Leading stock exchange NSE has issued notices to 260 companies, including 145 suspended firms, for their alleged failure to comply with Sebi norms to appoint at least one female director on their respective boards.
Sebi had issued guidelines in February last year asking companies to appoint at least one woman director on their boards by October 1, 2014, which was later relaxed to April 1, 2015.
"In compliance with the Sebi directive, NSE has issued notices to 260 companies (this includes suspended companies) which have not complied so far," NSE said in a statement on Wednesday.
"With some companies replying, the rest are at various stages of evaluation." An NSE spokesperson told PTI that only one company of the 260 has complied with the requirement following the notices by the exchange.
Of the 260, 145 notices have been issued to suspended companies and 115 to active firms on NSE.
The total listed companies (including debt and MF) are 1,750, of which 189 were suspended due to non-compliance of various kinds, the exchange said.
Acting against listed firms without a mandatory woman director, Sebi in April announced a minimum Rs 50,000 fine on them and warned of further action, including against promoters and directors, if they remain non-compliant beyond six months.
In April, Sebi had announced a four-stage penalty structure wherein fines would increase with the passage of time. The listed companies complying between April 1 and June 30 will have to pay only Rs 50,000.
Those complying between July 1 and September 30 this year would need to pay Rs 50,000 and an additional Rs 1,000 per day till compliance.The listed companies complying on or after October 1, 2015 will have to pay Rs 1.42 lakh, plus Rs 5,000 per day till the date of compliance.
For any non-compliance beyond September 30, 2015, Sebi may take any other action, against non-compliant entities, their promoters and/or directors or issue such directions in accordance with law, as considered appropriate.
As per NSE analysis, about 88% of the companies listed on the exchange have complied with the requirement to hire one woman director on their respective boards.