The depository firm is a leading provider of e-voting system that enables shareholders to cast their votes through the internet on resolutions of companies. According to sources, NDSL’s e-voting system was down for two days due to an unprecedented technical error.
Cochin Shipyard, BASF India, Ingersoll Rand, Eicher Motors, Federal Bank, and Timken India are some of the firms where voting could have got affected, sources said.
Nageswara Rao, managing director and chief executive officer of NSDL, said, “The glitch couldn’t be resolved with normal solutions. The issue had to be escalated with our technology partners. We provided an alternative solution to the companies.” Sources said some firms sent last-minute mailers to shareholders intimating them to switch to alternative platforms.
Cochin Shipyard’s mailers to shareholders reads. “...since NDSL is unable to extend the (e-voting) facility due to a technical hitch encountered by them on August 10 and August 11, we are now pleased to provide e-voting facility to our members through e-voting platform of Link Intime...”
“We need to do a detailed inspection of firms that could have got affected. There could be an issue with companies where voting completed on Friday. According to regulations, they have to disclose the voting pattern within 48 hours. Fortunately, this happened over the weekend. So, they could still have time to do the filings within deadline,” said Rao.
Sources said TCS and IBM were the technology partners for NDSL e-voting. However, this information couldn’t be independently verified with the two IT firms. “We would never come to know the investors who wanted to vote. This could be a one-off instance. But in future if such a thing happens, there is a need for an alternative solution where voting can take place to ensure continuity,” said J N Gupta, MD, Stakeholders Empowerment Services, a voting advisory firm. He said the significance of system provider was similar to that of market infrastructure institutions and called for regulations governing platforms.
MIIs are institutions such as stock exchanges, clearing corporations, and depositories. As these institutions are the backbone of the capital markets, they have to follow more stringent norms in areas such as ownership and governance.
Besides NDSL, the e-voting platform is provided by Central Depository Services India, Kary, and Link Intime.