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The Companies Act, 1956

Title : The Companies Act, 1956

Year : 1956



The share capital of a company limited by shares shall be of two kinds only, namely:-

(a) Equity share capital -

(i) With voting rights; or

(ii) With differential rights as to dividend, voting or otherwise in accordance with such rules and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed;

(b) Preference share capital.
 
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1. Substituted by Act 53 of 2000, Section 38, for Section 86 (w.e.f. 13-12-2000).

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(1) Subject to the provisions of section 89 and sub-section (2) of section 92-

(a) Every member of a company limited by shares and holding any equity share capital therein shall have a right to vote, in respect of such capital, on every resolution placed before the company; and

(b) His voting right on a poll shall be in proportion to his share of the paid up equity capital of the company.

(2) (a) Subject as aforesaid and save as provided in clause (b) of this sub-section, every member of a company limited by shares and holding any preference share capital therein shall, in respect of such capital, have a right to vote only on resolutions placed before the company which directly affect the rights attached to his preference shares.

Explanation.-Any resolution for winding up the company or for the repayment or reduction of its share capital shall be deemed directly to affect the rights attached to preference shares within the meaning of this clause.

(b) Subject as aforesaid, every member of a company limited by shares and holding any preference share capital therein shall, in respect of such capital, be entitled to vote on every resolution placed before the company at any meeting, if the dividend due on such capital or any part of such dividend has remained unpaid-

(i) In the case of cumulative preference shares, in respect of an aggregate period of not less than two years preceding the date of commencement of the meeting; and

(ii) In the case of non-cumulative preference shares, either in respect of a period of not less than two years ending with the expiry of the financial year immediately preceding the commencement of the meeting or in respect of an aggregate period of not less than three years comprised in the six years ending with the expiry of the financial year aforesaid.

Explanation.-For the purposes of this clause, dividend shall be deemed to be due on preference shares in respect of any period, whether a dividend has been declared by the company on such shares for such period or not,-

(a) On the last day specified for the payment of such dividend for such period, in the articles or other instrument executed by the company in that behalf; or

(b) In case no day is so specified, on the day immediately following such period;

(c) Where the holder of any preference share has a right to vote on any resolution in accordance with the provisions of this sub-section, his voting right on a poll, as the holder of such share, shall, subject to the provisions of section 89 and sub-section (2) of section 92, be in the same proportion as the capital paid up in respect of the preference share bears to the total paid up equity capital of the company.



[Repealed by Companies (Amendment Act, 2000 (53 of 2000), Section 39 (w.e.f. 13-12-2000).]



(1) If at the commencement of this Act any shares, by whatever name called, of any existing company limited by shares carry voting rights in excess of the voting rights attaching under sub-section (1) of section 87 to equity shares in respect of which the same amount of capital has been paid up, the company shall, within a period of one year from the commencement of this Act, reduce the voting rights in respect of the shares first mentioned so as to bring them into conformity with the voting rights attached to such equity shares under sub-section (1) of section 87.

(2) Before the voting rights are brought into such conformity, the holders of the shares in question shall not exercise in respect thereof voting rights in excess of what would have been exercisable by them if the capital paid up on their shares had been equity share capital, in respect of the following resolutions placed before the company, namely:-

1*[(a)Any resolution relating to the appointment or re-appointment of a director or to any variation in the terms of an agreement between the company and a managing or whole-time director thereof;]

(b) Any resolution relating to the appointment of buying or selling agents;

2 [***]

(3) If, by reason of the failure of the requisite proportion of any class of members to agree, it is not found possible to comply with the provisions of sub-section (1), the company shall, within one month of the expiry of the period of one year mentioned in that sub-section, apply to the court for an order specifying the manner in which the provisions of that sub-section shall be complied with; and any order made by the court in this behalf shall bind the company and all its shareholders.

If default is made in complying with this sub-section, the company, and every officer of the company who is in default, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to 3*[ten thousand rupees].

(4) The Central Government may, in respect of any shares issued by a company before the Ist day of December, 1949, exempt the company from the requirements of sub-sections (1), (2) and (3) wholly or in part, if in the opinion of the Central Government the exemption is required either in the public interest or in the interest of the company or of any class of shareholders therein or of the creditors or any class of creditors thereof.

Every order of exemption made by the Central Government under this sub-section shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament as soon as may be after it is made.

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1. Substituted by Act 53 of 2000, Section 40, for clause (a) (w.e.f. 13-12-2000).

2. Clause (c) omitted by Act 53 of 2000, sec, 40 (w.e.f. 13-12-2000).

3. Substituted by Act 53 of 2000, Section 40, for "one thousand rupees" (w.e.f. 13-12-2000).

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(1) Nothing in sections 85, 86, 88 and 89 shall, in the case of any shares issued by a public company before the commencement of this Act, affect any voting rights attached to the shares save an otherwise provided in section 89, or any rights attached to the shares as to dividend, capital or otherwise.

