In the last issue of Samhita, I had highlighted that ‘age is in the mind’ and senior citizens are as productive, if not more, as younger population is. This time I turn my attention to another burning topic concerning the elderly. A rather grim and growing one that is still not accepted easily by society. Of course to create awareness there is a specific day and month earmarked for this…..which day is it ? I can’t remember for sure. Here lies the clue 😊
My friend’s father who was aged about 70 years left home one fine morning, like any other day to buy milk. He didn’t return almost the whole day, until the worried family members informed the police and launched a search. Finally at about 7pm, somebody brought him home from another part of the city. The poor man had forgotten his way back home and was searching all around ! He was hungry, angry and at a loss for words, unable to explain what went over him. Terrifying and pathetic !!
An aunt of mine was a perfectionist – well dressed, obsessed with cleanliness and discipline. I dread the early days of my marriage when she would size me up and admonish for not wearing a silk saree on a festival or forgetting to match with some jewellery that she had gifted. She would remember what exactly I had worn in my last visit and comment that I am back in the same old green or black ! Amazing memory and hawk-like eyes I would think. Of course she welcomed me with delicious home made goodies and wished me well always. Years rolled by. It was sad to see this once ‘well-lived’ aunt deteriorate drastically – incoherent talking, sudden laughter or tears for no reason, ill-timed comments, violent mood swings and inappropriate burst into clapping and singing like a child. Hats off to her dear old hubby and an affectionate caregiver who helped her with her daily chores right from bathing, wearing clothes to plaiting her hair and feeding her. Her family gave her a life of dignity and care. Well, despite her unpredictable behaviour and heavy memory loss she would size me up as before and pick out if I had my matching accessories or not – the woman in her was always alive 😊
Kripa’s mother (name changed) was always worried that her daughter wasn’t getting a suitable groom to be married. But on the day of the wedding, I was saddened to see that the lady sat expressionless, like a stone during the rituals. She had forgotten to cry or laugh and was bereft of emotions. Numbed not because her daughter was being married off but because she couldn’t just express herself. Later I learnt from Kripa that she had suddenly developed strange kinds of fear and refused to stay at home alone. A career banker, her condition became so deplorable like my aunt’s, that she had to be taken to a Dementia day-care centre for a few hours in a day and kept engaged with some activities. It took months for the family to realise that her condition needed medical help and not just counselling.
The poster said “Missing……Godhi Banna, Sadharana Maikattu” (Wheat complexion, Moderate build) showing the troubled face of an elderly gentleman sitting on the footpath with anxiety and confusion writ large on his face. Caught my attention….friends, by now those who have watched this acclaimed Kannada movie starring the well-known actor Anantnag, released in 2017 will know what burning topic I am referring to. Yes, it is the degenerative disease called “Alzheimer’s” (named after a German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer who identified the first case in a German woman in 1901) where brain cells start dying slowly, affecting the memory, thought, judgement, language and communication – all of which seriously impairs normal activities and daily life. Yes, my friend’s father, my aunt, Kripa’s mother – all were victims of Alzheimer’s.
21st September is earmarked as “Alzheimer’s Day” with this year’s theme being “Let’s talk about Dementia” to create awareness about this stigmatised illness that is wrongly passed off as senility, due to natural ageing. Truth is, it is a progressive disease affecting the mental function with no cure but only specific treatment which slows down the symptoms. Dementia is an overall term used to describe symptoms that impact memory, performance of daily activities, and communication abilities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Statistics are startling as per some studies….Alzheimer’s affects millions of aged people around the world with 1 in every 16 households having an Alzheimer’s patient. With life expectancy going up to 85 years, it is estimated that 9% aged population in 2015 will increase to 20% in 2050. The number of Alzheimer’s patients is only going to go up. If not detected in time and treated medically, this carries both a financial as well as emotional cost to the society affecting patients, caregivers, family resulting in conflict in family, guilt feeling, resentment, caretaker’s fatigue etc.
With such a large problem looming, there is a need not only for medical consultation and day-care centres but also large specialised dementia hospitals that offer care, treatment, world class facilities, trained personnel, memory clinics and secured environment which many a times one cannot provide at home. All this is available at NIKISA Dementia Village and Alzheimer’s Hospital, Yelahanka, Bangalore (www.dementiavillagebangalore.com), which is Asia’s first Dementia Village, run by one of my close family members. Come, “let us not forget the hands that raised us. Let us give the Alzheimer’s patients a life of dignity with care, affection & medication !!”
Whew…that was a long one on the ‘declining memory disease’. But I haven’t forgotten that Samhita is a fortnightly e-newsletter being published since the last 11 years to share professional knowledge amongst clients, professionals, entrepreneurs, corporates, students and public. The highlight of this 245th issue is the analysis of the recently passed Companies (Amendment) Act, 2020 that is a departure from its parent Act of 2013, transformed over the last year 7 years umpteen times. Do read the 3 separate articles on the new Act contributed by my team (Sreenivasan & Krithika) and my associate lawyer (Nivedita Krishna). As expected, MCA extended several due dates after keeping all of us on tenterhooks until the end. For any previous issues of Samhita and thereaders’ feedback, please visit https://sharadasc.com/resource-center/.
Mom: Don’t you have *several* things to do in your ‘to do’ list
Me: Yes mom. There are *numerous* things to do
Mom: How come you spend all the time on the phone when you have *a lot of* things to do
Me: Though I have *multiple* things to do, most of them can be done only on the system or computer
Mom: But, you haven’t done any of the *many* things that I asked you to do!!
