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Physical EGM by SBI contradicting rationale behind lockdown, says IiAS

In a report, IiAS said the bank “is compelled to hold a physical EGM in June, contradicting the rationale behind national lockdowns to contain the spread of Covid-19.”

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
May 26, 2020 3:00:46 am
“The SBI Act allows for votes to be taken either by show of hands or by a poll. This is a relic of the past ages: SBI cannot even issue a postal ballot, cannot allow e-voting, and holding a virtual meeting remains a far cry,” it said. (File Photo)

Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IiAS), an investor advisory body, has come down heavily on State Bank of India (SBI) for calling a public gathering — extraordinary general meeting (EGM) — of its shareholders at its auditorium on June 17, 2020 at a time when the country is grappling with the rapid growth in COVID-19 infections.

In a report, IiAS said the bank “is compelled to hold a physical EGM in June, contradicting the rationale behind national lockdowns to contain the spread of Covid-19.”

“The SBI Act allows for votes to be taken either by show of hands or by a poll. This is a relic of the past ages: SBI cannot even issue a postal ballot, cannot allow e-voting, and holding a virtual meeting remains a far cry,” it said.

“Because the SBI Act does not allow for a virtual vote, let alone a virtual meeting, SBI expects its shareholders to show up to its EGM, where they will vote to appoint shareholder directors. While India has been under a lockdown for over a month, grappling with the rapid growth of the COVID-19, SBI has called for a public gathering of its shareholders at its auditorium on June 17,” the proxy advisory firm said,

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It further said that despite the Ministry of Corporate Affairs allowing all other listed companies to hold virtual meetings, SBI is weighed down by a luddite Act, which does not provide for such a meeting.

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