Recovering Your Unclaimed Shares of Godrej Consumer Products from IEPF Authority
Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) is one of the leading Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies in India with presence across categories like homecare, haircare, personal care etc. As a widely held public listed company, GCPL has lakhs of individual shareholders across the country holding its shares in physical or demat format.
As per Indian regulations, shares held in physical form which remain unclaimed by shareholders for a period of 7 consecutive years are required to be transferred to the Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) Authority. The IEPF is a statutory body established by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to administer such unclaimed shares.
If you are a GCPL shareholder who has been unable to access the physical shares held in your name for 7 years or more, it is likely the company may have transferred your shares to the IEPF. However, you can recover your shares from IEPF by initiating a formal claim process.
This article provides complete details for GCPL shareholders on the procedure to claim back their unclaimed shares which may have been transferred to the IEPF Authority:
When Can Physical Shares be Transferred to IEPF by GCPL?
As per Section 124(6) of the Companies Act 2013, the following categories of physical shares held by investors are mandated to be transferred by GCPL to the IEPF after a period of 7 consecutive years:
- Shares against which dividends have remained unpaid or unclaimed by shareholders continuously for 7 years or more.
- Shares held in physical form which have not been claimed by shareholders or encashed for a period of atleast 7 consecutive years, although dividend payment history may not be known.
- Shares held in joint names which get transferred to IEPF due to lack of proper joint holder endorsement on the physical share certificates as required under stamp duty rules.
- Shares of deceased shareholders transferred to IEPF due to absence of claimants or where legal heirs have not obtained transmission in their favour.
Before transferring shares, GCPL sends adequate reminders and notices to concerned shareholders asking them to submit claims, failing which the shares shall be credited to IEPF on completion of the 7-year period. However, the onus lies with shareholders to diligently follow up on company communications and ensure their shares are claimed within the permitted timeline.
Verifying Whether Your GCPL Shares are Transferred to IEPF
GCPL shareholders staying in housing societies can take assistance from their Managers to verify whether their shares have been transferred to the IEPF as below:
- Inform your Folio Number and Share Certificate details to the Managers
- They will check the IEPF Authority website www.iepf.gov.in for your name in the company-wise ‘Statement of Unclaimed and Unpaid Amounts’ uploaded.
- If your name appears in the GCPL statement, it means your shares are transferred to IEPF.
- The statement provides a breakup of the number of shares transferred corresponding to each share certificate.
- On confirmation of such a transfer, the Manager proceeds with next steps of the claim process.
Documents Required for Claiming Shares from IEPF
To file an online application for claiming your GCPL shares from the IEPF Authority, ensure you have scanned copies of the below documents:
- Duly signed Indemnity Bond declaring you have not sold or pledged the shares
- Original Share Certificate or Letter from GCPL mentioning the shares are transferred to IEPF
- Advance Receipt signed by claimant towards receipt of refund from IEPF
- Self-attested copy of PAN Card and Aadhaar Card (for Indian claimants)
- Client Master List certified by Depository Participant if shares claimed in demat form
- Copy of Death Certificate and Succession Certificate (for legal heir applicants)
Steps for Filing Online Claim for Shares Transferred to IEPF
Follow these stepwise instructions to file your online claim for recovering the GCPL shares on the IEPF portal:
Step 1) Register yourself on the IEPF website www.iepf.gov.in to create login credentials.
Step 2) Login, Click on e-Forms, Select ‘Form IEPF-5’, Fill your name, address, email, phone number etc in the claimant details section.
Step 3) Enter details of GCPL shares being claimed like number of securities, amount, folio number and distinctive numbers.
Step 4) Fill details of bank account for credit of any unpaid dividends on shares.
Step 5) Attach necessary supporting documents as applicable in the Form IEPF-5 upload section.
Step 6) Submit the duly completed IEPF-5 on the MCA portal after fee payment and authorized verification.
Step 7) Note the acknowledgement number for tracking claim status.
Authorized Managers at your housing society can provide end-to-end facilitation with the form filing process for smooth approval.
