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Who or what is a Company Secretary in Practice?
India, unlike most other countries, has developed a field of professional practice called practising company secretaries. Unlike what the name may suggest, these professionals render variety of professional services, though centered around corporate laws. In several spheres, for example, secretarial audit, services of practising company secretaries are mandatory in law. In many other spheres, practising company secretaries share equivalent status with other professionals such as chartered accountants.
What can Company Secretary in Practice do?
- While different professionals may have different areas of expertise, most practising company secretaries render company secretarial services - such as taking care of corporate law compliances, handling company law matters, and so on.
- Can a practising company secretary (PCS) appear before a court? No. That power is reserved with legal professionals. However, PCSs do provide back support in corporate law litigation.
- Can a PCS give legal opinions on company law matters - certainly yes. Not just in company law matters but in matters pertaining to securities laws, foreign exchange laws, competition laws, etc. Much would depend on the proficiency of the individual concerned.
- Can a PCS handle corporate law litigation in quasi-judicial bodies, say, Company Law Board? - certainly yes.
Areas of practice:
- Company Law Board proceedings in complex matters concerning oppression, mismanagement, refusal to register transfers, investigation, freeze on voting rights, etc.
- Advisory services in corporate law matters including FEMA, foreign direct investment, ECBs, takeovers, securities laws, stamp law, etc.
- Indirect taxation - queries on service tax, VAT, sales-tax, etc
- Mergers, de-mergers, corporate restructuring, schemes and arrangements.
- Company law formalities such as incorporation, shifting of registered offices, compounding of offences, etc.