ISSN (O) : 2584-1378


AUTHOR’S NAME : Sudhanshu Sorout
UNIVERSITY - Campus Law Centre, Delhi University


In the dynamic landscape of Indian corporate governance, adherence to regulatory frameworks and compliance standards stands as the cornerstone of sustainable business practices. With the evolution of Indian company law, corporations are navigating through a labyrinth of statutes, regulations, and guidelines to uphold transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct. In this blog, we delve into the essence of corporate governance and compliance within the framework of Indian company law, exploring its significance, challenges, and evolving trends.


Corporate governance encompasses the mechanisms, processes, and relations by which corporations are directed and controlled. It delineates the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, including shareholders, directors, management, and regulators, in ensuring the integrity and sustainability of corporate entities.

In India, corporate governance finds its roots in statutes such as the Companies Act, 2013, and regulatory frameworks formulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). These provisions outline principles of transparency, accountability, fairness, and responsibility, which companies must uphold in their operations and decision-making processes.


  1. Board of Directors: The board serves as the apex governing body responsible for steering the company’s affairs and safeguarding stakeholders’ interests. Indian company law mandates the composition, roles, and functions of the board, emphasizing the importance of independent directors, board diversity, and committees like audit, nomination, and remuneration.
  2. Shareholder Rights: Indian company law recognizes the rights of shareholders and endeavors to enhance shareholder democracy and participation. Mechanisms such as electronic voting, proxy voting, and shareholder resolutions empower shareholders to actively engage in corporate decision-making and hold management accountable.
  3. Disclosure and Transparency: Transparency forms the bedrock of corporate governance, fostering trust and confidence among stakeholders. Companies are required to disclose financial information, corporate governance reports, related-party transactions, and other material information through periodic filings and disclosures to regulatory authorities and shareholders.
  4. Ethical Conduct and Social Responsibility: Corporate governance extends beyond regulatory compliance to encompass ethical conduct, social responsibility, and sustainability practices. Companies are increasingly embracing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles to create long-term value, mitigate risks, and address stakeholder expectations.


Despite the regulatory framework and best practices, corporate governance in India faces several challenges, including:

  • Enforcement and Implementation: Ensuring effective enforcement and implementation of corporate governance standards remains a perennial challenge, necessitating robust regulatory oversight and enforcement mechanisms.
  • Board Diversity and Independence: Achieving adequate board diversity and independence continues to be a concern, with efforts underway to enhance gender diversity and strengthen the independence of board directors.
  • Related-Party Transactions: Mitigating risks associated with related-party transactions and conflicts of interest requires heightened scrutiny, disclosure, and oversight mechanisms.
  • Technological Disruptions: Rapid technological advancements pose new challenges and opportunities for corporate governance, necessitating digitalization, cybersecurity measures, and data privacy safeguards.



Satyam Scandal (Satyam Computer Services Ltd. Fraud):

    • The Satyam scandal, one of the largest corporate frauds in India’s history, shook the foundation of corporate governance practices in the country. In 2009, the founder and chairman of Satyam Computer Services Ltd., Ramalinga Raju, confessed to inflating the company’s profits and fabricating its accounts to the tune of billions of dollars. The case highlighted lapses in corporate governance, auditor oversight, and regulatory enforcement, leading to significant reforms in India’s corporate governance framework.
  1. SEBI v. Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd. &Ors.:
    • This landmark case involved a protracted legal battle between the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd. regarding the issuance of Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures (OFCDs) and compliance with regulatory norms. The case underscored the importance of investor protection, disclosure requirements, and regulatory compliance in securities markets, leading to significant developments in regulatory oversight and enforcement mechanisms.
  1. Vodafone International Holdings BV v. Union of India:
    • The Vodafone tax case revolved around the taxation of cross-border transactions involving the acquisition of Indian assets by foreign entities. The Supreme Court of India’s ruling in favor of Vodafone highlighted the importance of clarity and consistency in tax laws, regulatory certainty, and adherence to principles of fairness and equity in corporate transactions. The case had significant implications for foreign investors and contributed to reforms in India’s tax and regulatory regime.
  1. Ramalinga Raju &Ors. v. Union of India &Ors.:
    • Following the Satyam scandal, Ramalinga Raju and other key executives were prosecuted for their involvement in accounting fraud, manipulation of financial statements, and breach of fiduciary duties. The case underscored the need for robust corporate governance mechanisms, independent board oversight, and accountability of corporate officers and directors. It led to increased scrutiny of corporate practices and stricter enforcement of corporate governance norms.
  1. Infosys Corporate Governance Controversy:
    • In 2017, Infosys, one of India’s leading IT companies, faced a corporate governance controversy following allegations of lapses in corporate governance practices and whistleblowers’ complaints regarding executive compensation, revenue recognition practices, and board governance. The case highlighted the importance of transparency, integrity, and board independence in upholding corporate governance standards and restoring investor confidence.


In conclusion, corporate governance and compliance in Indian company law represent a vital framework for fostering trust, accountability, and sustainable business practices. As India’s corporate landscape continues to evolve, companies must embrace a culture of integrity, transparency, and ethical conduct to thrive in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. By adhering to regulatory requirements, embracing best practices, and fostering a culture of corporate citizenship, companies can chart a course towards long-term success and stakeholder value creation in the vibrant tapestry of Indian business environment

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