Section 96 of Companies Act, 2013 – Annual General Meeting

  • Updated Till : December 01, 2020

SECTION 96. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

[Effective from 1st April, 2014]

(1) Every company other than a One Person Company shall in each year hold in addition to any other meetings, a general meeting as its annual general meeting and shall specify the meeting as such in the notices calling it, and not more than fifteen months shall elapse between the date of one annual general meeting of a company and that of the next:

Provided that in case of the first annual general meeting, it shall be held within a period of nine months from the date of closing of the first financial year of the company and in any other case, within a period of six months, from the date of closing of the financial year:

Provided further that if a company holds its first annual general meeting as aforesaid, it shall not be necessary for the company to hold any annual general meeting in the year of its incorporation:

Provided also that the Registrar may, for any special reason, extend the time within which any annual general meeting, other than the first annual general meeting, shall be held, by a period not exceeding three months.

(2) Every annual general meeting shall be called during business hours, that is, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on any day that is not a National Holiday and shall be held either at the registered office of the company or at some other place within the city, town or village in which the registered office of the company is situate:

[2][Provided that annual general meeting of an unlisted company may be held at any place in India if consent is given in writing or by electronic mode by all the members in advance.

Provided further that] the time, date and place of each annual general meeting are decided upon before-hand by the board of directors having regard to the directions, if any, given in this regard by the company in its general meeting.

Explanation.- For the purposes of this sub-section, “National Holiday” means and includes a day declared as National Holiday by the Central Government.

EXEMPTIONS

Section 96(2) shall apply to a Government Company with the following amendments, vide Notification No. G.S.R 463(E) dated 5th June, 2015

(2) Every annual general meeting shall be called during business hours, that is, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on any day that is not a National Holiday and shall be held either at the registered office of the company or [1][such other place within the city, town or village in which the registered office of the company is situate or such other place as the Central Government may approve in this behalf.

The above exceptions/modifications/adaptations 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 Notification No. G.S.R. 582(E) dated 13th June, 2017.

 

EXEMPTIONS

The following proviso shall be applicable only to a Section 8 company inserted vide Notification No. 466 (E) dated 5th June, 2015.

The above mentioned exception shall be applicable to a Section 8 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 G.S.R. 584(E) dated 13th June 2017. 

 

Applicable Circulars

Extension of time for holding Annual General Meeting (AGM) under section 96(1) of the Companies Act, 2013-Companies registered in State of Jammu and Kashmir.

General Circular No. 45/2014 dated 18-11-2014

The State of Jammu and Kashmir faced unprecedented floods, particularly in the Kashmir valley in September 2014. Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry and others have represented that due to the devastation caused by the floods, companies registered in the State could not convene AGMs for the financial year 2013-2014 within the stipulated time as required under the provisions of Companies Act, 2013.

In view of the exceptional circumstances, Registrar of Companies Jammu and Kashmir is advised to exercise powers conferred on him under the third proviso to section 96(1) of the Companies Act, 2013 to grant extension of time upto 31/12/2014 to those companies registered in the State of Jammu and Kashmir who could not hold their AGMs (other than first AGM) for the financial year 2013-14 within the stipulated time.

Holding of Annual General Meetings by Companies whose financial year has ended on 31st December, 2019

General Circular No. 18/2020 dated 21st April, 2020

Several representations have been received from stakeholders with regard to difficulty in holding annual general meetings (AGMs) for companies whose financial year ended on 31st December, 2019 due to COVID-19 related social distancing norms and consequential restrictions linked thereto. These representations have been examined and it is noted that the Companies Act, 2013 (Act) allows a company to hold its AGM within a period of six months (nine months in case of first AGM) from the closure of the financial year and not later than a period of 15 months from the date of last AGM .

  1. On account of the difficulties highlighted above, it is hereby clarified that if the companies whose financial year (other than first financial year) has ended on 31st December, 2019, hold their AGM for such financial year within a period of nine months from the closure of the financial year (i.e. by 30th September, 2020), the same shall not be viewed as a violation. The references to due date of AGM or the date by which the AGM should have been held under the Act or the rules made thereunder shall be construed accordingly.

Clarification on holding of annual general meeting (AGM) through video conferencing (VC) or other audio visual means (OAVM)

General Circular No.20/2020 dated 5th May, 2020

Several representations have been received in the Ministry for providing relaxations in the provisions of Companies Act, 2013 (the Act) or rules made thereunder to allow companies to hold annual general meeting (AGM) in a manner similar to the one provided in General Circular No. 14/2020, dated 08.04.2020 (EGM Circular – l) and General Circular No. 17/2020 dated 13.04.2020 (EGM Circular – II), which deal with conduct of extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

