval of annual financial statements; (ii) the approval of the Board’s report; (iii) the approval of the prospectus; and (iv) the approval of the matter relating to amalgamation, merger, demerger, acquisition and takeover are required to be approved in a duly convened board meeting without the participation of directors in video-conferencing mode.

 

In view of streamlining the provisions of the Amendment Act, rule 4 of the MBP Rules have been amended to allow the participation of the directors through VC even for the restricted matters provided the directors physically present form the requisite quorum for the meeting.

 

The intent of law for the bringing such amendment is to allow wider participation of directors and provide flexibility in terms of mode of participation.

 

The matters for which VC has now been enabled are matters in the nature of UPSI and therefore, the officer convening the meeting has to ensure that while using such mode of participation, confidentiality of the information is maintained.

 

2. Constitution of the Audit and the Nomination and Remuneration Committee Section 177 and 178 of the Act, 2013 requires the certain classes of companies to constitute audit committee and nomination and remuneration committee with independent directors forming majority and one-half of the total strength respectively. The law requires for constituting such committees for every listed company which also includes private listed companies.

 

However, MCA vide its notification dated 5th July, 2017 had waived the requirement of appointing an independent director in certain public companies viz. JV companies, WoS and a dormant company.

 

 

 

The requirement of constituting an audit committee and a nomination and remuneration committee shall be required for listed public companies only in addition to other classes of public companies.

 

Private companies which have their debt securities listed have now been explicitly exempted from constituting audit committee and nomination and remuneration committee.

 

The amendment is a clarificatory change and allows the private listed companies to uphold their privacy. However, relevant terms of reference of an audit and nomination and remuneration committee will any ways be looked after by the board or any sub-committee so constituted.

3. Passing of prior special resolution in case of crossing limits laid under section 186 Section 186 of the Act, 2013 requires passing of prior special resolution in case the limits laid under the said section are exceeded (60% of the PUSC, free reserves and securities premium account or 100 of free reserves and securities premium account, whichever is more). It further requires to state the upper limit upto which loans, guarantee, security or investment shall be made by the company. The details of such loans, guarantee, security or investment so made is required to be disclosed in the financial statements as well.

 

The amendment has done away with the requirement of obtaining prior special resolution for the said purposed in excess of the prescribed limits.

 

No impact, only the language has been altered.

2.        SCD Amendment Rules, 2018[4]

 

S.no Matter description

 

Prior to amendment Nature of amendment Impact of amendment
1. Issue of sweat equity shares

 

The expression of ‘employees’ for the purpose of issue of sweat equity shares by unlisted companies  meant a permanent employee of the company who had been working in or outside India, for atleast one year.

 

 

The Amendment Act, 2017 omits the requirement for a period of one year to elapse after the commencement of the business for the issue of sweat equity shares.

 

The amendment in the rules is in line with the aforesaid change and does away with the condition for an permanent employee in or outside India to be working for atleast one year.

 

In case of issue of sweat equity shares by unlisted companies they are required to comply with SHD Rules in this regard.

 

The issue of sweat equity shares can now be done to permanent employees working in or outside India, irrespective of their period of employment in the Company.

 

Conclusion

The amendment in the aforesaid rules is a reflex action pursuant to the enforcement of relevant section of the Amendment Act under the third phase (read our write-up here). The amendment under the MBP Rules is a welcome change and allows flexibility in business operations by a company.


[1] http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/CompaniesAmendmentNoti_07052018.pdf

[2] http://www.mca.gov.in/MinistryV2/companiesact2013.html

[3] http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/CompaniesBoardsPowersRules_07052018.pdf

[4]  http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/SharecapitalRule2018_11042018.pdf

Revised Section 42: What’s in the name!

By CS Vinita Nair (corplaw@vinodkothari.com)

Section 42 has been substituted by way of section 10 of Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017[1]. Draft rules amending Rule 14 of Companies (Prospectus and Allotment of Securities) Rules, 2014 have been issued for public comments[2].

