Eligibility & Qualifications of Independent Directors Under Companies Act

Eligibility & Qualifications of Independent Directors

Section 149(6) of the Companies Act, 2013Eligibility & Qualifications of Independent Directors

An independent director in relation to a company, means a director other than a managing director or a whole-time director or a nominee director

(a) Who, in the opinion of the Board, is a person of integrity and possesses relevant expertise and experience;

(b)

(i) who is or was not a promoter of the company or its holding, subsidiary or associate company;

(ii) who is not related to promoters or directors in the company, its holding, subsidiary or associate company;

(c) who has or had no pecuniary relationship, other than remuneration as such director or having transaction not exceeding ten per cent. of his total income or such amount as may be prescribed, with the company, its holding, subsidiary or associate company, or their promoters, or directors, during the two immediately preceding financial years or during the current financial year;

(d)None of whose relatives—

(i) is holding any security of or interest in the company, its holding, subsidiary or associate company during the two immediately preceding financial years or during the current financial year:

Provided that the relative may hold security or interest in the company of face value not exceeding fifty lakh rupees or two per cent. of the paid-up capital of the company, its holding, subsidiary or associate company or such higher sum as may be prescribed;

(ii) is indebted to the company, its holding, subsidiary or associate company or their promoters, or directors, in excess of such amount as may be prescribed during the two immediately preceding financial years or during the current financial year;

(iii) has given a guarantee or provided any security in connection with the indebtedness of any third person to the company, its holding, subsidiary or associate company or their promoters, or directors of such holding company, for such amount as may be prescribed during the two immediately preceding financial years or during the current financial year; or

(iv) has any other pecuniary transaction or relationship with the company, or its subsidiary, or its holding or associate company amounting to two per cent. or more of its gross turnover or total income singly or in combination with the transactions referred to in sub-clause (i), (ii) or (iii);

(e) Who, neither himself nor any of his relatives—

(i) holds or has held the position of a key managerial personnel or is or has been employee of the company or its holding, subsidiary or associate company in any of the three financial years immediately preceding the financial year in which he is proposed to be appointed;

Provided that in case of a relative who is an employee, the restriction under this clause shall not apply for his employment during preceding three financial years.

(ii) is or has been an employee or proprietor or a partner, in any of the three financial years immediately preceding the financial year in which he is proposed to be appointed, of—

(A) A firm of auditors or company secretaries in practice or cost auditors of the company or its holding, subsidiary or associate company; or

(B) Any legal or a consulting firm that has or had any transaction with the company, its holding, subsidiary or associate company amounting to ten per cent. or more of the gross turnover of such firm;

(iii) holds together with his relatives two per cent. or more of the total voting power of the company; or

(iv) is a Chief Executive or director, by whatever name called, of any non-profit organisation that receives twenty-five per cent. or more of its receipts from the company, any of its promoters, directors or its holding, subsidiary or associate company or that holds two per cent. or more of the total voting power of the company; or

(f) who possesses such other qualifications as may be prescribed.

QUALIFICATIONS OF INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR

(1) Must have skills and knowledge in the disciplines related to the company’s business.

(2) None of the relatives of an independent director, for the purposes of sub-clauses (ii) and (iii) of clause (d) of sub-section (6) of section 149, –

(i) is indebted to the company, its holding, subsidiary or associate company or their promoters, or directors; or

(ii) has given a guarantee or provided any security in connection with the indebtedness of any third person to the company, its holding, subsidiary or associate company or their promoters, or directors of such holding company,

for an amount of fifty lakhs rupees, at any time during the two immediately preceding financial years or during the current financial year.]

Relevant definitions

Section 2(47) of The Companies Act, 2013

 “Independent director” means an independent director referred to in sub-section (6) of section 149.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this clause, the power to do administrative acts of a routine nature when so authorised by the Board such as the power to affix the common seal of the company to any document or to draw and endorse any cheque on the account of the company in any bank or to draw and endorse any negotiable instrument or to sign any certificate of share or to direct registration of transfer of any share, shall not be deemed to be included within the substantial powers of management.

Read More at MCA Portal

Also Read:

COMPLIANCES FOR APPOINTMENT OF INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR

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