Claim Status Tracking and Receiving Shares from IEPF
To track application status, shareholders can:
- Check online claim history on the portal using acknowledgement number
- Monitor status which gets updated as ‘Closed’ after claim approval
- Call helpline numbers or Email Nodal officers seeking regular updates
- Provide any other documents sought via email/SMS requests
On satisfactory verification, the IEPF Authority transfers the claimed shares directly to the Demat account of the shareholder along with unpaid dividends. The transfer approval intimation is sent by IEPF via email/sms. You can convert physical holdings to demat form if you don’t already have a demat account.
When Do Godrej Consumer Products Shares Get Transferred to the IEPF Authority?
According to the applicable Rules under Section 124 of the Companies Act, 2013, Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) is mandated to transfer the following categories of shares held by investors to the IEPF Authority after a period of 7 consecutive years:
- Shares against which dividend amounts have remained unpaid or unclaimed by the shareholders continuously for 7 years or more.
- Equity shares held in physical certificate form which have remained unclaimed by shareholders or have not been encashed for a period of atleast 7 consecutive years, although the dividend payment history against these shares may not be known.
- Shares held in joint names which get transferred to the IEPF due to lack of proper joint holder endorsement on the physical share certificates as required under stamp duty rules.
- Shares of deceased shareholders which are transferred to the IEPF due to absence of claimant registered nominations or where the legal heirs have not yet obtained transmission of the shares in their names.
Before transferring such shares, GCPL sends adequate reminders and individual notices to concerned shareholders intimating them to submit their claims, failing which the shares shall be credited to the IEPF on completion of the stipulated 7-year period. However, the onus lies with the shareholders to diligently follow up on company communications and ensure their shares are duly claimed within the permitted timeline.
Process for GCPL Shareholders to Verify IEPF Transfer of Shares
GCPL shareholders residing in housing societies can take the assistance of their Maintenance Managers to verify whether their shares have been transferred to the IEPF Authority in the following manner:
- Shareholders should inform the Manager about their GCPL share folio number and share certificate details.
- The Manager will then check the latest company-wise ‘Statement of Unclaimed and Unpaid Amounts’ uploaded on the IEPF Authority website www.iepf.gov.in.
- If the shareholder’s name appears in the GCPL statement, it means their shares have been transferred to the IEPF.
- This statement provides the break-up of the number of shares transferred corresponding to each share certificate number / distinctive number.
- On confirmation of such a transfer, the Manager informs the shareholder and proceeds with the required steps for initiating the shares claim process on behalf of the shareholder.
Documents Required from Claimants for IEPF Refund of Shares
To file an online application in Form IEPF-5 for claiming their GCPL shares and any unpaid dividends thereon from the IEPF Authority, the following documents are required from claimant shareholders:
- Duly signed indemnity bond declaring that the claimant has not sold, pledged or otherwise encumbered the shares being claimed
- Original share certificate(s) or the letter issued by GCPL indicating that the shares have been transferred to the IEPF
- Duly signed advance receipt by claimant towards receipt of refund from the IEPF Authority
- Self-attested copy of PAN Card and Aadhaar Card (for Indian claimants)
- Client Master list containing shareholder details provided by the Depository Participant (in case shares being claimed are in demat form)
- Copy of death certificate and succession certificate (for legal heir applicants)
- Canceled cheque leaf showing claimant’s bank account details
- Authorization form in favor of Manager for online submission
The Managers can assist shareholders in compiling and attaching the requisite documents correctly along with the online claim Form IEPF-5 as required.
Points for GCPL Shareholders When Filing Online Claim with IEPF
- Form IEPF-5 can cover claims across multiple eligible folios belonging to the same claimant provided the folio numbers and distinguishing details of shares are clearly specified.
- Shareholders should ensure that their PAN number is updated in all the folios being claimed.
- If the original share certificate is lost, shareholders should obtain a duplicate share certificate or letter from GCPL confirming the IEPF transfer before filing the refund claim.
- Shareholders must enter the accurate particulars of the bank account where the refund amounts are to be received.
- Joint holder shares without proper endorsement on the reverse of the physical share certificate as per stamp duty rules are liable to be rejected if claimed without rectification.
