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General Circular No. 20/2014:Clarification with regard to voting through electronic means New Link
June, 23rd 2014
                                                   General Circular No. 2Ol2O14

                               No. 1/34l2013-cL-V
                                Government of India
                            Ministry of Corporate Affairs

                                                sth Floor, A Wing, Shastri Bhavan
                                                            Dr R.P. Road, New Delhi
                                                            Dated 176 June, 2014

All Regional Directors,
A11   Registrars of Companies,
All Stakeholders.

Subject: Cladlication with regard to voting through electronic means                -


       Section 108 of tlle Companies Act, 2013 read with rule 20 of the
Companies (Management and Administration) Rules, 2Ol4 deal with the
exercise of right to vote by members by electronic means (e-means), The
provisions seek to ensure wider shareholders participation in the decision
making process in companies. Corporates and other stakeholders while
appreciating the new approach have drawn attention to some practical
difltculties in respect of general meetings to be held in the next few months.
2.       "fhe suggestions received from the stakeholders have been examined. It is
noticed     that compliance with procedural requirements, engagement of
Depository Agencies and the need for clarity on matter like demand for poll/
postal ballot etc will take some more time. Accordingly, it has been decided not
to treat the relevait provisions as mandatory till 31"t December, 2OI4. "fhe
relevant notifrcation in this regard is being issued separately
3. To provide clarity and ensure uniformity in the e-voting procedure,
clarilications on certain issues raised by the stakeholders are provided in the
Annexure to this circular for quidance of all concerned.
         This issues with ttre approval of the competent authority.

                                                                      Yours faithfully

                                                                  nft,M    23347263
Copy to:-
1. e Governance Section arld Web Contents Officer to place this circular on the
Ministry's website
2. Guard File
                                           -t'                          Annexure

         Clariflcatlors on issues asaociated with e-voting Drocedure
(i)    Shorz of hands not to be alloued in case of e-uoting',- In view of clear
provisions of section 107, voting by show of hands would not be allowable in
cases where mle 20 of Companies (Management and Administration) Rules,
2014 is applicable.

(ri    Pqrticrpdtion   in tte   general meeti&g after votirLg bV e-mearls:-   It   is
clarified that    a
                 person who has voted through e-voting mechanism in
accordance with rule 20 shall not be debarred from participation in the
general meeting physically. But he shall not be able to vote in the meeting
again, and his earlier vote (cast through e-means) shall be treated as final.

(iii) Applicabilitg of rule 20 for mdtters specified under ruIe 22(16):
Stakeholders have asked whether matters specified under rule 22(16)
(transactions of certain items only through postal ballot) can be considered
in a general meeting where e-voting facilit5r is available. It has been
examined and it is stated that in view of clear provisions of section 110(1Xa)
read with such rule 22(16)        it would be necessary to transact items specified
in rule 22(16) only through postal ballot and not at the general meeting.

(iv) Releuaru:e of prouisions relating to demctnd for   poll.' In case of companies
having share capital, voting through e-means takes into account 'Proportion
principle'[i.e. 'one share - one vote] unlike bne person - one vote'principle
under 'show of hands'. This alongt'ith provisions of section 107 make it
clear that in case of companies which are covered under section 1Og read
with rule 20 of Companies (Management and Administration) Rules, the
provisions relating to demand for poll would not be relevant.
(v) Permissibilitg of voting   bg   postal ballot under rule 2O.- Stakeholders have
sought   a clarification that in cases (covered under rule 20) where a
shareholder who is not able to participate in the general meeting personally
and who is also not exercising voting through e means whether such a
person shall have the option to vote through postal ballot. The matter has
been examined and       it is felt that   keeping in view the provisions of the Act
such an option would not be available.

(ut)  Manner of uoting in case of slwrehold.ers present in the meeting:-
Stakeholders have sought clarity about manner of voting for shareholders (of
a company covered under rule 2O) who are present in the general meeting. lt
is hereby clarified that since voting through e-means would be on the basis
of proportion of share in the paid-up capital or'one-share one-vote', the
Chairperson of   tle   meeting sha1l regulate the meeting accordingly,

(vii) Applging rule 20 uoluntarilg:- Staleholders have referred to words A
company which opts to' appearing in rule 2o(3) and have raised a query
whether rule 20 is applicable to companies not covered in rule 20(1). lt is
clarified that rule 2O(3) is being amended to align it with rule 20(1).
Regarding voluntary applicatiorr of rule 20,    it is clarified that in case a
company not mandated           under rule 2O{1) opts or decided to give its
shareholders the e-voting facility,        in such a case, the whole of procedure
specified in rule 20 shall be applicable to such a company. This is necessary
so that any piece-meal application does not prejudice the interest of
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