As a shareholder in a company, you enjoy certain rights, which are as follows :
- to receive the share certificates, on allotment or transfer as the case may be, in due time;
- to receive copies of the abridged Annual Report, the Balance Sheet and the Profit and Loss Account and the Auditor's Report;
- to participate and vote in general meetings either personally or through proxies;
- to receive dividends in due time once approved in general meetings;
- to receive corporate benefits like rights, bonus, etc. once approved;
- to apply to Company Law Board (CLB) to call or direct the Annual General Meeting;
- to inspect the Minute books of the general meetings and to receive copies thereof;
- to proceed against the company by way of civil or criminal proceedings;
- to apply for the winding-up of the company; and
- to receive the residual proceeds.
Besides the above rights which you enjoy as an individual shareholder, you also enjoy the
following rights as a group -
- to requisition an Extra-ordinary general meeting;
- to demand a poll on any resolution;
- to apply to CLB to investigate the affairs of the company; and
- to apply to CLB for relief in cases of oppression and/or mismanagement.
As a debenture-holder you have the right -
- to receive interest/redemption in due time;
- to receive a copy of the trust deed on request;
- to apply for winding-up of the company if the company fails to pay its debt; and
- to approach the debenture trustees with your grievance.
You may notice that the above mentioned rights may not necessarily be absolute. For example, the right to transfer of securities is subject to the company's right to refuse transfer as per statutory provisions.
While you may be happy to note that you have so many rights as a stakeholder in the company, that should not lead you to complacency; because you have also certain responsibilities to discharge. To be specific,
- to remain informed;
- to be vigilant;
- to participate and vote in general meetings; and
- to exercise your rights on your own or as a group.