Section 20(2) of the Companies Act, 2013 provides that a document may be served on a member by sending it him by post or by registered post or by speed post or by courier or by hand delivery at his office or address or by such electronic means as may be specified.
Hitherto delivery by electronic means was not recognised as a mode of delivery of documents by a company to its member.
Rule 35(4)(a)(i) of Companies (Incorporation) Rules 2014 defines “electronic means” fax or electronic mail commonly known as e-mail which the member has provided the no. or address thereof from time to time for sending documents to him. This clause includes the e-mail id of the member.
Rule 35(4)(a)(ii) – It further includes posting of an electronic message board or network that the member has designated for these communications, and which transmission shall be validly delivered to the member upon the posting thereof. This clause is not clear – does it mean the various social media platforms like facebook, twitter, linkedin, whatsapp which the member has specified for the purpose. Obviously the character limitation of some of these platforms will create further problems.
Rule 35(4)(a)(iii) – other means of electronic communication; The Government has left it open for any further advances in technology.
Rule 35(4)(b) – the electronic transmission should create a record that is capable of retention, retrieval and review and which may thereafter be rendered into a clearly legible tangible form.
Courier has been defined as documents sent by a courier which provides proof of delivery