MCAI notifies Company Secretaries (Election to the Council) (Amendment) Rules, 2022

MINISTRY OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS

NOTIFICATION

New Delhi, the 8th December, 2022

G. S.R. 866(E).—In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 38A read with clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 9 of the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 (56 of 1980), the Central Government hereby makes the following rules, further to amend the Company Secretaries (Election to the Council) Rules, 2006.namely: —

1. Short title and commencement: (1) These rules may be called the Company Secretaries (Election to the Council) (Amendment) Rules, 2022.

(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.

2. In the Company Secretaries (Election to the Council) Rules, 2006 (hereinafter referred to as the said rules), in rule 2, in sub-rule (1), in clause (b),–

(i) for the words, “form approved,”, the words, “form including electronic form approved” shall be substituted;

(ii) after clause (b) , the following clauses shall be inserted, namely:

(ba) “ballot paper” means paper in printed form or in electronic mode for the purpose of casting of vote;

(bb) “Electronic Voting Platform” means a secured electronic platform used for the purpose of voting, including portal or application or combination of any of the electronic system or software as approved by the Council.

(bc) “voting” means casting of vote by physical mode or electronic mode; (bd) “Voting by physical mode” means voting through printed ballot paper at designated polling booth or through postal means;

(be) “Voting by electronic mode” means remote electronic voting or voting at polling booth through any electronic voting platform;

(bf) “polling booth” means a booth designated for the purpose of voting;

(bg) “remote electronic voting” means voting through electronic voting platform from any location other than polling booth.

3. In the said rules, in rule 4, in sub-rule (2),—

(i) for the words “Gazette of India at least”, the words, “Gazette of India within a period of two months but, not exceeding,” shall be substituted;

(ii) in clause (a), for the figures,”21”, the word, “fifteen” shall be substituted;

(iii) in clause (e), after the words “vote by post”, the words, “or through remote electronic voting” shall be inserted;

(iv) in clause (f), after the words, “back from voters”, the words, “or last date and time for remote electronic voting” shall be inserted;

4. In the said rules, in rule 5,for the figure, letters and words, “1 st day of April” the figure, letters and words “1st day of July” shall be substituted.

5. In the said rules, in rule 6, —

(ii) for sub-rule (1), the following sub-rule shall be substituted, namely:-

“(1) On or before the date notified under sub-rule (2) of rule 4, the Returning Officer shall publish a list of members eligible to vote under the provisions of these rules.”

(ii) for sub-rule (3), the following sub-rule shall be substituted,–

“(3) The list of members eligible to vote in Compact Disc or any other electronic form shall be made available at the Headquarters, relevant Regional Councils and their relevant chapters on payment of such fee as specified in rule 10.”

6. In the said rules, in rule 7, for the figure, letters and words “1st day of April” the figure, letters and words “1 st day of July” shall be substituted

7. In the said rules, in rule 9, for sub-rule (1), the following sub-rule shall be substituted, namely -:

“(1) The Council shall publish a notice in the Gazette of India mentioning the number of members to be elected from each regional constituency and calling for nominations of candidates in such mode and in such manner as may be determined by the Council for election by the date and time as specified in vide sub-rule (2) of rule 4.”.

8. In the said rules, in rule 10, for sub-rule (2),the following shall be substituted, namely:-

“(2) The fee shall be paid by demand draft or through other electronic means in favour of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India and payable at New Delhi”.

9. In the said rules, in rule 12, in sub-rule (11), for the words and symbol “registered/speed post”, the words, “registered post or speed post or through electronic means” shall be substituted;

10. In the said rules, in rule 13in sub-rule (1), for the words and symbol “registered/speed post”, the words, “registered post or speed post or through electronic means” shall be substituted;

11. In the said rules, in rule 15, in sub-rule (1), for the words, “and to the voters of the constituency by ordinary post”, the words “or through electronic means and to the voters of the constituency through email” shall be substituted.

12. In the said rules, in rule 19, for sub-rules(2) and (3), the following sub-rules shall be substituted, namely,:-

“(2) Except as otherwise provided, at every election where a poll is taken, vote shall be given by secret ballot and every voter in any election in case of voting by physical mode shall cast his vote personally at the allocated polling booth only and in case of voting by electronic mode at any polling booth in the regional constituency which he belongs, unless a voter is allowed in respect of any election to cast his vote by post or through remote electronic voting as hereinafter provided.

