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Speed voting enthrals Reliance shareholders

Though the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has deferred mandatory e-voting for shareholders until December 31, Reliance Industries’ shareholders got a taste of it during the company’s 40th AGM, on Wednesday.

During the exercise, which lasted about 30 minutes, some shareholders were seen huddled in small groups around volunteers brandishing shiny new tablets while some preferred to approach volunteers individually to peer over the tablet screen and register their votes through the touch pad. No one insisted on polling on the ordinary resolutions. But taking a cue from the new Companies Act, RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani, conducted a spot poll.

Quick process

For 56-year-old Chetan Damani, who has been an RIL shareholder for the past 32 years, it took “just 90 seconds to vote on all the resolutions”. Purushottam Budhwani, who first invested in RIL shares in 2004, added: “Earlier when I used to vote through show of hands it felt like just a formality. But now I actually felt I votedfor the first time. I am now looking forward to the TCS AGM. Being a technology company, let’s see what they have to offer for e-voting.”

More votes

“An advantage of e-voting is that under it one share has one vote while under the earlier system one person has one vote. So, for instance, if you have 100 shares, you can vote ‘yes’ for 50 shares and ‘no’ for 50 shares,” said an RIL spokesperson. “As votes were being cast, a tally was collated on our back-end server but the processing of votes was not instantly reflected as a scrutinising process was followed by independent party Deloitte before announcing the end tally,” he added.

“The Karvy InstaPoll system, based on Wi-Fi connectivity and backed by a local server physically installed at the venue, conducted the poll in a short span of time and the result was declared after scrutiny,” said V Ganesh, CEO of Karvy Computershare. Karvy, which formally launched the product on Thursday, said the system would be made available to its over 500 clients.

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