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Companies Amendment Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

17-03-2020

New Delhi, The Companies (Amendment) Bill 2020, which proposes to remove the criminality clause in the Act in case of defaults, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Introducing the Bill, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said the proposed Bill will help in doing ethical and honest business in the country.He said the draft law seeks decrimanalisation of certain cases, which have minor and technical faults.The Minister stressed that decompoundable offences are not being decrimanalised in the amendments made in the proposed law.Opposition members, including from the Congress, Trinamool Congress and BJD, opposed the Bill and said that the government is working on ad-hoc polices and added the Bill is being introduced only to favour the corporates and the Corporate Social Responsibility of corporates was being diluted.Responding to allegations of the Opposition, the Minister said the proposed Bill will only make the process of CSR obligation easy and there is no plan to dilute it.He added that the allegations of decriminalising the corporates were not true and the Bill will only decriminalise those minor offences, which do not harm public and are only becoming a burden on the legal framework.

Congress member Adhir Ranjan Chaudhry criticised the Bill and termed it as 'by the corporate, for the corporate and of the corporate'.'This government is trying to decriminalise several offences under the Companies Act,' he said, adding that they are trying to decriminalise the corporates, so as to "loot" the common man with impunity. The government is an appeaser of the corporate sector, he alleged.Biju Jananta Dal member Bhartruhari Mahtab said with all sorts of bank frauds happening, was this the opportune moment to decrimanalise defaults, adding that delinquent people will find it easy to commit fraud.He suggested that the Bill be sent to the Standing Committee.Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress said the government was heavily influenced by the

representatives of industry chambers. He alleged that in the name of facilitating ease of doing business, the government was giving the hold to the corporates.
Mr Thakur said the government only wants the ease of doing business and ease of doing honest business.On behalf of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Mr Thakur introduced the Bill, which mainly aims to remove the criminality section under the Act, to enable the ease of living for law-abiding corporates.Over 72 amendments are proposed in the Companies Act, 2013, which are aimed at declogging the criminal justice system in India. The proposed law seeks to remove the criminality clause in the Act in case of defaults, which can be determined objectively and does not involve larger public interest

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