(3) Subject to other provisions of these rules, provisions of Schedule 9 shall apply in case of voting by electronic mode.”

13. In the said rules, in rule 21, in the proviso,-

(i) for the figures and word,”25 members”, the words, ”hundred members” shall be substituted;

(ii) for the figures and word,”50 Kilometers”, the words, ”thirty kilometers” shall be substituted.

14. In the said rules, in rule 25, in the marginal heading, after the words “Ballot Paper”, the words “in case voting by physical mode” shall be inserted;

15. In the said rules, in rule 28, —

(i) in the marginal heading, after the words “ Eligibility to vote by post”, the words “and through remote electronic voting” shall be inserted;

(ii) in sub-rule (1), after the words “vote by post”, the words, “or through remote electronic voting as the case may be” shall be inserted;

(iii) for sub-rule (2), the following sub-rule shall be substituted, namely: —

“(2) A member who is entitled to vote at a polling booth may be permitted by the Returning Officer to vote by post or through remote electronic voting, as the case may be, if by reason of his suffering from any permanent infirmity or, in case of a member in service, a permanent change of address, unable to cast his vote at the polling booth allotted to him:

Provided that where the member sends an application in the approved Form for permission to vote by post within a period of sixty days or through remote electronic voting within a period of forty five days as the case may be, along with the medical certificate issued by a medical practitioner not below the rank of a Surgeon of any Government Hospital, confirming such permanent infirmity, or, as the case may be, proof of permanent change in address signed by an authorised personnel of the organisation where the member is employed, to the Returning Officer before the date of election and where no application received within the specified period shall not be considered.

Explanation:– “member in service” for the purpose of this section means members of the institute who are employed in an organization not being a firm.

(iv) in sub-rule (3), after the words “eligible to vote by post” the words “or through remote electronic voting,
as the case may be,” shall be inserted;

16. In the said rules, in rule 29:—

(i) in the marginal heading for the words, “procedure of voting at the polling booth” the words, “procedure of voting by physical mode and electronic mode” shall be substituted;

(ii) for rule 29, the following sub-rule shall be substituted, namely:–

“(1) voting by physical mode at a polling booth shall take place as per procedure laid out in the Schedule 6 to these rules;

(2) voting by electronic mode at a polling booth shall take place as per procedure laid out in Schedule 9 to these Rules.”

17. In the said rules, in rule 30, —

(3) in the marginal heading, after the words, “Procedure of voting by post” the words, “ and through remote electronic voting” shall be inserted;

(4) before the words, “to these Rules”, the words “and remote electronic voting shall take place as per procedure laid out in Schedule 9”, to these Rules shall be inserted;

18. In the said rules, in rule 32,-

(i) after the words “headquarters of the Institute”, the words “or such other place as may be decided by him in this behalf” shall be inserted;

(ii) after the words, “in writing” the words, “or through electronic mean, as the case may be” shall be inserted;

19. In the said rules, for rule 35, the following rule shall be substituted, namely: —

“35. Counting of votes and declaration of results:-

“(1) In case of Voting in physical mode, counting of votes and declaration of results shall take place as per procedure laid down in Schedule 8;

(2) In case of voting by electronic mode, except as otherwise provided in Schedule 9, the procedure for counting of votes and declaration of result as specified in Schedule 8 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the counting of votes cast through electronic voting platform.”.

20. In the said rules, in Schedule I, —

(i) in clause (ii), for the words,” and Tamil Nadu” the words, “Tamil Nadu and Telangana” shall be substituted;

(ii) for clause (iv), the following clause shall be substituted, namely:-

“(iv) Northern India Regional Constituency:— Comprising the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and the Union territories of Chandigarh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.”

