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71 Debentures.

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CHAPTER IV

Section 71 of Companies Act 2013

1.     company may issue debentures with an option to convert such debentures into shares, either wholly or partly at the time of redemption:

           Provided that the issue of debentures with an option to convert such debentures into shares, wholly or partly, shall be approved by a special resolution passed at a general meeting.

2.     No company shall issue any debentures carrying any voting rights.

3.     Secured debentures may be issued by a company subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed.

4.     Where debentures are issued by a company under this section, the company shall create a debenture redemption reserve account out of the profits of the company available for payment of dividend and the amount credited to such account shall not be utilised by the company except for the redemption of debentures.

5.     No company shall issue a prospectus or make an offer or invitation to the public or to its members exceeding five hundred for the subscription of its debentures, unless the company has, before such issue or offer, appointed one or more debenture trustees and the conditions governing the appointment of such trustees shall be such as may be prescribed.

6.     A debenture trustee shall take steps to protect the interests of the debenture holders and redress their grievances in accordance with such rules as may be prescribed.

7.     Any provision contained in a trust deed for securing the issue of debentures, or in any contract with the debenture-holders secured by a trust deed, shall be void in so far as it would have the effect of exempting a trustee thereof from, or indemnifying him against, any liability for breach of trust, where he fails to show the degree of care and due diligence required of him as a trustee, having regard to the provisions of the trust deed conferring on him any power, authority or discretion:

Provided that the liability of the debenture trustee shall be subject to such exemptions as may be agreed upon by a majority of debenture-holders holding not less than three fourths in value of the total debentures at a meeting held for the purpose.

8.     A company shall pay interest and redeem the debentures in accordance with the terms and conditions of their issue.

9.     Where at any time the debenture trustee comes to a conclusion that the assets of the company are insufficient or are likely to become insufficient to discharge the principal amount as and when it becomes due, the debenture trustee may file a petition before the Tribunal and the Tribunal may, after hearing the company and any other person interested in the matter, by order, impose such restrictions on the incurring of any further liabilities by the company as the Tribunal may consider necessary in the interests of the debenture-holders.

10.  Where a company fails to redeem the debentures on the date of their maturity or fails to pay interest on the debentures when it is due, the Tribunal may, on the application of any or all of the debenture-holders, or debenture trustee and, after hearing the parties concerned, direct, by order, the company to redeem the debentures forthwith on payment of principal and interest due thereon.

11.  If any default is made in complying with the order of the Tribunal under this section, every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which shall not be less than two lakh rupees but which may extend to five lakh rupees, or with both.

12.  A contract with the company to take up and pay for any debentures of the company may be enforced by a decree for specific performance.

13.  The Central Government may prescribe the procedure, for securing the issue of debentures, the form of debenture trust deed, the procedure for the debenture-holders to inspect the trust deed and to obtain copies thereof, quantum of debenture redemption reserve required to be created and such other matters.

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Short Notes:

  • This section came into force from April 1, 2014. Sub-sections (9) to (11) came into force from June, 1, 2016.
  • It seeks to provide that a company may issue debentures with an option to convert into shares, wholly or partly, at the time of redemption but cannot issue debentures with voting rights.
  • On issue of debentures, the company shall create a Debenture Redemption Reserve Account.
  • The company shall not issue prospectus to more than 500 persons without appointing a debenture trustee.
  • The duty of the debenture trustee is to protect the interest of the debenture holders and redress their grievances.
  • This section further provides that in the event of the failure of the company in making repayment of maturity value of debentures or to pay interest, the tribunal may, on an application, pass such order to make the payment to the matured debenture holders and interest due thereon. If any default is made in complying with the order of the Tribunal under this section, every officer of the company shall be punishable with fine or imprisonment or both.

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