The word company is derived from the combination of two words, 'com' and 'panis', 'com' means together and 'panies' means bread. In the ancient times in the festive gathering among the villagers they use to discuss their trading activities and this is how the word company is derived. The history of Indian Company Law began with the Joint Stock Companies Act of 1850. Since, than the cumulative process of amendment and consolidation has brought us to the most comprehensive and complicated piece of legislation, the Companies Act, 1956.
In India , the Companies Act, 1956 , is the most important piece of legislation that empowers the Central Government to regulate the formation, financing, functioning and winding up of companies. The Act contains the mechanism regarding organizational, financial, managerial and all the relevant aspects of a company. It provides for the powers and responsibilities of the directors and managers, raising of capital, holding of company meetings, maintenance and audit of company accounts, powers of inspection, etc. The Act applies to whole of India and to all types of companies, whether registered under this Act or an earlier Act. But it does not apply to universities, co-operative societies, unincorporated trading, scientific and other societies.
The Companies Act is administered by the Central Government through the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the Offices of Registrar of Companies , Official Liquidators , Public Trustee, Company Law Board , Director of Inspection, etc. The Registrar of Companies (ROC ) controls the task of incorporation of new companies and the administration of running companies.
In response to the changing business environment, the Companies Act, 1956 has been amended from time to time so as to provide more transparency in corporate governance and protect the interests of small investors, depositors and debenture holders, etc.
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