21. In the said rules, in Schedule2,—

(i) in clause 2,–

(a) in sub-clause (vi), after the words, “exercise his franchise”, the words “by physical mode” shall be inserted;

(b) after sub-clause (vi), the following sub-clause shall be inserted, namely:–

“(vii) in case a voter is to exercise his franchise through electronic mode, the number and addresses of polling booth in the concerned regional constituency, in any of which the franchise shall be exercised.”;

(ii) in clause (3), for the words, “in respect of place” the words “in case of voting by physical mode and in respect of place” shall be substituted;

22. In the said rules, in Schedule 4, inclause 2, in sub-clause (c),for item (ii), the following shall be substituted, namely:-

“(ii) Company Secretary in Practice (sole proprietor or in partnership or Limited Liability Partnership including the name of the firm).”.

23. In the said rules, in Schedule 5, in clause (j), for sub-clause (ii),the following sub-clause shall be substituted, namely:-

“(ii) Company Secretary in Practice (sole proprietor or in partnership or Limited Liability Partnership including the name of the firm).”.

24. In the said rules, in Schedule 6; in clause 7, in sub-clause (1) for the words,” the headquarters of the Institute”, the words, “the headquarters of the Institute or Regional Office of the Institute, as the case may be,” shall be substituted.

25. In the said rules, after Schedule 8, the following Schedule shall be substituted, namely:-

SCHEDULE 9

Election through Electronic Mode

(See rule 4, sub-rule (3) of rule 19, rule 28, rule 29, rule 30 and rule 35)

1. Admissible number of votes to a voter and method of Voting.–

(1) Every voter shall have one vote only, and he shall have as many preferences as there are candidates.

(2) The voter in order to cast his vote;-

(a) shall record on the electronic voting platform the first preference against the name of the candidate for whom he votes first; and

(b) may, in addition, record on the electronic voting platform the second preference, third preference and so on against the name of other candidate in the order to his preference, upto the maximum number of preferences available to him under sub-rule (i).

2. Ballot papers.–

(1) The ballot paper shall be, in alphabetical order in English, a list of the candidates nominated for a constituency and shall be available seriatim with or without his photo on the electronic voting platform.

(2) Each such ballot paper shall contain the Institute’s emblem in such manner, as may be decided by the Returning Officer having regard to the security considerations of the ballot paper.

3. Procedure for voting by electronic mode at polling booth.–

(1) Identification of voters at the polling booth and Tendered ballot,-

(a) At the polling booth, the polling officer shall verify the identity or signature of every person claiming to be a voter in such manner as may be specified by the Returning Officer.

(b) At any time before giving the authorisation to vote, if the polling officer has doubt with regard to the identity of any person or his right to vote, he shall satisfy himself in any manner as he may deem fit as to establish the identity of such person.

(c) If the polling officer is not satisfied with the identity or eligibility of member to cast vote, he may allow such member to cast vote through a process and such vote shall be retained separately and subject to verification at headquarters provided that name of said member appearing in list of voters of concerned regional constituency and before allowing tender vote, the polling officer shall obtain a written application from the person concerned.

(d) The vote as referred to in sub-clause (c) shall not be accumulated into the main data of the votes cast and shall be termed as “Tendered ballot”.

(e) The polling officer shall forward all the applications for tender ballot after recording in writing his own observations to the Returning Officer for his decision and his decision so taken shall be final and conclusive.

(f) In case of failure of online Electronic Voting Platform at any polling booth on day of voting, polling shall be done on offline Electronic Voting Platform.

(g) The vote as referred to in sub-paragraph (f) shall not be accumulated into the main data of the votes cast and shall be termed as “Offline Vote” and if any voter casts vote more than one time, Returning Officer shall decide which vote of such member shall be valid.

(2). The polling officer shall, at the time of allowing a voter to enter into the electronic voting platform, record the attendance of voter and authorise him to cast his vote in such manner as determined by the Returning Officer.

(3). Manner of recording of votes after getting authorisation to vote at polling booth.-

upon receipt of authorisation or password to cast vote, the voter shall forthwith proceed into the secret chamber set-up for the purpose and shall record his vote on the electronic voting platform in the manner referred to in clause (1) above and thereafter he shall leave the secret chamber.

(4) Procedure at polling booth.–

(a) The polling booth shall be kept open for the day determined for recording of votes from 8.00 a.m. to 7.00 pm. unless otherwise directed by the Council.

