The new SEBI Circular on nomination forms

Amala Maria George
Legal Counsel
March 16, 2023
June 29, 2022

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) issued a new circular on June 15, 2022, titled “Nomination for Mutual Fund Unit Holders” (“Circular”). This circular introduces a new operational change that all Asset Management Companies (“AMCs”) must mandatorily comply with by August 1, 2022. 

The SEBI Circular in a nutshell

What is the new change being introduced?

The SEBI has instructed that Investors  subscribing  to  mutual  fund  units  on  or  after  August  1,  2022,  shall have the choice of

Providing  nomination  in  the  format  specified  in  fourth  schedule  of  SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996


Opting out of nomination through a  signed Declaration form as provided in Annexure - A to the Circular

March 31, 2023 has been set as the deadline by which mutual fund unit holders must submit the nomination form or the opting out of nomination declaration. Failure to comply would result in their folios being frozen for debits.

How can unit holders submit these forms?

AMCs are required under the Circular to give such investors the option to submit either the nomination form or the declaration in physical or online mode.

If a unit holder chooses the physical mode, then he has to sign either of the forms using a wet ink signature.

However, if the unit holder chooses the online mode, then he has to sign either form using “e-Sign  facility  recognized  under  Information Technology Act, 2000, instead of wet signature(s)”. This would include Online Aadhar eSign, Aadhaar XML eSign, PAN based eSign and DSC tokens. A cropped image of the physical signature or other alternatives will not be legally valid signatures here.

Para 3 of the SEBI Circular

Who shall carry out all these changes?

The obligation to carry out all these changes has been placed on AMCs.

What is the deadline for implementing these changes?

All investors  subscribing  to  mutual  fund  units  on  or  after  August  1,  2022,  shall be given the choice to submit either the nomination form or an opting out of nomination declaration, either in physical or online mode.

How can an AMC ensure compliance with the Circular?

While most AMCs already have a physical nomination process available for unit holders, they will now have to introduce a digital online process as well. For the online process, AMCs will have to make  the option to digitally sign  both the nomination form and opting out of nomination declaration available to the unit holders.

With Leegality’s document infrastructure platform, you can do so much more than just giving your customers the option to digitally sign the documents.

Ensure no more mistakes with Leegality’s Template Engine

The nomination form and the opting out declaration have standard prescribed formats. You can save them as templates on our Template Engine and automatically pre-fill them with information from your data hubs. Completely eliminate manual data entry mistakes and save time on verifying the same!

Leegality’s complete suite of IT Act recognised eSigns

Give your customers the option to eSign the documents using any of the following eSign types - Online Aadhar eSign, Aadhaar XML eSign, PAN based eSign and DSC tokens.

Enhanced security

Be assured of signer identity with Leegality’s security features such as Face Capture, GPS capture etc. You will also receive a time stamped audit trail once all the signatories have eSigned the document. You can read more about our fraud prevention solutions in this blog.

Get Started NOW!

Wondering how to get started? Don’t worry, simply drop us an email at enquiry@leegality.com and we will set up a customized DEMO to help you comply with the latest SEBI guidelines with our unified, no-code, easy-to-use dashboard.

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