  1. In the meanwhile, by virtue of the General Circular No. 18/2020, dated 21.04.2020, the companies whose financial year ended on 31st December, 2019, have been allowed to hold their AGM by 30th September, 2020.
  2. The matter has been further examined and it is stated that in view of the continuing restrictions on the movement of persons at several places in the country, it has been decided that the companies be allowed to conduct their AGM through video conferencing (VC) or other audio visual means (OAVM), during the calendar year 2020, subject to the fulfillment of the following requirements:
  3. For companies which are required to provide the facility of e-voting under the Act, or any other company which has opted for such facility –
  4. The framework provided in para 3 -A of EGM circular – I and the manner and mode of issuing notices provided in sub-para (i)-A of EGM Circular- II shall be applicable mutatis mutandis for conducting the AGM.
  5. In such meetings, other than ordinary business, only those items of special business, which are considered to be unavoidable by the Board, may be transacted.
  • In view of the prevailing situation, owing to the difficulties involved in dispatching of physical copies of the financial statements (including Board’s report, Auditor’s report or other documents required to be attached therewith), such statements shall be sent only by email to the members, trustees for the debenture-holder of any debentures issued by the company, and to all other persons so entitled.
  1. Before sending the notices and copies of the financial statements, etc., a public notice by way of advertisement be published at least once in a vernacular newspaper in the principal vernacular language of the district in which the registered office of the company is situated and having a wide circulation in that district, and at least once in English language in an English newspaper having a wide circulation in that district, preferably both newspapers having electronic editions, and specifying in the advertisement the following information.-
  2. statement that the AGM will be convened through VC or OAVM in compliance with applicable provisions of the Act read with this Circular:
  3. the date and time of the AGM through VC or OAVM;
  4. availability of notice of the meeting on the website of the company and the stock exchange, in case of a listed company;
  5. the manner in which the members who are holding shares in physical form or who have not registered their email addresses with the company can cast their vote through remote e-voting or through the e-voting system during the meeting;
  6. the manner in which the persons who have not registered their email addresses with the company can get the same registered with the company;
  7. the manner in which the members can give their mandate receiving dividends directly in their bank accounts through Electronic Clearing Service (ECS) or any other means;
  8. any other detail considered necessary by the company
  9. In case, the company is unable to pay the dividend to any shareholder by the electronic mode, due to non-availability of the details of the bank account, the company shall upon normalization of the postal services, dispatch the dividend warrant/ cheque to such shareholder by post.
  10. In case, the company has received the permission from the relevant authorities to conduct its AGM at its registered office, or at any other place as provided under section 96 of the Act, after following any advisories issued from such authorities, the company may in addition to holding such meeting with physical presence of some members, also provide the facility of VC or OAVM, so as to allow other members of the company to participate in such meeting. All members who are physically present in the meeting as well as the members who attend the meeting through the facility of VC or OAVM shall be reckoned for the purpose of quorum under section 103 of the Act. All resolutions shall continue to be passed through the facility of evoting system.
  11. For companies which are not required to provide the facility of e-voting under the Act –
  12. AGM may be conducted through the facility of VC or OAVM only by a company which has in its records, the email addresses of at least half of its total number of members, who-
  13. in case of a Nidhi, hold shares of more than one thousand rupees in face value or more than one per cent. of the total paid-up share capital, whichever is less;
  14. in case of other companies having share capital, who represent not less than seventy-five per cent. of such part of the paid-up share capital of the company as gives a right to vote at the meeting;
  15. in case of companies not having share capital, who have the right to exercise not less than seventy-five per cent. of the total voting power exercisable at the meeting.
  16. The company shall take all necessary steps to register the email addresses of all persons who have not registered their email addresses with the company.
  • The framework provided in para 3-B of EGM Circular- I and the manner and mode of issuing notices provided in sub-para (i)-B of EGM Circular- II shall be applicable mutatis mutandis for conducting the AGM.
  1. In such meetings, other than ordinary business, only those items of special business, which are considered to be unavoidable by the Board, may be transacted.
  2. Owing to the difficulties involved in dispatching of physical copies of the financial statements (including Board’s report, Auditor’s report or other documents required to be attached therewith), such statements shall be sent only by email to the members, trustees for the debenture-holder of any debentures issued by the company, and to all other persons so entitled.
  3. The companies shall make adequate provisions for allowing the members to give their mandate for receiving dividends directly in their bank accounts through the Electronic Clearing Service (ECS) or any other means. For shareholders, whose bank accounts are not available, company shall upon normalization of the postal services, dispatch the dividend warrant/cheque to such shareholder by post.
  4. The companies referred to in paragraphs 3 (A) and (B) above, shall ensure that all other compliances associated with the provisions relating to general meetings viz making of disclosures, inspection of related documents/registers by members, or authorizations for voting by bodies corporate, etc as provided in the Act and the articles of association of the company are made through electronic mode.
  5. The companies which are not covered by the General Circular No. 18/2020 dated 21.04.?020 and are unable to conduct their AGM in accordance with the framework provided in this Circular are advised to prefer applications for extension of AGM at suitable point of time before the concerned Registrar of Companies under section 96 the Act.x

 

[1] Substituted for the words” such other place as the Central Government may approve in this behalf” in Notification No. G.S.R 463(E) dated 5th June, 2015.

[2] Substituted for the words” Provided that” by the Companies Amendment Act, 2017 vide notification no.  F. No. 1/1/2018-CL.I dated 13th June 2018.

 

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