(b) If the polling at any polling booth does not take place on the day appointed for casting of votes or interrupted or obstructed due to any sufficient cause or the data or device used at booth is tampered with or accidentally or deliberately destroyed, lost or damaged, the polling officer may, with prior approval of the Returning Officer, adjourn the polling to a subsequent date and Returning Officer may declare the polling of such polling booth as void and order for a fresh polling.

(c) If polling is adjourned or declared void under sub-clause (b), the Returning Officer shall, as soon as possible, determine the place where the polling shall be conducted and the date and time for the said polling.

(d) The place, date and the time of polling determined under sub-clause (c) shall be issued individually to all voters affected as well as in the Gazette of India.

(e) The Returning Officer shall not proceed to count the votes cast at the election until the polling at the polling booth in the constituency has been completed.

(f) Just before polling booth is opened to the voters on the first day of polling, the Polling Officer in the presence of a candidate or his authorised representative, as the case may be, who may be present shall log in into electronic voting platform.

(g) The polling officer shall close the polling booth at the end of the day, or if the polling is for more than one day, at the end of each day, at the hour determined under sub-clause (a), no voter shall be admitted thereto after that hour: Provided that a voter present in the polling booth before it is closed, shall be entitled to have his vote recorded.-

(h) The polling officer shall, as soon as practicable after the close of poll or after its close on each day, if the polling is for more than one day, in presence of any candidate or his authorized representative who may be present, log off from the electronic voting platform;

(i) The polling officer shall at the end of poll or after its close on each day generate reports, statements and data
as determined by the Returning Officer and seal in a packet with his own seal.

(j) Where the polling is arranged to take place for more than one day, the Polling Officer shall arrange for safe custody of the electronic voting platform and packets containing such documents as required by the Returning Officer after the end of polling on first day and start the polling on the next day.

(k) Where the polling is arranged to take place for more than one day, just before the polling booth is opened to the voters on the following day, the polling officer shall in presence of any candidate or hisauthorised representative who may be present, shall log in into electronic voting platform;

(l) The packets referred in clause (j) shall be decided by Returning Officer in such manner as determined by the Returning Officer.

(5) Invalid electronic Ballot Paper.—

Where a voter, after entering into the electronic voting platform, chooses not to vote, his electronic ballot paper shall be deemed to be invalid and shall be rejected by the Returning Officer and he shall not be permitted to vote again.

4. Procedure for Remote Electronic Voting.–

(1) Access to the electronic voting platform shall be allowed on the date of election issued for this purpose and Electronic voting platform shall be kept open for remote voting for not more than twenty four hours unless otherwise determined by the Council.

(2) Eligible voter may cast his vote from any location on the Electronic Voting Platform andto access the electronic voting platform, such voter shall be provided with a password through email or mobile number registered with the Institute, as determined by the Returning Officer.

(3) If Remote Electronic Voting does not take place on the day appointed for recording of votes or interrupted or obstructed due to non-functioning or malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Platform or the data used for Remote Electronic Voting is tampered with or is accidentally or deliberately destroyed, lost or damaged, the Returning Officer may adjourn the polling to a subsequent date or Returning Officer may declare the polling void and order for a fresh polling and as soon as possible, appoint the date and time, as the case may be, for the said polling and the date and the time of polling so appointed shall be intimated individually to all voters affected as well as published in the Gazette of India.

5. Procedure for counting of votes and declaration of results.–

(1) After completion of polling, all the votes’ cast through Offline Electronic Voting, Online Electronic Voting and approved tendered votes shall be compiled and synchronized;

(2) Counting of votes shall be done digitally through Electronic Voting Platform;

(3) Log in to Electronic Voting Platform for counting of votes shall be done in presence of the candidate or his authorised representative who opt to be present at the venue.

[F. No. 3/2/2021-PI]

INDER DEEP SINGH DHARIWAL, Jt. Secy.

Note: The principal rule was published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part-II, Section 3, sub-section (i) vide notification number G.S.R. 553(E) dated 05th September, 2006, amended vide notification number G.S.R. 552(E) dated 23.07.2008 and last amended vide notification number G.S.R. 111(E) dated 25th February, 2011 read with Corrigendum No. G.S.R. 373(E) dated 09th May 2011, published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary dated 10th May, 2011.

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Location: KOLKATA, West Bengal, India
Member Since: 17 Dec 2019 | Total Posts: 3
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