To infuse the more participation of shareholders in the decision making process, e-voting system has also been annexed to the companiesí shareholder meeting.
What we have been observing till commencing the new companies act, 2013 is that shareholders hardly used to come at the General Meeting of the company due to remoteness of the place of the meeting. In this way, shareholders who had majority stake in the companies usually have a say in the decision making process and interest of the minority shareholders had been set aside. Therefore, this e-voting system has been introduced in corporate decision making process.
Letís first understand the applicability of this e-voting:
E-voting system is not applicable on all the companies. This is a little cumbersome process and expensive as well for small companies. Therefore, only following class of companies are required to follow e-voting system:
- Companies whose shares are listed on the stock exchange.
- Companies having 1000 or more shareholders.
This e-voting facility must be communicated by the companies in the notice of annual general meeting (AGM) itself. Notice of AGM shall be sent before 21 days of the meeting, so you have arrange this e voting facility before sending the notice because this notice contains the details about the e-voting and how to use this facility.
What matters shall be included in the Notice of AGM about e-voting
The notice of the meeting shall state that:
- Company is providing the e-voting facility for voting and the items/transaction conducted through e-voting.
- Process and manner to vote through electronically.
- There must some time period mentioned in the notice to consider the vote cast through e-voting.
- Provide the details of login Id.
- Process and manner for creating/generating the password to cast the vote.
- Notice shall also be displayed on the website of the company, if any.
Public Notice by way of an advertisement
- A public notice is also required to be published in two newspapers; one in English newspaper and another is in the local language of the states where the registered office of the company is situated.
- A public notice is also placed on the website of the company and agency
Content of the advertisement must state:
- Business which may be transacted through e-voting.
- The date and timing of commencing and ending of e-voting.
- The members who have already cast their votes through e-voting can also attend the meeting in person.
- The facility for remote e-voting shall remain open for at least three days and shall close at 5.00 p.m. on the previous day of the general meeting.
- Once the vote is cast on the resolution, then it can not be changed subsequently.
After observing the law behind the e-voting, one this is clear that now voting system in the company more align to democratic manner and convenient for shareholders to vote remotely.