Recent relaxations by MCA, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic

We tried to capture the varied relaxations provided by the govt of India, so as to enable the companies to cope up with the COVID-19 lockdown and help them in complying with the provisions of law, within the prescribed time-frame.

Subsequent to the announcement made by Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on March 24, 2020, the MCA has issued a circular dated March 24, 2020, wherein several important relief measures, are taken to deal with the threat imposed by COVID-19 and to scale back the compliance burden as mentioned below:

1. The interval period for holding Board Meetings under Section 173 of the businesses Act, 2013 has been extended to 180 days until next two quarters, i.e. till September 30, 2020. Therefore, the gap between two consecutive Board Meetings may now extend up to 180 days (instead of 120 days) till subsequent two quarters.

2. Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2020 shall now be made applicable from the FY 2020-21 rather than being applicable from the FY 2019-20.

3. If the Independent Directors fail to carry even 1 meeting without the non Independent Directors within the year 2019-20, then an equivalent shall not be considered as a non-compliance.

4. overtime period of 6 months has been granted to newly incorporated companies to file a declaration for commencement of business, additionally to the prevailing period of 6 months

5. For the fiscal year 2019-20, non-compliance of minimum residency in India for a period of a minimum of 182 days by a minimum of one director of each company, shall not be treated as a violation.

6. The transactions restricted to be transacted through video conferencing (VC) or audio-visual means (AUVM), as per Rule 4, shall now be allowed till 30th June, 2020, albeit the physical quorum is absent.

7. The place of BM shall be the place mentioned within the notice of the BM (sent through e-mail)

8. The Chairman and therefore the Company Secretary of the corporate shall be liable for holding the BM via electronic means.

9. a corporation can only hold Extra-ordinary General Meetings via VC AUVM, and not the AGM. Provided, that EOGM shall not be held electronically, unless the interest be discussed in very urgent.

10. Both ordinary also because the Special Resolutions are often passed within the GM held through VC. But it should be noted that GM shall not discuss the standard businesses , it shall only discuss the Special businesses (considering the importance of these matters)

11. As per Section 117(1) of the Act, Company shall file required resolutions or agreement with RoC in form MGT-14 within 30 days from the date of passing of resolution or date of getting into agreement. this point period is now extended to 60 days.

12. All the forms falling due within Apr 2020 and Sep 2020, can now be filed till 30th Sep, 2020, with none additional fees.

13. MCA introduced a replacement web-based Form named CAR (Company Affirmation of Readiness towards COVID-19), as a recommendary measure to tell MCA about which and the way many companies have adopted the “Work from Home” policy within the times of this pandemic, to be filed by Companies and LLP till 31st March, 2020.

With this, I conclude the main relevant relaxations, which can indeed save us from being a non-compliant person within the eyes of law.