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All member of a public company limited by shares holding equity shares will have votes in proportion to his share in paid up equity capital of the company.
Usually, preference shareholders do not have any voting rights. But, they can vote on matters directly involving to the rights attached to the preference share capital. Any declaration for winding up of the company or for the decrease or repayment of the share capital shall be deemed to affect directly the rights attached to preference shares. Where the preference shares are cumulative (in respect of dividend) and the dividend thereon has remained unpaid for an total period of two years before date of any meeting of the company, the preference shareholders will have right to vote on any resolution.
In case of non-cumulative preference shares, preference shareholders have right to vote on each resolution if dividend due on their capital remains due, either in respect of period of not less than two years ending with the termination of the financial year immediately preceding the commencement of the meeting or in respect of aggregate period of not less than three years comprised in six years ending with the termination of concerned financial year.
Each equity shareholder has a right to vote at a general meeting. No company can forbid any member from exercising his voting right any ground including the ground that he has not held his shares for a minimum period before he becomes eligible to vote. But, a member’s voting rights can be revoked if that member does not make payment of calls or other amount unpaid against him or where the company has exercised the right of lien on his shares.
The rights of the shareholders who did not approved to or vote for variation of their rights are protected by the Companies Act. If the rights of any class of the shareholders are varied, the holders of not less than 10 per cent of the shares of that class, being persons who did not permitted to or vote in favour of resolution for variation of their rights can apply to the court to have the variation cancelled. Where such application is made to the court, such variation will not be given any result unless and until it is confirmed by the court.