Meeting Notice, Proxy28/12/2020
When a meeting is to be convened, a notice is required to be sent to all who are to attend it.
It should satisfy these conditions:
- It should be under proper authority
- It should state the name of the organisation
- It should state the day, date, time, and place. Also, sometimes, how to reach the place
- It should be well in advance. Some require seven days’ notice, some 48 hours’
- It should state the purpose and, if possible, the agenda
- It should carry the date of circulation and convener’s/secretary’s signature
- It should go to all persons required at the meet
- It should mention the TA/DA etc. payable and the arrangements for this
In practice, it is necessary to ensure that the notice has reached in time. This may be done telephonically. Dispatch section and post are prone to delays
We often find that between the date of a letter from a major public organisation and the post mark on the letter, there is a gap of 10-12 days. A notice that should reach seven days before a meet should not reach seven days after the meet.
Proxy means substitute. In the world of meetings proxy means a substitute sent by a member to attend a meeting on his behalf. The idea comes from the Companies Act. Sec. 176 of the Act provides that a member of a company is entitled to send another person to attend a meeting and to vote on his behalf.
According to Sec. 176 of the Companies Act:
(1) Any member entitled to attend a general meeting and to vote may send a proxy to attend the meeting and to vote on his behalf.
But the following rules have to be followed for the purpose:
(a) In case of a company not having share capital, a proxy can be sent provided it is mentioned in the Articles of the company.
(b) A member of a private company cannot send more than one proxy unless otherwise provided in the Articles.
(c) A proxy can vote at the meeting only by poll unless otherwise provided in the Articles but he cannot speak.
(d) In the notice for the meeting it shall be clearly mentioned that a proxy can be sent and a proxy form is attached to the notice.
(e) A member intending to send a proxy shall fill in the form naming the proxy and signing on stamps of prescribed value and send it to the company at least forty-eight hours before the meeting. A legally appointed representative of the member may sign on his behalf on the proxy form.
(f) The proxy sent by a member need not be a member and may be an outsider.
(g) Any member may inspect the proxy forms sent by other members provided he gives three days’ notice to the company.
(h) Inspection shall be allowed by the company at least twenty-four hours before the meeting, during business hours.
(2) A proxy is not counted when quorum is counted. But at an annual general meeting held at the order of the Central Government (Sec. 167) or at a meeting of members held at the order of the Company Law Board (Sec. 186), only one member on whose complaint meeting has been so ordered, may be present by proxy and that proxy will make the quorum.
(3) It has to be noted that no proxy can be sent by a director to attend a Board meeting on his behalf.
(4) Generally, associations other than companies do not allow proxy.
(5) It is a duty of the secretary to collect the proxy forms and prepare a Proxy List.
(6) In case of Government Companies, the shares are often held in the name of the President of India or a Governor, who invariably sends a representative (Sec. 187 A). Same is true when one body corporate (not necessarily a ‘company’) holds shares in another body corporate then the shareholder body corporate send a representative to the meetings.
Such a representative is selected by a resolution of the Body of Directors (or Governing Body) of the shareholder body corporate. A representative is not merely a proxy (Sec. 187). A representative is counted for counting quorum and can speak at the meeting unlike a proxy. The word ‘proxy’ has double meaning. It means the person who is sent as substitute as well as the form or the instrument to be filled in by a member for appointing a proxy.