- Shareholders should ensure that the supporting documents are complete and properly attached along with the online form IEPF-5 before submission on the MCA portal.
- Authorization should be provided to the Manager in writing for submission of e-form IEPF-5.
Following the above guidelines will help ensure smooth processing of share refunds from the IEPF Authority. The Managers can assess form completeness and attachments before online submission.
Common Reasons for Non-Claiming of Shares and Dividends
Some common scenarios which may have prevented GCPL shareholders from encashing or claiming their physical share certificates within the stipulated 7-year period, resulting in the transfer of shares to the IEPF Authority are:
- Non-updating of nominations or transmission of shares in case of demise of the original shareholder
- Not intimating change of address to GCPL registrar leading to non-receipt of corporate communications regarding dividends, AGMs etc.
- Non-payment of joint holder transfer fee resulting in rejection of dividend encashment requests
- Inadvertent loss, misplacement or destruction of physical share certificates
- Pending legal disputes due to family conflicts stalling the transmission of shares to legal heirs
- Failure to notify GCPL about migration abroad or displacement while shares get accumulated if left unmonitored
- General lack of awareness about periodic KYC updating requirements even when residing at the same address
By proactively addressing the above through better coordination and diligent follow-up enabled by Managers, GCPL shareholders can prevent the transfer of their eligible shares to the IEPF due to prolonged inaction.
Important Points for Shareholders When Tracking Claims with IEPF
Post submission of the online claim Form IEPF-5 on the MCA portal, shareholders should track the status of their application in the following ways:
- Frequently check the online claim history under the ‘Track Application Status’ section using the acknowledgement number
- Monitor the status which gets updated to ‘Closed’ once the claim is approved by the IEPF Authority
- Stay in touch with the relevant Nodal Officer handling GCPL claims by email or phone calls
- Provide any additional documents sought via email/SMS requests within stipulated time
- Look out for SMS/email alerts to be received on registered contact particulars
- Ensure to notify change in email or mobile number to the IEPF Authority as applicable
On satisfactory verification of the e-claim, the IEPF Authority transfers the claimed shares directly to the Demat Account of the shareholder along with any unpaid dividends due. The approval intimation is sent by IEPF via email/SMS within standard processing timelines.
It is advisable for shareholders to convert physical holdings to demat form if they don’t already have a demat account before initiating any IEPF claim for quick electronic credit of shares to their account.
Key Reasons Why Unclaimed Shares are Transferred to the IEPF
Transfer of unclaimed shares by companies like GCPL to the IEPF safeguards investor rights in the following ways:
- It ensures that unclaimed investor shares don’t remain in limbo indefinitely but are transferred to a regulated statutory body.
- The shares remain held in the IEPF corpus until the original shareholders submit their claim to establish rightful ownership.
- On approval of claims, the securities are refunded back to the shareholder along with unclaimed dividends.
- For deceased cases, it pushes legal heirs to obtain succession certificates and stake their lawful claim to the shares.
- It prompts shareholders who may simply be unaware about periodic KYC updating to take proactive action to establish their legal ownership.
- The Rules nudge inactive shareholders to connect with companies, convert holdings to demat and remain vigilant about their investments.
- It initiates the required inheritance transfer of shares which may have lacked claimant details for years due to demise of original holders.
- The transfer provision thereby protects investor rights by prompting shareholders to establish lawful ownership of old physical share certificates.
In summary, the transfer of unclaimed shares to IEPF after 7 years ends decades of accumulated inactive holdings by compelling rightful owners to step forward and submit ownership claims accordingly.
Key Points for Non-Resident GCPL Shareholders when Filing Refund Claims
While the process for filing online claims for shares and dividends remains the same, Non-Resident (NRI) shareholders of GCPL should additionally ensure that:
- Copy of a valid passport is enclosed instead of Aadhaar for identity proof.
- The indemnity bond is executed on a non-judicial stamp paper.
- Client Master List is provided by the NRI Depository Participant where demat account is held.
- Extra declaration mentioning the overseas address is attached with the form IEPF-5.
- Bank account details for funds transfer pertain to NRO account preferably.
- Digitally signed authorization certificate is executed by a practicing Chartered Accountant.
