Requisites of a Valid Meeting
If the business transacted at a meeting is to be valid and legally binding, the meeting itself must be validly held. A meeting will be considered to be validly held, if:
a) It is properly convened by proper authority.
b) Proper notice must be served. (Sec. 101 and Sec. 102 of the Companies Act, 2013)
c) Proper quorum must be present in the meeting. (Sec. 103 of the Companies Act, 2013)
d) Proper chairman must preside the meeting. (Sec. 104 of the Companies Act, 2013)
e) Business must be validly transacted at the meeting.
f) Proper minutes of the meeting must be prepared. (Sec. 118 and 119 of the Companies Act, 2013)
Proper Authority to Convene Meeting: A meeting must be convened or called by a proper authority. Otherwise it will not be a valid meeting. The proper authority to convene general meetings of a company is the Board of Directors. The decision to convene a general meeting and issue notice for the same must be taken by a resolution passed at a validly held Board meeting.
Notice of Meetings: A meeting in order to be valid must be convened by a proper notice issued by the proper authority. It means that the notice convening the meeting be properly drafted according to the Act and the rules, and must be served on all members who are entitled to attend and vote at the meeting. For general meeting of any kind at least 21days notice must be given to members. A shorter notice for Annual General Meeting will be valid, if all members entitled to vote give their consent. The number of days in each case shall be clear days, i.e. the days must be calculated excluding the day on which the notice is issued, a day or so for postal transit, and the day on which the meeting is to he held. Every notice of meeting of a company must specify the place and the day and hour of the meeting, and shall contain a statement of the business to be transacted thereat.
Quorum of Meetings: Quorum is the minimum number of members who must be present at a meeting as required by the rules. Any business transacted at a meeting without a quorum is invalid. The main purpose of having a quorum is to avoid decisions being taken at a meeting by a small minority which may be found to be unacceptable to the vast majority of members. The number constituting a quorum at any company meeting is usually laid down in the Articles of Association. In the absence of any provision in the Articles, the provisions as to quorum laid down in the Companies Act, 2013 (under Sec.103) will apply. Sec. 103 of Companies Act provides that the quorum for general meetings of shareholders shall be five members personally present in case of a public company if the number of members as on the date of meeting is upto 1000, 15 quorum if number of members as on the date of meeting is more than 1000 but upto 5000 and if number of member exceeds 5000 than 30 quorum is required; and two members personally present for any private company or articles may provide otherwise.
Chairman of a Meeting: ‘Chairman’ is the person who has been designated or elected to preside over and conduct the proceedings of a meeting. He is the chief authority in the conduct and control of the meeting.
Agenda of Meetings: The word ‘agenda’ literally means ‘things to be done’. It refers to the programme of business to be transacted at a meeting. Agenda is essential for the systematic transaction of the business of a meeting in the proper order of importance. It is customary for all organisations to send an agenda along with the notice of a meeting to all members. The business of the meeting must be conducted in the same order in which the items are placed in the agenda and the order can be varied only with the consent of the meeting.
Minute: Minute of a meeting contains a fair and correct summary of the proceedings of a meeting. Minutes must be prepared and signed within 30 days of the conclusion of the meeting. The minute books of meetings must be kept at the registered office of the company or at such other place as may be approved by the board.
Proxy: The term ‘proxy’ is used to refer to the person who is nominated by a shareholder to represent him at a general meeting of the company. It also refers to the instrument through which such a nominee is named and authorised to attend the meeting.