Hon’ble Prime Minsiter of India, Narendra Modi
Shri P.P. Chaudhary, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Law and Justice & Corporate Affairs, was conferred the Honorary Fellowship of Institute of Company secretaries of India (ICSI) at the headquarters of the institute at New Delhi. ICSI president CS (Dr) Shyam Agrawal presented the certificate conferring honorary membership to Shri Chaudhary and administered an oath to him. Shri Chaudhary has conducted around 11,000 cases, mostly Constitutional Litigations for the last 38 years on matters related to land acquisition, farmer’s grievances, labour & service, central excise & customs and PILs related to restoration of natural water bodies and dams. The Honorary Fellow Membership is granted to distinguished persons having made significant contribution to the profession of Company Secretaries. In keeping with the best tradition of a professional Institution, the Institute confers the Honorary Fellow Membership in recognition of valuable services for promoting professionalism of management and best corporate governance practices. The ceremony was attended by the ICSI council members, secretary and heads of the directorates of the institute.
The Central Government notifies the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017
The Central Government notified the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017 (Amendment Act) on 3rd January, 2018. The provisions of this Amendment Act shall come into force on the date or dates as the Central Government may appoint by notification(s) in the Official Gazette. A few provisions in the Amendment Act have important bearing on the working of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code). Section 53 of the Companies Act, 2013 prohibited issuance of shares at a discount. The Amendment Act now allows companies to issue shares at a discount to its creditors when its debt is converted into shares in pursuance of any statutory resolution plan such as resolution plan under the Code or debt restructuring scheme. Section 197 of the Companies Act, 2013 required approval of the company in a general meeting for payment of managerial remuneration in excess of 11 percent of the net profits. The Amendment Act now requires that where a company has defaulted in payment of dues to any bank or public financial institution or non-convertible debenture holders
or any other secured creditor, the prior approval of the bank or public financial institution concerned or the non-convertible debenture holders or other secured creditor, as the case may be, for such payment of managerial remuneration shall be obtained by the company before obtaining the approval in the general meeting. Section 247 of the Companies Act, 2013 prohibited a registered valuer from undertaking valuation of any assets in which he has a direct or indirect interest or becomes so interested at any time during or after the valuation of assets. The Amendment Act now prohibits a registered valuer from undertaking valuation of any asset in which he has direct or indirect interest or becomes so interested at any time during three years prior to his appointment as valuer or three years after valuation of assets was conducted by him.
Competition Commission of India imposes Penalty on Chemists and Druggists Association of Baroda and Federation of Gujarat Chemists and Druggists Association
The Competition Commission of India (‘Commission’) has found the Chemists and Druggists Association of Baroda (‘CDAB’) and Federation of Gujarat State Chemists and Druggists Association (‘Gujarat Federation’) to be in contravention of the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 (‘Act’). One of the stockists based in Vadodara filed an information alleging that despite an earlier order of the Commission in the year 2012, CDAB, through its practices, has continued to limit and control the supply of drugs and medicines in the market by mandating ‘No Objection Certificate’ (‘NOC’/‘LOC’) prior to appointment of stockists and payment of ‘Product Information Service’ (‘PIS’) charges prior to introduction of new products in the market by pharmaceutical companies. Investigation carried-out by the Director General (‘DG’) revealed involvement of the State Level Association, i.e. the Gujarat Federation, besides CDAB, in the alleged conduct. After detailed enquiry, the Commission has found that CDAB and the Gujarat Federation were indulging in the anti-competitive practice of insisting NOC prior to the appointment of new stockists by pharmaceutical companies. Further, the Gujarat Federation was found to be carrying on the practice of making introduction of new products in the market subject to payment of PIS charge and its approval. These practices were held to be limiting and controlling supplies of drugs/medicines in the market, in contravention of Section 3 (3) (b) read with Section 3 (1) of the Act. Further, the Commission has held office bearers of CDAB and Gujarat Federation, namely Shri V.T. Shah (President, CDAB), Shri Jashvant Patel (President, Gujarat Federation), to be responsible under Section 48 of the Act, for their involvement in the anti-competitive practices. Accordingly, CDAB, Gujarat Federation and their office bearers, have been directed to cease and desist from indulging in the aforesaid anticompetitive practice. Further, the Commission imposed a monetary penalty of Rs. 1,08,588/- and Rs. 11,11,549/-, calculated at the rate of 10% of the average income of CDAB and the Gujarat Federation, respectively, under the provisions of Section 27 of the Act. Penalties of Rs. 34,048/- and Rs. 62,144/-, calculated at the rate of 10% of their respective average incomes, are also imposed upon Shri V.T. Shah (President, CDAB) and Shri Jashvant Patel (President, Gujarat Federation). This case is yet another example of how competitive markets and fairplay in the distribution of drugs/ medicines are being compromised by the persisting anti-competitive behaviour of the chemist and druggist associations at the Regional as well as State level. It is indeed a serious matter that despite various orders by the Commission in similar cases and specific directions through a press notice, chemist and druggist associations have not mended their ways and have continued to indulge in such anti-competitive conduct. Considering the larger public interest involved in the distribution of drugs/medicines, the Commission deprecates such a conduct and its perpetration in any form by those responsible, be it the Associations, Stockists/ Distributor/ Wholesaler/ Retailer and the Pharmaceutical Companies. Given the widespread and continuing indulgence in the Anticompetitive practices, the Competition Commission of India will be keeping a close watch on the conduct by all such entities in various parts of the country and would not hesitate to take action, wherever deemed necessary.
Hon’ble Prime Minsiter of India, Narendra Modi
P.P. Chaudhary, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Law and Justice & Corporate Affairs