The Companies Act 1956 is administered by the Government of India through the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the Offices of Registrar of Companies, Official Liquidators, Public Trustee, Company Law Board, Director of Inspection, etc. The Act is 658 sections long. The Act contains provisions about Companies, directors of the companies, memorandum and articles of associations, etc. This act states and discusses every single provision requires or may need to govern a company. It mentions what type on companies their differences, constitution , management, members , capital, how should the shares should be issues, debentures, registration of charge, at the end of the act it concludes the about winding up of a company, discussing the situations a company needs to be winded up. The ways it should be done by volunteer or through courts.
Provisions of the Act
Article 3 of the act describes the definition of a company, the types of companies that can be formed e.g. public, private, holding, subsidiary, limited by shares, unlimited etc. Further on in Article 10 E it explains about the constitution of board of company, it explains the companies’ name, the jurisdictions, tribunals, memorandums and the changes that can be made. Article 26 and further on explains about the article of association of the company which a very important part when forming a company and various amendments that can be made. Article 53 to 123,it explains about the shares, the share holders their rights, it explains about debentures, share capital, their procedure and powers within the company. Article 146 to 251 it explains about the management and administration of the company and the provisions registered office and name. Article 252 to 323 elaborates on the provisions of duties, powers responsibility and liability of the directors in the company which is a very integral part of the company when it is formed. Article 391 to 409 explains about the arbitration, the prevention and obsession of the company Article 425 to 560 it explains the procedure of winding up of a company, the preventions the rights of shareholders, creditors, methods of liquidations, compensation provided and ways of winding up the company. Article 591 and further on explains about setting up companies outside India and their fees and registration procedure and all.
An overview of Companies Act 1956
Companies Act 1956 explains about the whole procedure of the how to form a company, its fees procedure, name, constitution, its members, and the motive behind the company, its share capital, about its general board meetings, management and administration of the company including an important part which is the directors as they are the decision makers and they take all the important decisions for the company their main responsibility and liabilities about the company matter the most. The Act explains about the winding of the business as well and what happens in detail during liquidation period.
Company objective and legal procedure based on the Act
The basic objectives underlying the law are:
- A minimum standard of good behaviour and business honesty in company promotion and management.
- Due recognition of the legitimate interest of shareholders and creditors and of the duty of managements not to prejudice to jeopardize those interests.
- Provision for greater and effective control over and voice in the management for shareholders.
- A fair and true disclosure of the affairs of companies in their annual published balance sheet and profit and loss accounts.
- Proper standard of accounting and auditing.
- Recognition of the rights of shareholders to receive reasonable information and facilities for exercising an intelligent judgment with reference to the management.
- A ceiling on the share of profits payable to managements as remuneration for services rendered.
- A check on their transactions where there was a possibility of conflict of duty and interest.
- A provision for investigation into the affairs of any company managed in a manner oppressive to minority of the shareholders or prejudicial to the interest of the company as a whole.
- Enforcement of the performance of their duties by those engaged in the management of public companies or of private companies which are subsidiaries of public companies by providing sanctions in the case of breach and subjecting the latter also to the more restrictive provisions of law applicable to public companies.
Companies Act empowerment and mechanism
In India, the Companies Act, 1956, is the most important piece of legislation that empowers the Central Government to regulate the formation, financing, functioning and winding up of companies. The Act contains the mechanism regarding organizational, financial, and managerial, all the relevant aspects of a company. It empowers the Central Government to inspect the books of accounts of a company, to direct special audit, to order investigation into the affairs of a company and to launch prosecution for violation of the Act. These inspections are designed to find out whether the companies conduct their affairs in accordance with the provisions of the Act, whether any unfair practices prejudicial to the public interest are being resorted to by any company or a group of companies and to examine whether there is any mismanagement which may adversely affect any interest of the shareholders, creditors, employees and others. If an inspection discloses a prima facie case of fraud or cheating, action is initiated under provisions of the Companies Act or the same is referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The Companies Act, 1956 has been amended from time to time in response to the changing business environment.
Full text of "Companies Act 1956" available here