NEW DELHI : The ministry of corporate affairs will take a leaf out of the Income Tax department’s book to offer faceless adjudication of specified company law offences to enable social distancing as well as eliminate bureaucratic discretion.

The ministry will upgrade its online services to companies offered through its MCA21 portal so that certain breaches under the Companies Act can be adjudicated remotely through electronic means, said two people familiar with the development. These are the offences that the administrative machinery of the ministry is authorised to adjudicate on, so that businesses can settle them and pay the fine or penalty where needed without having to go to a court.

The Companies Act was amended last year to reclassify 16 offences as civil defaults and to let adjudicating officers appointed by the government to levy penalties instead of having to go to a court to decide on the matter. These offences include matters related to issuance of shares at a discount and default in filing annual returns. The idea now is to adjudicate such matters without company executives having a physical interface with government officials. Besides improving ease of doing business, the move is expected to help address the governance challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, using technology.

    Ministry of Corporate Affairs

    30 March 2020
    New Delhi
    Press Release
    In pursuance of the Government of India’s efforts to provide relief to law abiding
    companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) in the wake of COVID 19, the
    Ministry of Corporate Affairs, has introduced the “Companies Fresh Start Scheme,
    2020” and revised the “LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020” which is already in vogue to
    provide a first of its kind opportunity to both companies and LLPs to make good any filing
    related defaults, irrespective of duration of default, and make a fresh start as a fully
    compliant entity. The Fresh Start scheme and modified LLP Settlement Scheme
    incentivize compliance and reduce compliance burden during the unprecedented public
    health situation caused by COVID-19. The USP of both the schemes is a one-time waiver
    of additional filing fees for delayed filings by the companies or LLPs with the Registrar of
    Companies during the currency of the Schemes, i.e. during the period starting from 1st
    April, 2020 and ending on 30th September, 2020.
    2. The Schemes, apart from giving longer timelines for corporates to comply with various
    filing requirements under the Companies Act 2013 and LLP Act, 2008, significantly reduce
    the related financial burden on them, especially for those with long standing defaults,
    thereby giving them an opportunity to make a “fresh start”. Both the Schemes also
    contain provision for giving immunity from penal proceedings, including against imposition
    of penalties for late submissions and also provide additional time for filing appeals before the concerned Regional Directors against imposition of penalties, if already imposed.
    However, the immunity is only against delayed filings in MCA 21 and not against any
    substantive violation of law.
    3. Details of the both the Schemes may be perused from the Circulars dated 30.03.2020,
    issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.



      MCA vide General Circular No.12/2020 dated 30.03.2020 has issued Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020 (CFSS-2020) in order to facilitate the companies registered in India to make a fresh start on a clean slate and for the benefit of all companies.

      A Scheme condoning the delay in filing the form mentioned below with the Registrar, in so far it is related to the charging of additional fees and granting of immunity from launching of prosecution or proceedings for imposing penalty on account of delay associated with filings.

      According to the Scheme, Companies have to pay ONLY NORMAL FEES OF THE FORMS, WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONAL FEES.

      The details of the scheme are as under:

      Time Period to avail the benefit of ‘Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020 (CFSS-2020) This scheme shall come into force on the 1st April, 2020 and shall remain in force up to 30th September, 2020.
      Definitions In this scheme, unless the context otherwise requires:   a)    “Act” means the Companies Act, 2013 and Companies Act, 1956 (wherever applicable); b)    “Company” means a company as defined in clause (20) of section 2 of the  Companies Act, 2013; c)    “defaulting  company” means a company defined under the Companies Act, 2013 which has made a default in filing of documents, statement, returns etc including annual statutory documents on the MCA-21 registry; d)   “Designated authority” means  the Registrar of Companies having jurisdiction over the registered office of the company; e)   “ Immunity certificate” means the certificate referred to in sub-paragraph 6 of the Scheme; f)    “Inactive Company” means a company as defined in Explanation (i) to sub-section (1) of section 455(1) of the Companies Act, 2013.
      Applicability Any “defaulting company” is permitted to file belated documents, which were due for filing on any given date in accordance with the provisions of this Scheme.
      Manner of payment of fees and additional fee on filing belated document for seeking immunity under the Scheme Every defaulting company shall be required to pay normal fees as prescribed under the Companies (Registration  Offices and Fee) Rules, 2014 on the date of filing of each belated document and no additional fee shall be payable. Immunity from the launch of prosecution or proceedings for imposing penalty shall be provided only to the extent such prosecution of the proceedings for imposing penalty under the Act pertain to any delay associated with the filings of belated documents.   Any other consequential proceedings, including any proceedings involving interests of any shareholder or any other person qua the company or its director or key managerial personnel would not be covered by such immunity.
      Effect of CFSS 1)    No need to pay any additional fees on any return of company during Scheme; 2)    Authority shall provide immunity certificate to company; 3)    Company shall withdrawal of appeal against any prosecution launched; 4)    ROC shall withdrawal all the prosecution pending regarding forms/returns; 5)    ROC shall withdrawal the proceedings of adjudication of penalties under section 454 of the Companies Act, 2013.      
      Application for issue of  immunity in respect of documents filed under the Scheme The applicant for seeking immunity in respect of belated documents filed under the Scheme may be made electronically in the Form CFSS-2020, after the closure of the Scheme and after the documents are taken on file or on record or approved by the designated authority as the case may be but not after the expiry of six months from the date of closure of the Scheme. There shall not be any fee payable for this Form.
      Order by designated authority granting immunity from penalty and prosecution Based on the declaration made in the Form CFSS-2020, an immunity certificate in respect of documents filed under this Scheme shall be issued by the designated authority.
      CFSS-2020 shall not apply This Scheme shall not apply in the following cases: 1)    To company against which action for final notice for striking off the name under section 248 of the Companies Act, 2013 has already been initiated by the Designated Authority; 2)    Where company has already filed STK-2 for strike off of Company with ROC; 3)    Companies which have been amalgamated; 4)    Where application has already been filed for obtaining Dormant Status; 5)    To Vanishing Companies; 6)    Where  companies marked for CRIP or Liquidation; 7)  Following Forms- SH-7 for increase in authorised capital and Charge related forms (CHG-1, CHG-4, CHG-8 and CHG-9)
      Scheme for Inactive Companies The defaulting inactive companies, while filing due documents under CFSS-2002 can simultaneously apply for the following: a)    Apply for Dormant Status u/s 455 of the Companies Act, 2013 b)    Apply for Strike off u/s 248 of the Companies Act, 2013