(2) Nothing in sections 85 to 89 shall apply to a private company, unless it is a subsidiary of a public company.

(3) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that on and from the commencement of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 1974, the provisions of section 87 shall apply in relation to the voting rights attached to preference shares issued by a public company before the 1st day of April, 1956, as they apply to the preference shares issued by a public company after that date.

Explanation.-For the purpose of this section, references to a public company shall be construed as including references to a private company which is a subsidiary of a public company.]
 
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1. Substituted by Act 41 of 1974, Section 10, for section 90 (w.e.f. 1-2-1979).

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Where after the commencement of this Act, any calls for further share capital are made on shares, such calls shall be made on a uniform basis on all shares falling under the same class.

Explanations.-For the purposes of this section, shares of the same nominal value on which different amounts have been paid up shall not be deemed to fall under the same class.



(1) A company may, if so authorised by its articles accept from any member the whole or a part of the amount remaining unpaid on any shares held by him, although no part of that amount has been called up.

(2) The member shall not however be entitled, where the company is one limited by shares, to any voting rights in respect of the moneys so paid by him until the same would, but for such payment, become presently payable.



A company may, if so authorised by its articles, pay dividends in proportion to the amount paid-up on each share where a larger amount is paid up on some shares than on others.



(1) A limited company having a share capital, may, if so authorised by its articles, after the conditions of its memorandum as follows, that is to say, it may-

(a) Increase its share capital by such amount as it thinks expedient by issuing new shares;

(b) Consolidate and divide all or any of its share capital into shares of larger amount than its existing shares;

(c) Convert all or any of its fully paid up shares into stock, and re-convert that stock into fully paid up shares of any denomination;

(d) Sub-divide its shares, or any of them, into shares of smaller amount than is fixed by the memorandum, so however, that in the sub-division the proportion between the amount paid and the amount, if any, unpaid on each reduced share shall be the same as it was in the case of the share from which the reduced share is derived;

(e) Cancel shares which, at the date of the passing of the resolution in that behalf, have not been taken or agreed to be taken by any person, and diminish the amount of its share capital by the amount of the shares so cancelled.

(2) The powers conferred by this section shall be exercised by the company in general meeting and shall not require to be confined by the court.

(3) A cancellation of shares in pursuance of this section shall not be deemed to be a reduction of share capital within the meaning of this Act.

94A - 1* Share capital to stand increased where an order is made under section 81(4)

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, where the Central Government has, by an order made under sub-section (4) of section 81, directed that any debenture or loan or any part thereof shall be converted into shares in a company, the conditions contained in the memorandum of such company shall, where such order has the effect of increasing the nominal share capital of the company, stand altered and the nominal share capital of such company shall stand increased by an amount equal to the amount of the value of the shares into which such debentures or loans or part thereof has been converted.

(2) Where, in pursuance of an option attached to debentures issued or loans raised by the company, any public financial institution proposes to convert such debentures or loans into shares in the company, the Central Government may, on the application of such public financial institution direct that the conditions contained in the memorandum of such company shall stand altered and the nominal share capital of such company shall stand increased by an amount equal to the amount of the value of the shares into which such debentures or loans or part thereof has been converted.

(3) Where the memorandum of a company becomes altered, whether by reason of an order made by the Central Government under sub-section (1) of section 81 or sub-section (2) of this section, the Central Government shall send a copy of such order to the Registrar and also to the company and on receipt of such order, the company shall file in the prescribed form, within thirty days from the date of such receipt, a return to the Registrar with regard to the increase of share capital and the Registrar shall, on receipt of such order and return, carry out the necessary alterations in the memorandum of the company.]

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1. Inserted by Act 41 of 1974, Section 11 (w.e.f. 1-2-1975).

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(1) If a company having a share capital has -

(a) Consolidated and divided its share capital into shares of larger amount than its existing shares;

(b) Converted any shares into stock;

(c) Re-converted any stock into shares;

(d) Sub-divided its shares or any of them;

(e) Redeemed any redeemable preference shares; or

(f) Cancelled any shares, otherwise than in connection with a reduction of share capital under sections 100 to 104; the company shall within1*[thirty days] after doing so, give notice thereof to the Registrar specifying, as the case may be, the shares, consolidated, divided, converted, sub-divided, redeemed or cancelled, or the stock reconverted.

(2) The Registrar shall thereupon record the notice, and make any alterations which may be necessary in the company's memorandum or articles or both.

(3) If default is made in complying with sub-section (1), the company, and every officer of the company who is in default, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to2*[five hundred rupees] for every day during which the default continues.

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1. Substituted by Act 31 of 1965, Section 62 and Schedule, for "one month" (w.e.f. 15-10-1965).

2. Substituted by Act 53 of 2000, Section 41, for "fifty rupees" (w.e.f. 13-12-2000).

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Last updated on August, 2016

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