Companies Act suggestions: A step in line with the times

By Sawant Singh and Aditya Bhargava, Phoenix Legal
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India’s Companies Act, 2013, has had a chequered and a sluggish start. While it received presidential assent on 29 August 2013 and appeared in the official gazette the next day, only 98 of its 470 sections were notified on 12 September 2013. A further 183 sections, along with rules implementing the notified sections, were notified into effect on 1 April 2014. Until all the sections are notified, the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956, that do not contradict the notified provisions of the 2013 act will continue to apply.

Sawant Singh
Sawant Singh

While the 2013 act is well intentioned, parts do not seem to have been thought through in terms of practical impact. For instance, the move to raise compliance requirements for private limited companies to the same level as public companies received much opprobrium, and was rolled back in 2015 to nearly the same position as in the 1956 act.

Similarly, multiple representations have been made seeking amendments to section 135 of the 2013 act, on “voluntary” corporate social responsibility (CSR). These resulted in the constitution of a high level committee to examine implementation of section 135, which submitted its report in September 2015.

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Sawant Singh is a partner and Aditya Bhargava is a principal associate at the Mumbai office of Phoenix Legal.

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