The most anticipated Companies (Amendment) Act, 2020 has received the President’s assent and been gazetted on 28.09.2020. However the effective date of various provisions is yet to be notified, which may be different for different provisions. Based on the recommendations of the Company Law Committee, 2019 the Act makes the following changes.
Decriminalisation of offences –
While several offences have been decriminalised, punishment for serious offences like fraud or offences involving public interest or deceit has not been relaxed. The amendments include removal of imprisonment in various sections, reduction in amount of fine payable and conversion of various fines payable into payment of penalty. Penalty would mean in-house Adjudication i.e. by the ROC or Regional Director.
While decriminalisation of various defaults under the Act reduces the litigation burden on small companies, one cannot deny that the Act continues to be an intricate maze with multiple land mines acting as trigger points to ensure the companies are compliant!
Read the article titled “Decriminalisation of Offences” by Ms. Krithika Murali, Executive
Corporate Social responsibility – Certain exemptions and relaxations have been provided.
Read the article titled “Amendments w.r.t CSR” by our Associate Ms. Nivedita Krishna, Founder Pacta, Law Firm (the article also contains reference to CSR Rules which are yet to be notified)
Certain companies not to be treated as listed companies, shorter Rights issue offer period, Remuneration payable to Independent Directors and non-executive directors under certain circumstances, Insertion of an entire chapter replacing the earlier provisions of the 1956 Act etc.
Read the article titled “Analysis of certain provisions of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2020” by Mr.Sreenivasan Narasimhan, Associate
Amendments to IBBI (Application to Adjudicating Authority) Rules, 2016
The IBBI (Application to Adjudicating Authority) (Amendment) Rules, 2020 notified on 24.09.2020 introduced the following amendments to the Rules:
Service of a copy of application by Financial Creditors, Operational Creditors and Corporate Debtor can now be done through electronic means also.
Interim Resolution Professional must give written communication regarding other existing assignments whether as Resolution Professional, Authorised Representative, Liquidator or Bankruptcy Trustee to Personal Guarantor or any other assignment.
The requirement of attaching a copy of the relevant accounts from the banks/financial institutions maintaining accounts of the operational creditor confirming that there is no payment of the relevant unpaid operational debt by the operational debtor, has been removed.
A form 5 is required to be filled and submitted by all banks where the Operational Creditor is maintaining Bank accounts certifying the details of all credits received from Corporate Debtor in that account during the last 3 years.
Suspension of initiation of CIRP – Extended for another 3 months
Considering the stress on businesses due to the impact COVID-19 pandemic it was notified that w.e.f. 05.06.2020, that no petitions can be filed for insolvency of a Corporate Debtor for any default arising on or after 25.03.2020 up to 15.09.2020. The same period has been further extended for a period of 3 months upto 31.12.2020.
FPIs were allowed to write off shares which are unlisted / illiquid / suspended /delisted in order to surrender their registration certificate. Pursuant to representations received, FPIs are now permitted to write off shares of all companies that remain unsold. The process indicated in the Operational Guidelines issued by SEBI needs to be followed.
The Parliament on 23.09.2020 passed 3 key Labour Reform Bills. The Codes passed are as follows:
Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions – 14 existing legislations- Factories Act, 1948, Mines Act 1951, Plantations Labour Act, 1951 etc. have been consolidated to form the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions.
Industrial Relations Code – 3 existing legislations – the Industrial Employment Standing Order Act, 1946, Industrial Disputes Act, 1946 & the Trade Unions Act, 1926, have been consolidated to form the Industrial Relations Code.
Social Security Code – 9 existing legislations- the EPF and MP Act, 1952, the ESIC Act,1948, Employee Compensation Act, 1923 etc. have been consolidated to form the Social Security Code.
Extended due date for compliances w.r.t. goods take out of India
The time limit for the compliances in respect of goods being sent or taken out of India on approval for sale or return, which falls during the period from 20.03.2020 to 30.10.2020 and where completion or compliance of such action has not been made within such time, then the time limit for completion shall be extended to 31.10.2020.
Additional fee waived for Form GSTR-10 filed between 22.09.2020 and 31.12.2020
A taxable person whose GST registration is cancelled or surrendered has to file a return in Form GSTR-10 called as Final Return. This is a statement of stocks held by such taxpayers on the day immediately preceding the date from which cancellation is made effective. The Board waived the amount of late fee payable under section 47 of the CGST Act which is in excess of Rs.250 for the registered persons who fail to furnish the return in FORM GSTR-10 by the due date but furnishes the said return between the period from 22.09.2020 to 31.12.2020.
Due date for filing GSTR-4 – Extended up to 31.10.2020
Due date for filing Form GSTR-4 for the period from July 2017 to March 2020 has been extended to 31.10.2020 and the late fee in excess of Rs. 500 shall stand fully waived in case of tax payable and the late fee shall be NIL in case there is no tax liability.
Note: The contents of this Newsletter are only a summary and has not dealt with any issue in detail. Any action taken or proposed to be taken must be in consultation with professionals and not merely based on the articles / news updates. S. C. Sharada & Associates disclaims all liability on action taken without professional advice.
S. C. Sharada & Associates,
Company Secretaries. #405, 7th Cross, IV Block, Koramangala, Bangalore – 560 034.
sharadasc.com Phone : +91 80 25534374 , +91 80 25536618 Email:[email protected]