Ace lawyer Harish Salve points out this shortcoming in Uday Kotak-led panel recommendations

By: | Updated: October 6, 2017 2:11 PM

After the Uday Kotak panel on corporate governance submitted its recommendations to SEBI on Thursday, ace lawyer Harish Salve said that the report was a step in the right direction.

Harish Salve said, “Only place where it (the Kotak Panel report) falls short is, I think they suggested only one women director.” (Image:IE)

After the Uday Kotak panel on corporate governance submitted its recommendations to SEBI on Thursday, ace lawyer Harish Salve said that one area where the recommendations falls short is the suggestion of only one women director. Known to handle high profile cases with ease, arguably India’s most expensive lawyer, Harish Salve said in an interview to ET Now, “Only place where it (the Kotak Panel report) falls short is, I think they suggested only one women director. One should be the minimum, but there should be a recommendation of greater number of women directors. The idea is not to have a token presence. The idea is to drive it in that direction a bit more aggressively.”

The Kotak panel recommended that at least one independent director must be a woman. The panel recommended that a listed company should have at least six directors on its board. SEBI regulations say that at least 50% of the board should have non-executive directors.

In the same interview, Harish Salve said that the Kotak Panel report was a step in the right direction. Further, the senior lawyer who also represented India against Pakistan at the ICJ in may this year, says that  “game changing” is not an overnight exercise. “It’s a process of transformation. Indian companies have also leap-frogged in transformation as compared to global standards, because we’ve had a much shorter period to transition,” he observed.

The Committee also seeks to induce transparency into the board, and recommends that the companies must list the competencies of every director present on the board. The listed firms should also disclose the detailed reasons for the resignation of the independent directors, and at the same time these firms not be allowed to appoint a person as an alternate director in the place of any of the independent directors.

The panel has also given the recommendation on the risk management and evaluation of listed firm, proposing that the minimum number of Audit Committee meetings be increased to five every year. The Audit Committee must review the use of loans, advances and investment by holding company if it exceeds Rs 100 crore, the report said.

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