NRI shareholders staying abroad should authorize their Managers in India to ensure completeness of all documentation requirements and eligibility assessments required for smooth approval of their IEPF refund claims.
Conclusion: Stay Vigilant to Avoid Permanent Loss of Share Investments
In conclusion, all shareholders of GCPL must remain vigilant and diligently monitor their portfolios to avoid their shares falling into IEPF due to continuous inaction or lack of claiming dividends, updating registered details etc. Seeking assistance from facility management executives to track communications for corporate actions can help overcome procedural gaps.
Authorizing Managers ensures you can rely on expert assistance in liaising with the company registrar, keeping track of holdings and digitization of records to avert IEPF transfers. Maintaining an accurate consolidated view of investments and ensuring regulatory compliance is crucial for upholding shareholder rights and safeguarding portfolio value.
FAQs on Claiming Unclaimed Shares from the IEPF Authority
1.What constitutes ‘unclaimed’ shares as per the Companies Act, 2013?
Shares are considered ‘unclaimed’ if they fulfill any of the below criteria as per Section 124(6) of the Companies Act, 2013:
- Shares against which dividend amounts have remained unpaid or unclaimed by shareholders for 7 consecutive years or more.
- Equity shares held in physical format which have remained encashed or unclaimed by shareholders for atleast 7 consecutive years, although dividend history may not be known.
- Shares held in joint names transferred to IEPF due to lack of proper joint holder endorsement on physical share certificates.
- Shares of deceased shareholders transferred to IEPF due to absence of claimant nominations or legal heir transmission.
2. When do companies transfer such unclaimed shares to IEPF?
Companies are mandated to transfer shares to IEPF that remain unclaimed as per above criteria for a continuous period of 7 years, within 30 days from the due date of the 7th year. For instance, if dividend on a share has remained unpaid for 7 years from 2015-16 to 2021-22, it should be transferred to IEPF by 30th April, 2023.
4.How do companies intimate shareholders about the upcoming transfer of unclaimed shares to IEPF?
Before transferring shares, companies send individual intimation letters and reminders to concerned shareholders asking them to claim their shares/dividends and update records, failing which shares shall be transferred to IEPF after the 7-year period lapses. They also publish newspaper notices in this regard.
5. How can shareholders verify whether their shares are transferred to the IEPF Authority?
Shareholders can check the company-wise ‘Statement of Unclaimed and Unpaid Amounts’ uploaded on the IEPF website to verify if their name and shares appear. If yes, it means the shares are transferred to IEPF. The statement provides a breakup of the number of shares transferred corresponding to each share certificate.
6. What is the eligibility criteria for shareholders to claim back unclaimed shares from IEPF?
Original shareholders whose shares have been transferred as ‘unclaimed’ to IEPF are eligible to claim back their shares by establishing their bonafide ownership through submission of required documents and online application in Form IEPF-5. Legal heirs can also claim by providing succession certificates.
7. What is the process for shareholders to file their claim for refund from IEPF?
The process involves the following steps:
- Register on IEPF website and generate user credentials
- Login to portal, access Form IEPF-5 and fill in claimant details
- Provide company name, folio no., shares/dividends claimed & bank details
- Attach scanned copies of documents like indemnity bonds, identity proof etc.
- Submit duly completed IEPF-5 on MCA portal after verification & fee payment
- Track status using acknowledgement number & receive shares/dividends on approval.
8. What documents are required when filing refund claims with IEPF for unclaimed shares?
- Duly signed indemnity bond
- Original share certificate or company letter confirming IEPF transfer
- Self-attested identity proof like PAN, Aadhaar
- Duly signed advance receipt
- Client Master List from Depository Participant (for demat refund)
- Death certificate, succession certificate (for legal heirs)
- Cancelled cheque leaf showing claimant’s bank account details
9. Can legal heirs claim unclaimed shares transferred in the name of their deceased relatives from IEPF?
Yes, legal heirs can recover unclaimed shares of deceased shareholders from IEPF by providing additional documents like succession certificates, wills etc. to establish their legitimate claimant status and legal right to the securities.
