SECTION 123. DECLARATION OF DIVIDEND
[Effective from 1st April, 2014]
(1) No dividend shall be declared or paid by a company for any financial year except—
(a) out of the profits of the company for that year arrived at after providing for depreciation in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2), or out of the profits of the company for any previous financial year or years arrived at after providing for depreciation in accordance with the provisions of that sub-section and remaining undistributed, or out of both; or
(b) out of money provided by the Central Government or a State Government for the payment of dividend by the company in pursuance of a guarantee given by that Government:
Provided that a company may, before the declaration of any dividend in any financial year, transfer such percentage of its profits for that financial year as it may consider appropriate to the reserves of the company:
Provided further that where, owing to inadequacy or absence of profits in any financial year, any company proposes to declare dividend out of the accumulated profits earned by it in previous years and transferred by the company to the reserves, such declaration of dividend shall not be made except in accordance with such rules as may be prescribed in this behalf:
Second Proviso to Section 123(1) shall not apply to a Government Company in which the entire paid up share capital is held by the Central Government, or by any State Government or Governments or by the Central Government and one or more State Governments vide Notification No. GSR 463(E) dated 5th June, 2015.
Provided also that no dividend shall be declared or paid by a company from its reserves other than free reserves.
[Provided also that no company shall declare dividend unless carried over previous losses and depreciation not provided in previous year or years are set off against profit of the company for the current year.]
(2) For the purposes of clause (a) of sub-section (1), depreciation shall be provided in accordance with the provisions of Schedule II.
(3) The Board of Directors of a company may declare interim dividend during any financial year out of the surplus in the profit and loss account and out of profits of the financial year in which such interim dividend is sought to be declared:
Provided that in case the company has incurred loss during the current financial year up to the end of the quarter immediately preceding the date of declaration of interim dividend, such interim dividend shall not be declared at a rate higher than the average dividends declared by the company during the immediately preceding three financial years.
(4) The amount of the dividend, including interim dividend, shall be deposited in a scheduled bank in a separate account within five days from the date of declaration of such dividend.
Section 123(4) shall also not apply to a Government Company in which the entire paid up share capital is held by the Central Government, or by any State Government or Governments or by the Central Government and one or more State Governments or by one or more Government Company; vide Notification No. GSR 463(E) dated 5th June, 2015.
The above mentioned exception shall be applicable to a government company which has not committed a default in filing its financial statements under section 137 of the said Act or annual return under section 92 of the said Act with the Registrar, vide amendment notification F. No. 1/2/2014- CL-V dated 13th June 2017.
(5) No dividend shall be paid by a company in respect of any share therein except to the registered shareholder of such share or to his order or to his banker and shall not be payable except in cash:
Section 123(5) shall apply to a Nidhi Company subject to the modification that any dividend payable in cash may be paid by crediting the same to the account of the member, if the dividend is not claimed within 30 days from the date of declaration of dividend, vide Notification No. 465(E) dated 5th June, 2015.
Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall be deemed to prohibit the capitalisation of profits or reserves of a company for the purpose of issuing fully paid-up bonus shares or paying up any amount for the time being unpaid on any shares held by the members of the company:
Provided further that any dividend payable in cash may be paid by cheque or warrant or in any electronic mode to the shareholder entitled to the payment of the dividend.
(6) A company which fails to comply with the provisions of sections 73 and 74 shall not, so long as such failure continues, declare any dividend on its equity shares.
Companies (Declaration and Payment of Dividend) Rules, 2014
[Effective from 1st April, 2014]
Rule 2. Definitions.—(1) In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires,—
(a) “Act” means the Companies Act, 2013;
(b) “section” means section of the Act.
(2) Words and expressions used in these rules but not defined and defined in the Act or in the Companies (Specification of Definitions Details) Rules, 2014, shall have the same meanings respectively assigned to them in the Act or in the said Rules.
Rule 3. Declaration of dividend out of reserves.—In the event of inadequacy or absence of profits in any year, a company may declare dividend out of surplus subject to the fulfillment of the following conditions, namely:—
(1) The rate of dividend declared shall not exceed the average of the rates at which dividend was declared by it in the three years immediately preceding that year:
Provided that this sub-rule shall not apply to a company, which has not declared any dividend in each of the three preceding financial year.
(2) The total amount to be drawn from such accumulated profits shall not exceed one-tenth of the sum of its paid-up share capital and free reserves as appearing in the latest audited financial statement.
(3) The amount so drawn shall first be utilised to set off the losses incurred in the financial year in which dividend is declared before any dividend in respect of equity shares is declared.
(4) The balance of reserves after such withdrawal shall not fall below fifteen per cent of its paid up share capital as appearing in the latest audited financial statement.
 Inserted by the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2015 vide Notification No. S.O. 1440(E) dated 29th May 2015.
 Rule 3(5) omitted by the Companies (Declaration and Payment of Dividend )Second Amendment Rules, 2015 vide Notification No. G.S.R. 441(E) dated 29th May, 2015. Prior to omission it read as under:
“No company shall declare dividend unless carried over previous losses and depreciation not provided in previous year or years are set off against profit of the company of the current year.”