Companies Act, 1956
Sec 293A - Prohibitions and restrictions regarding political contributions.
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other provision of this Act,
(a) no Government company; and
(b) no other company which has been in existence for less than three financial years,
shall contribute any amount or amounts, directly or indirectly,
(i) to any political party; or
(ii) for any political purpose to any person.
(2) A company, not being a company referred to in clause (a) or clause (b) of sub-section (1), may contribute any amount or amounts, directly or indirectly,
(a) to any political party; or
(b) for any political purpose to any person:
Provided that the amount or, as the case may be, the aggregate of the amounts which may be so contributed by a company in any financial year shall not exceed five per cent of its average net profits determined in accordance with the provisions of sections 349 and 350 during the three immediately preceding financial years.
Provided further that no such contribution shall be made by a company unless a resolution authorizing the making of such contribution is passed at a meeting of the Board of Directors and such resolution shall, subject to the other provisions of this section, be deemed to be justification in law for the making and the acceptance of the contribution authorized by it.
Explanation : Where a portion of a financial year of the company falls before the commencement of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 1985, and a portion falls after such commencement, the latter portion shall be deemed to be a financial year within the meaning, and for the purposes, of this sub-section:
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-sections (1) and (2),
(a) a donation or subscription or payment caused to be given by a company on its behalf or on its account to a person who, to its knowledge, is carrying on any activity which, at the time at which such donation or subscription or payment was given or made, can reasonably be regarded as likely to effect public support for a political party shall also be deemed to be contribution of the amount of such donation, subscription or payment to such person for a political purpose;
(b) the amount of expenditure incurred, directly or indirectly, by a company on advertisement in any publication (being a publication in the nature of a souvenir, brochure, tract, pamphlet or the like) by or on behalf of a political party or for its advantage shall also be deemed,
(i) where such publication is by or on behalf of a political party, to be a contribution of such amount to such political party, and
(ii) where such publication is not by or on behalf of but for the advantage of a political party, to be a contribution for a political purpose to the person publishing it.
(4) Every company shall disclose in its profit and loss account any amount or amounts contributed by it to any political party or for any political purpose to any person during the financial year to which that account relates, giving particulars of the total amount contributed and the name of the party or person to which or to whom such amount has been contributed.
(5) If a company makes any contribution in contravention of the provisions of this section,
(a) the company shall be punishable with fine which may extend to three times the amount so contributed; and
(b) every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.