The shareholder agreement grants some special rights to shareholders that they can exercise collectively as a group of shareholders where a larger public interest issue is involved. Some of the key rights that can be exercised collectively are as under:

Firstly, a minimum number of shareholders can jointly requisite for holding an Extra-ordinary General Meeting (EGM).

Secondly, a group of shareholders can also demand a poll or vote on any resolution that they are not entirely satisfied with.

Thirdly, shareholders as a group can also apply to the Company Law Board (CLB) to investigate the affairs of the company where they have some doubts of grave misdemeanours.

Fourthly, minority shareholders above a certain threshold of ownership can also apply to the Company Law Board (CLB) for relief in cases of oppression of minority shareholders and / or mismanagement of the affairs of the company. We saw this attempt made by Cyrus Mistry over his removal from the board of Tata Sons.

All the above are rights that you can exercise as a group of shareholders where larger public interest is involved. In addition to your investor rights as a shareholder of a company, you also have rights vis-à-vis the broker through whom you trade and the market overall. Such rights and obligations of investors are clearly laid out in the fine print of the Client-Broker agreement and these rights are also guaranteed by the Company Law and also by SEBI as the nodal regulator of capital markets. Investors must go through this fine print of the client broker agreement in detail to understand the exact nature of their rights and obligations as an active participant in the equity markets.