Ordinances Current Affairs
Union Cabinet has approved proposal for promulgation ordinance to amend the Companies Act, 2013. The ordinance had received assent from President Ram Nath Kovind under Article 123 and has been promulgated. The amendments to the Act are aimed to promote ease of doing business as well as ensure better compliance levels.
The ordinance to change Companies Act seeks to declog National Company Law Tribunals (NCLTs) and decriminalise minor offences by companies. The ordinance will transfer 90% of the cases to regional directors under Ministry of Corporate Affairs from NCLTs. Moreover, it will retain status of all non-compoundable offences since they are serious in nature.
Union Government-appointed Committee (headed by Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas) had suggested various changes to Act, including restructuring of corporate offences under companies law and in-house adjudication mechanism to ensure that courts get more time to deal with serious violations.
Apart from restructuring of corporate offences to relieve special courts from adjudicating routine offences, the committee had mooted re-categorisation of 16 out of 81 compoundable offences under the Act. This move was recommended to bring down NCLT’s load as it looks at insolvency and bankruptcy cases as well.
It also recommended disqualification of directors in case they have directorships beyond permissible limits and capping an independent director’s remuneration. It also had suggested that remuneration any independent director gets from company should be capped at 20% of his gross income in year to prevent any material pecuniary relationship, which could impair their independence on the board.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved promulgation of Ordinance amend a law for speedy disposal of commercial disputes. This decision aims to improve India’s ranking in World Bank’s ease of doing business index. The index takes into consideration dispute resolution environment in country, which facilitates investors in deciding for setting up of and operation of a business.
The ordinance will replace Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill which is pending in Parliament. It will bring down specified value of commercial dispute to Rs 3 lakh from the present Rs 1 crore. It also aims to bring down time taken from the present 1,445 days in resolution of commercial disputes of lesser value.
The amendments through ordinance provides for establishment of commercial courts at district judge level for territories over which High Courts Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Himachal Pradesh have ordinary original civil jurisdiction. The ordinance will be given prospective effect so that authority of the judicial forum presently adjudicating commercial disputes is not affected.