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,
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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