Section 141 of Companies Act, 2013 – Eligibility, qualifications and disqualifications of auditors

  • Updated Till : June 23, 2017

SECTION 141. ELIGIBILITY, QUALIFICATIONS AND DISQUALIFICATIONS OF AUDITORS

[Effective from 1st April, 2014]

(1) A person shall be eligible for appointment as an auditor of a company only if he is a chartered accountant:

Provided that a firm whereof majority of partners practising in India are qualified for appointment as aforesaid may be appointed by its firm name to be auditor of a company.

(2) Where a firm including a limited liability partnership is appointed as an auditor of a company, only the partners who are chartered accountants shall be authorised to act and sign on behalf of the firm.

(3) The following persons shall not be eligible for appointment as an auditor of a company, namely:—

(a) a body corporate other than a limited liability partnership registered under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008 (6 of 2009);

(b) an officer or employee of the company;

(c) a person who is a partner, or who is in the employment, of an officer or employee of the company;

(d) a person who, or his relative or partner—

(i) is holding any security of or interest in the company or its subsidiary, or of its holding or associate company or a subsidiary of such holding company:

Provided that the relative may hold security or interest in the company of face value not exceeding one thousand rupees or such sum as may be prescribed;

(ii) is indebted to the company, or its subsidiary, or its holding or associate company or a subsidiary of such holding company, in excess of such amount as may be prescribed; or

(iii) has given a guarantee or provided any security in connection with the indebtedness of any third person to the company, or its subsidiary, or its holding or associate company or a subsidiary of such holding company, for such amount as may be prescribed;

(e) a person or a firm who, whether directly or indirectly, has business relationship with the company, or its subsidiary, or its holding or associate company or subsidiary of such holding company or associate company of such nature as may be prescribed;

(f) a person whose relative is a director or is in the employment of the company as a director or key managerial personnel;

(g) a person who is in full time employment elsewhere or a person or a partner of a firm holding appointment as its auditor, if such persons or partner is at the date of such appointment or reappointment holding appointment as auditor of more than twenty companies;

EXEMPTIONS

Section 141 (g) shall apply to a private company with the modification that the words “other than one person companies, dormant companies, small companies and private companies having paid-up share capital less than one hundred crore rupees.” shall be inserted after the words twenty companies vide Notification No. 464(E) dated 5th June, 2015.

The above mentioned exception shall be applicable to a private 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. 1/1/2014- CL-V dated 13th June 2017. 

(h) a person who has been convicted by a court of an offence involving fraud and a period of ten years has not elapsed from the date of such conviction;

(i) any person whose subsidiary or associate company or any other form of entity, is engaged as on the date of appointment in consulting and specialised services as provided in section 144.

(4) Where a person appointed as an auditor of a company incurs any of the disqualifications mentioned in sub-section (3) after his appointment, he shall vacate his office as such auditor and such vacation shall be deemed to be a casual vacancy in the office of the auditor.

Applicable Rules

Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules, 2014

[Effective from 1st April, 2014]

Rule 10. Disqualifications of auditor.—(1) For the purpose of proviso to sub- clause (i) of clause (d) of sub-section (3) of section 141, a relative of an auditor may hold securities in the company of face value not exceeding rupees one lakh:

Provided that the condition under this sub-rule shall, wherever relevant, be also applicable in the case of a company not having share capital or other securities:

Provided further that in the event of acquiring any security or interest by a relative, above the threshold prescribed, the corrective action to maintain the limits as specified above shall be taken by the auditor within sixty days of such acquisition or interest.

(2) For the purpose of sub-clause (ii) of clause (d) of sub-section (3) of section 141, a person who or whose relative or partner is indebted to the company or its subsidiary or its holding or associate company or a subsidiary of such holding company, in excess of rupees five lakh shall not be eligible for appointment.

(3) For the purpose of sub-clause (iii) of clause (d) of sub-section (3) of section 141, a person who or whose relative or partner has given a guarantee or provided any security in connection with the indebtedness of any third person to the company, or its subsidiary, or its holding or associate company or a subsidiary of such holding company, in excess of one lakh rupees shall not be eligible for appointment.

(4) For the purpose of clause (e) of sub-section (3) of section 141, the term “business relationship” shall be construed as any transaction entered into for a commercial purpose, except—

(i) commercial transactions which are in the nature of professional services permitted to be rendered by an auditor or audit firm under the Act and the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the rules or the regulations made under those Acts;

(ii) commercial transactions which are in the ordinary course of business of the company at arm’s length price – like sale of products or services to the auditor, as customer, in the ordinary course of business, by companies engaged in the business of telecommunications, airlines, hospitals, hotels and such other similar businesses.

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