New Delhi, Oct. 20: The Institute of Company Secretaries of India has clearly spelt out the grounds on which a postal ballot can be held invalid in a guidance note brought out recently.
According to the guidelines, if the envelope containing the ballot is received after the last date, not only will the ballot be considered invalid but such envelopes should not supposed to be opened at all.
In case two items of business have to be transacted and a member has voted on one item only through postal ballot, it should be treated as valid for the item for which the decision has been conveyed and invalid for the item for which no decision has been indicated.
A postal ballot will also be considered invalid if a form other than the one issued by the company has been used or if it has not been signed by or on behalf of the shareholder.
It will also be invalid if it is not possible to determine without any doubt the assent or dissent of the members, or if neither assent or dissent to a proposal is mentioned.
Also, the ballot will be invalid if any competent authority gives directions in writing to the company to freeze the voting rights of the shareholders.
Ballots received from a shareholder who has not cleared his arrears and those not filled in line with instructions will be declared invalid as also mutilated ballots whose identity cannot be established.
Any amendment made by a member of the company to the resolution or any condition imposed by the member while exercising his vote will render the ballot form invalid.
All postal ballot forms, duly filled and signed by shareholders need to be sent to the scrutiniser who checks their authenticity and validity. The scrutiniser who is appointed by the board cannot be in the employment the company.