Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Filibustering in AGMs

The season of annual general meeting of shareholders is now on. Though not well attended, some meetings are purposeful and shareholders are able to get relevant details.

IDFC had its AGM in Chennai today (29th July). Today is a public holiday for Eid. As per the Companies Act, 2013 AGMs can be held on any day including Sunday. The only prohibition is that it cannot be held on any of three national holidays namely the Independence Day, Republic Day and Gandhi Jayanthi. Under the old Companies Act (1956), a company had to seek special permission from central government to conduct AGM on a public holiday.

IDFC shareholders were assured that they would be allotted perhaps one share of the to-be-promoted IDFC Bank for every share in IDFC. It was verily manna from heaven for the otherwise disappointed shareholders.

Some shareholders habitually filibuster in such meetings not realising how unhelpful they are. It is high time that the chairpersons of such meetings allot only a pre-determined time say 5 minutes to each speaker. Protecting the indefinite right of expression of a shareholder cannot be at the cost of other shareholders.

No comments: