Erstwhile Companies Act 1956 had no specific definition of ‘Independent Director’. However by passing of time, Companies Act 2013 made a special recognization to Independent Director and has reposed faith as well as confidence for the better corporate governance.

Status of Independent Directors in a Company – Non-executive Director

Applicable section, Rule & Schedule to Independent Directors

(a) Section 149 of the Companies Act, 2013,

(b) Rule 4 & Rule 5 of the Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules, 2014

(c) Schedule-IV.

Applicability of Provisions related to Independent Directors

Listed Company Unlisted Public Company
Yes Yes
1/3rd of total strength should be ID Minimum-2
Criteria- Listed Criteria-paid-up share capital of Rs. 10 cr or more. OR

turnover of Rs. 100 cr or more. OR

aggregate outstanding loans, debentures, and deposits, exceeding Rs. 50 crore

NB- The threshold mentioned above has to be seen/checked as per the “ latest” audited Financial statements.

Non-applicability of Provisions related to Independent Directors – Private company, OPC, Small Companies, Wholly Owned subsidiary, Dormant Companies evenif they meet the threshold criteria.

Appointment of Independent Director– By shareholders in general meeting by passing Ordinary resolution .

Re-appointment of Independent Director– By passing Special Resolution .

Other compliance related to Independent Directors –

1. The terms and conditions of appointment of independent directors shall also be posted on the company’s website, if any.

2. If the provisions of CSR is applicable to a company, the Companies Act, 2013 requires the CSR Committee to consist of at least three directors, including at least one independent director.

3. Independent director shall be appointed for a maximum term upto 5 years. He can be appointed for less than 5 years as well, but the same shall be taken as “ one term”. The term shall not be more than 2 consecutive terms.

4. A person must be an independent director in not more than 7 listed companies at a time.(As per SEBI guideline)

5. An independent director shall not retire by rotation and shall not be included in “total number of directors’ for the purpose of computation of rotational directors.

6. A person can be appointed as an alternate director. But he must be qualified to be appointed as an independent director.

7. If the Board meeting is called at shorter notice so as to transact some urgent business, then the presence of at least 1 independent director is mandatory.

8. Independent director’s appointment process must be independent of the company’s management. Databank may be used to appoint an independent director.

9. Every independent director shall give a declaration that he meets the criteria of independence when :

    • he attends the first board meeting as a director;
    • in every financial year, at the first meeting of the board of directors
    • when a situation arises which affects his status of independence being an independent director

10. No need to give any security deposit for the candidature .

11. Not entitled to any Stock options, but can get Remuneration by way of sitting fees.

12. Vacancy created by Resignation or Removal must be filed by Board/members within 3 months from the date of resignation/removal.

13. In case the Board meets the criteria of Independent director provisions, then no need to fill the vacancy created by Resignation/Removal.

Recent Amendment – Inclusion in the data bank & ONLINE Examination

MCA has notified the Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Fifth Amendment Rules, 2019, and the Companies (Accounts) Amendment Rules, 2019. The notification shall come into force with effective from Dec 01, 2019.

The new norms applicable to below Category only:-

  • Those who are already serving as “ Independent Director” in the Board of a company
  • Those professional who are intending to be appointed as “ Independent Director”
  • The companies which are required to appoint “ Independent Directors”

Way forward for an existing Independent Director (by the Individual director)

SL No
Parameters
Last date
Fees
Remarks
1
Registration in the data base
29th February 2020
Rs 5000+GST@18% for 1 year as of now
http://www.mca.gov.in/mcafoportal/iicaDirService.do
2
Passing of examination
28-02-2021
NIL
Online proficiency self-assessment test on company law, securities law, basic accountancy etc.
3
Pass %
Minimum 60%
4
No of attempt
No limit within a year of enrollment
5
Failure in exam
Name will be removed from date base and can not continue as “ Independent Director”. Can appointed as Normal director.
6
Name Tenure in data base
1/5/life time and shall be renew further period except for Life time .
7
DIN Mandatory
NO
8
Submission of declaration with Board of Director
At the time of declaration u/s149-7
Nil
Annual declaration

Way forward for a Prospective Individual not yet appointed as Independent Director

SL No
Parameter
Last date
Fees
Remarks
1
Registration in data base
29th February 2020
Rs 5000+GST@18% for 1 year as of now
http://www.mca.gov.in/mcafoportal/iicaDirService.do
2
Passing of examination
28-02-2021
NIL
Online proficiency self-assessment test on company law, securities law, basic accountancy etc.
3
Pass %
Minimum 60%
4
No of attempt
No limit within a year of enrollment
5
Failure in exam
Name will be removed and not qualified to be appointed as ID in any other company .
6
Name Tenure in data base
1/5/life time and shall be renew further period except for Life time .
7
Document required since no DIN is there
PAN/Passport

Note-Individuals who have served for a period of 10 years as on date of inclusion of his name in databank as director or Key Managerial Personnel (KMP) in listed public company or unlisted public company having paid up capital of Rs. 10 crore or more shall not be required to pass online proficiency self-assessment test. For purpose of calculation of 10 years, if a person is acting as director or KMP in two or more companies shall be counted only once.

Way forward for a Company to appoint Independent Director

  • Register themselves and search the profile of Individual registered there. Ps ensure valid CIN. One OTP will be received .
  • Follow the process & get the company registered. (https://www.independentdirectorsdatabank.in/corporate_guide)
  • Company may restrict to two user who can search the data base.
  • They need to go to the data base maintained and select the incumbent from the list. (https://www.independentdirectorsdatabank.in/)

(Author – CS Prashant Panda, BCom, FCS, LLB is a Company Secretary from Bhubaneswar and can be contacted at prashantpanda2004@yahoo.com- Mobile 9853199900)

Author Bio

More Under Company Law

One Comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search Posts by Date

November 2020
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30