Companies Act, 1956
Sec 224 - Appointment and remuneration of Auditors.
(1) Every company shall, at each annual general meeting, appoint an auditor or auditors to hold office from the conclusion of that meeting until the conclusion of the next annual general meeting and shall, within seven days of the appointment, give intimation thereof to every auditor so appointed :
Provided that before any appointment or re-appointment of auditor or auditors is made by any company at any annual general meeting, a written certificate shall be obtained by the company from the auditor or auditors proposed to be so appointed to the effect that the appointment or re-appointment if made, will be in accordance with the limits specified in sub-section (1B).
(1A) Every auditor appointed under sub-section (1), shall within thirty days of the receipt from the company of the intimation of his appointment, inform the Registrar in writing that he has accepted, or refused to accept, the appointment.
(1B) On and from the financial year next following the commencement of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 1974 (41 of 1974), no company or its Board of directors shall appoint or re-appoint any person who is in full-time employment elsewhere or firm as its auditors if such person or firm is, at the date of such appointment or re-appointment, holding appointment as auditor of the specified number of companies or more than the specified number of companies :
Provided that in the case of a firm of auditors, " specified number of companies " shall be construed as the number of companies specified for every partner of the firm who is not in full-time employment elsewhere :
Provided further that where any partner of the firm is also a partner of any other firm or firms of auditors, the number of companies which may be taken into account, by all the firms together, in relation to such partner shall not exceed the specified number, in the aggregate :
Provided also that where any partner of a firm of auditors is also holding office, in his individual capacity, as the auditor of one or more companies, the number of companies which may be taken into account in his case shall not exceed the specified number, in the aggregate.
Provided also that the provisions of this sub-section shall not apply, on and after the commencement of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2000, to a private company.
(1C) For the purposes of enabling a company to comply with the provisions of sub-section (1B), a person or firm holding, immediately before the commencement of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 1974 (41 of 1974), appointment as the auditor of a number of companies exceeding the specified number, shall, within sixty days from such commencement, intimate his or its unwillingness to be re-appointed as the auditor from the financial year next following such commencement, to the company or companies of which he or it is not willing to be re-appointed as the auditor ; and shall simultaneously intimate to the Registrar the names of the companies of which he or it is willing to be re-appointed as the auditor and forward a copy of the intimation to each of the companies referred to therein.
Explanation I: For the purposes of sub-sections (1B) and (1C), " specified number " means,
(a) in the case of a person or firm holding appointment as auditor of a number of companies each of which has a paid-up share capital of less than rupees twenty-five lakhs, twenty such companies;
(b) in any other case, twenty companies, out of which not more than ten shall be companies each of which has a paid-up share capital of rupees twenty-five lakhs or more.
Explanation II: In computing the specified number, the number of companies in respect of which or any part of which any person or firm has been appointed as an auditor, whether singly or in combination with any other person or firm, shall be taken into account.
(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (1B) and section 224A, at any annual general meeting, a retiring auditor, by whatsoever authority appointed, shall be re-appointed, unless:
(a) he is not qualified for re-appointment ;
(b) he has given the company notice in writing of his unwillingness to be re-appointed ;
(c) a resolution has been passed at that meeting appointing somebody instead of him or providing expressly that he shall not be re-appointed ; or
(d) where notice has been given of an intended resolution to appoint some person or persons in the place of a retiring auditor, and by reason of the death, incapacity or disqualification of that person or of all those persons, as the case may be, the resolution cannot be proceeded with.
(3) Where at an annual general meeting no auditors are appointed or re-appointed, the Central Government may appoint a person to fill the vacancy.
(4) The company shall, within seven days of the Central Government's power under sub-section (3), becoming exercisable, give notice of that fact to that Government ; and, if a company fails to give such notice, the company, and every officer of the company who is in default, shall be punishable, with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees.
(5) The first auditor or auditors of a company shall be appointed by the Board of directors within one month of the date of registration of the company ; and the auditor or auditors so appointed shall hold office until the conclusion of the first annual general meeting :
(a) the company may, at a general meeting, remove any such auditor or all or any of such auditors and appoint in his or their places any other person or persons who have been nominated for appointment by any member of the company and of whose nomination notice has been given to the members of the company not less than fourteen days before the date of the meeting ; and
(b) if the Board fails to exercise its powers under this sub-section, the company in general meeting may appoint the first auditor or auditors.
(a) The Board may fill any casual vacancy in the office of an auditor ; but while any such vacancy continues, the remaining auditor or auditors, if any, may act :
Provided that where such vacancy is caused by the resignation of an auditor, the vacancy shall only be filled by the company in general meeting.
(b) Any auditor appointed in a casual vacancy shall hold office until the conclusion of the next annual general meeting.
(7) Except as provided in the proviso to sub-section (5), any auditor appointed under this section may be removed from office before the expiry of his term only by the company in general meeting, after obtaining the previous approval of the Central Government in that behalf.
(8) The remuneration of the auditors of a company :
(a) in the case of an auditor appointed by the Board or the Central Government, may be fixed by the Board or the Central Government, as the case may be; and
(aa) in the case of an auditor appointed under section 619 by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, shall be fixed by the company in general meeting or in such manner as the company in general meeting may determine.
(b) subject to clause (a), shall be fixed by the company in general meeting or in such manner as the company in general meeting may determine.
For the purposes of this sub-section, any sums paid by the company in respect of the auditors' expenses shall be deemed to be included in the expression " remuneration ".