Erstwhile section 42 dealt with ‘Offer or invitation for subscription of securities on private placement’. Substituted section 42 has been titled as ‘Issue of shares on private placement basis’. This leads to a general perception that revised section 42 shall not apply to issue of non-convertible debentures on a private placement basis. It will only apply in case of issue on preferential basis considering corresponding amendment in section 62 (1) (c)[3].

Relevance of marginal note

It is a well settled view that marginal note cannot control/ limit the provisions of the section. In case of Chandroji Rao vs Commissioner of Income-Tax, M.P[4] Hon’ble Supreme Court explained that the marginal heading cannot control the interpretation of the words of the section particularly when the language of the section is clear and unambiguous. There are several other rulings of Hon’ble Supreme Court reiterating the aforesaid interpretation.

Modes of issuance of securities under Companies Act

Chapter III of Act, 2013 deals with prospectus and allotment of securities. Part I deals with public offer and Part II deals with private placement. Section 23 (1) provides the manner in which a public company may issue securities viz.;

  1. by way of public issue by complying with provisions of Part I; or
  2. through private placement by complying with provisions of Part II; or
  3. through rights issue or a bonus issue in accordance with section 62 (1) (a) and section 63 respectively.

Section 23 (2) provides the manner in which private company may issue securities viz.;

  1. by way of rights issue or a bonus issue in accordance with section 62 (1) (a) and section 63 respectively;
  2. through private placement by complying with provisions of Part II.

Private placement under Act, 2013

‘Private Placement’ has been explained in section 42 to mean any offer or invitation to subscribe or issue of securities to a select group of persons by a company (other than by way of public offer) through private placement offer-cum-application, which satisfies the conditions specified in the section.

While the marginal note refers to issue of shares, the meaning of private placement clearly refers to ‘securities’. Given the intent under section 23 (1) and (2), it is clear and unambiguous that any private placement of securities will be subject to compliance of provisions of section 42. It cannot be interpreted that ‘securities’ referred in Section 42 refers to the expression, “shares or other securities” explained in Rule 13 of Companies (Share Capital and Debentures) Rules, 2014.

Discussion in CLC Report[5] on issue of debentures by private placement

“3.8 At the moment, in case of non-convertible debentures a prior special resolution only once in a year has been prescribed. The Committee recommends that since Non-Convertible Debentures are pure borrowings and do not form part of equity capital, the proviso to Rule 14(2)(a) may be amended to prescribe that the relevant board resolution under Section 179(3)(c) would be adequate in case the offer under Section 42 is for debentures up to the borrowing limits permissible for Board under section 180(1)(c) of the Act. This would also align the requirements with that of section 180(1)(c). It was, however, felt that the said Board resolution should clearly mention (in the body of the resolution) that the offer of debentures being approved by Board is through private placement under Section 42 and certain other minimum details as may be prescribed in the rules be provided in the Board resolution. Private companies (who have been given exemption from Section 117(3)(g) through section 462 notification) should either be required to file board resolutions under Section 179(3)(c) or pass a special resolution.”

As stated above, the intent was only to exempt the requirement of seeking shareholder’s sanction if the company had already obtained approval of shareholders u/s 180 (1) (c). Apart from this, compliance of entire section is required to be ensured.

Conclusion

Companies should be careful and not interpret that section 42 shall not apply to private placement of debentures. Otherwise, the company, its promoters and directors shall expose themselves to huge amount of penalty.


[1] Yet to be enforced.

[2] http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/DraftCompaniesProspectusSecuritiesRules2018_15022018.pdf

[3] (c) to any persons, if it is authorised by a special resolution, whether or not those persons include the persons referred to in clause (a) or clause (b), either for cash or for a consideration other than cash, if the price of such shares is determined by the valuation report of a registered valuer subject to such conditions as may be prescribedof a registered valuer, subject to the compliance with the applicable provisions of Chapter III and any other conditions as may be prescribed.

[4] 1971 SCR (1) 422

[5] Company Law Committee Report – February, 2016