      On the conclusion of the Scheme, the Designated Authority shall take necessary action under the Act against the companies which have not availed this Scheme and are in default in filing of documents in a timely manner.

      Clarification on contribution to PM CARES Fund as eligible CSR activity under item no. (viii) of the Schedule VII of Companies Act, 2013.
      The Government of India has set up the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’ (PM CARES Fund) with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation such as that posed by COVID 19 pandemic.

      1. Item no. (viii) of the Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013, which enumerates activities that may be undertaken by companies in discharge of their CSR obligations, inter alia provides that contribution to any fund set up by the Central Government for socio-economic development and relief qualifies as CSR expenditure. The PM-CARES Fund has been set up to provide relief to those affected by any kind of emergency or distress situation. Accordingly, it is clarified that any contribution made to the PM CARES Fund shall qualify as CSR expenditure under the Companies Act 2013.
      2. This issues with the approval of competent authority.

        Extension of last date for public comments on Draft Companies (CSR Policy) Amendment Rules,2020 till 10th April 2020


        Government of India
        Ministry of Corporate Affairs

        Invitation for Public Comments on the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Amendment Rules, 2020.

        26th March 2020
        New Delhi

        Ministry of Corporate Affairs had invited for public comments on the draft Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Amendment Rules, 2020 vide a notice dated 13th March, 2020. The last date to submit comments is 28th March, 2020.

        2. However, taking into account, requests received from various stakeholders, the last date of submitting the comments is extended till 10th April, 2020.

        3. Stakeholders may please note that comments should not be sent separately through e-mail or hard copy and should be sent only through the web link created for the purpose,

          All companies and LLPs are required to file web based form for readiness towards COVID-19 on 23.03.2020.

          The web form named CAR (Company Affirmation of Readiness towards COVID-19) should be filed by an authorised signatory of Companies and LLPs.

          All companies/LLPs are expected and strongly advised to put in place an immediate plan to implement the “work from Home” policy as a temporary measure till March 31, 2020.

          source MCA

          • F2FF1146-689D-491D-BEBE-B7FC72628BA4

          [To be published in
          section (i)l
          the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-
          New Delhi, the 19th March,2O2O
          G.S.R. _(Ef.- In exercise of the powers conferred by sections 173, 177,
          178 and section 186 read with section 469 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013),
          the Central Government hereby makes the following rules further to amend the
          Companies (Meetings of Board and its Powers) Rules, 2014, namely:-
          1. (1) These rules may be called the Companies (Meetings of Board and its Powers)
          Amendment Rules, 2020 .
          (2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official
          2. In the Companies (Meetings of Board and its Powers) Rules, 2014, rule 4 shall be
          renumbered as sub-rule (1) thereof and after sub-rule (1) as so renumbered, the
          following sub-rule sha,ll be inserted, namely:-
          “(2) For the period beginning from the commencement of the Comparies (Meetings of
          Board and its Powers) Amendment Rules, 2020 and ending on the 30th June,2O2O,
          the meetings on matters referred to in sub-rule ( 1) may be held through video
          conferencing or other audio visual means in accordalce with rule 3.


            Public Notice


            Government of India
            Ministry of Corporate Affairs

            Invitation for Public Comments on the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Amendment Rules, 2020.

            Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for companies has been mandated through Companies Act, 2013 which came into effect since 01.04.2014. Section 135 of the Act enumerates the provisions concerning CSR and the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules, 2014 prescribes the rules for implementation. All these were notified on 27th February, 2014 and came into effect since 01.04.2014. The Companies (Amendment) Act, 2019 amended section 135 dealing with Corporate Social Responsibility. The Companies (Amendment) Act, 2019 received President’s assent and was published in Official Gazette on 31st July, 2019.

            2. In order to operationalize the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2019, the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Amendment Rules , 2020 has been drafted for carrying out amendments in the Companies (CSR Policy) Rules, 2014.

            3. Public comments are therefore hereby solicited on the draft Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Amendment Rules, 2020. The draft Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Amendment Rules, 2020 may be accessed at the web link mentioned below and comments, if any, may be submitted online therein by end of business hours on 28th March, 2020 positively.


            4. Stakeholder may please note that comments should not be sent separately through e-mail or hard copy and should be sent only through the web link created for the purpose.mop