Companies in India Can Hold Virtual AGMs and EGMs till September 30, 2024
Companies in India can conduct their AGM and EGM meetings in a virtual format until September 30, 2024. This is per a clarification issued by the corporate affairs ministry on September 25, 2023.
What is in the notification
On September 25, 2023, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) issued General Circular No. 09/2023 (see here), extending the period during which companies in India can hold their annual general meetings (AGMs) and extraordinary general meetings (EGMs) using video conference (VC) or other audio-visual means (OAVM). This provision will remain valid until September 30, 2024.
According to the latest clarification from the MCA, as interpreted by corporate law experts, companies in India with financial year endings on December 31, 2023, or March 31, 2024, are eligible to conduct virtual AGMs. However, the MCA emphasizes that this extension for virtual proceedings does not grant companies the freedom to postpone their relevant timelines, as they may face legal consequences under the applicable provisions of the Companies Act, 2013.
The provision allowing AGMs and EGMs to be conducted virtually was initially introduced in 2020 in response to public health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. This eliminated the need to appoint proxies, as corporate representatives could participate in these significant meetings remotely.
Initially, extraordinary general meetings were only permitted to be conducted via VC/OAVM between April and June 2020. Subsequently, this provision was extended multiple times: a) until September 30 and December 31, 2020; b) until June 30, 2021, and December 31, 2021; c) until June 30, 2022, and December 31, 2022; d) until September 30, 2023; and now, it has been extended to d) until September 30, 2024.
The MCA’s circular states: “In continuation of this Ministry’s general circular dated May 5, 2020, general circular dated May 5, 2022, general circular dated December 28, 2022, it has been decided to allow companies whose AGMs are due in the years 2023 or 2024 to conduct their AGMs through VC or OAVM on or before September 30, 2024.”
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