10. Is there any time limit or deadline for filing unclaimed shares refund claim with IEPF?
There is no deadline or time limit specified for filing claims to recover unclaimed shares from the IEPF. Eligible shareholders or claimants can submit their online application in Form IEPF-5 along with requisite supporting documents to the IEPF Authority anytime without restrictions.
11. How can shareholders ensure error-free filing of the claim form IEPF-5?
To avoid rejections and ensure smooth processing, shareholders should:
- Provide accurate personal details in the form
- Enter correct company name, folio numbers and share certificate details
- Attach necessary supporting documents without fail
- Check and recheck form details before final submission on the MCA portal
- Pay required claim filing fees online before form submission
12. What is the typical processing time taken by IEPF for refund of unclaimed shares?
The standard time period within which the verification and approval of claims is done by the IEPF Authority is normally between 30-60 days. Further, electronic credit of shares to demat accounts may take up to 30 days. The overall processing time usually ranges from 60-90 days.
13. How can shareholders track the status of their online claim submitted with IEPF?
To track status, shareholders can:
- Check online claim history on MCA portal using acknowledgement number
- Monitor status which gets updated to ‘Closed’ post approval by IEPF
- Follow-up via Emails or Calls to designated Nodal Officers of IEPF
- Provide any other documents sought via email/SMS requests
- Look out for approval intimation received via Email/SMS from IEPF
14. What happens after IEPF approves the shareholders’ claim for unclaimed shares?
On satisfactory verification of e-claims in Form IEPF-5, the IEPF Authority transfers the shares in demat form directly to the Demat account of the shareholder. The approval intimation is sent by IEPF via email/SMS within standard processing timelines. Shareholders should proactively convert physical holdings to demat form if they don’t already have a demat account operational.
15.Can shareholders submit offline applications to claim unclaimed shares from IEPF?
The process is largely online and submission of e-form IEPF-5 along with e-verification is mandated as per the Rules. However, in exceptional cases on merits, physical forms may be permitted for certain claimant categories like seniors above 70 years of age or residents of areas with connectivity issues.
16. How does the transfer of unclaimed shares by companies to IEPF safeguard investor rights?
It brings unclaimed shares under a regulated Authority instead of lying idle indefinitely. It prompts shareholders to establish ownership by filing claims. For deceased cases, it pushes legal heirs to rightfully obtain shares in their names. The transfer nudges inactive investors to remain vigilant about their investments and initiates proper inheritance transfer by compelling lawful claimants to come forth. Thereby, it protects investor portfolio rights.
17. What precautions should non-resident shareholders take when filing refund claims with IEPF?
NRI shareholders should enclose a copy of passport instead of Aadhaar for identity proof. Get indemnity bond executed on non-judicial stamp paper. Provide client master list from NRI DP account. Attach overseas address declaration with form. Fill NRO bank account details preferably. Get CA certificate for authorizing e-form IEPF-5.
18. Can a single consolidated claim cover multiple folios of the same shareholder with IEPF?
Yes, shareholders can file a single Form IEPF-5 consolidating claims across multiple eligible folios belonging to them. However, all folio numbers, share details and supporting documents need to be clearly specified in the common form and requisite claim fees paid.
19. Can physical share certificates without joint holder endorsement due to signature issues still be claimed from IEPF?
Shares lacking proper joint holder endorsement on the reverse of certificates are liable to be rejected by IEPF. Claimants should first rectify the endorsement by submitting original certificates to the RTA via transmission process. Only after rectification, the shares can be claimed back from IEPF in the proper endorsed manner.
20 .What should shareholders holding physical shares do to prevent IEPF transfer after the 7-year time?
Investors holding shares in physical form should opt for dematerialization of their shares well before the 7-year period of inactivity lapses. Shares converted to demat form in investor accounts are not liable for IEPF transfer as per the Rules.
21. How can shareholders recover shares transferred to IEPF if original certificates are lost or misplaced?
If original share certificates are lost, shareholders should immediately apply for issue of duplicate certificates with the RTA by providing a copy of FIR and submitting indemnity on stamp paper. The duplicate certificates issued by the RTA should be enclosed with the IEPF claim form instead of original certificates.