Function and Powers of Chairman:
In the case of National Dwellings Society v Sykes Chitty, J. stated:
"It is the duty of the chairman, and his function, to preserve order, and to take care that the proceedings are conducted in a proper manner, and that the sense of the meeting is properly ascertained regard to any question that is properly before the meeting". From this dictum and other judicial decisions the principal powers and duties of a chairman emerge as the following:-
(i) Determining that the meeting is properly constituted and that a quorum is present.
(ii) Informing himself as to the business and objects thereof
(iii) Preserving order in the conduct of those present.
(iv) Containing discussion within the scope of the meeting and reasonable limits of time.
(v) Deciding whether proposed motions and amendments are in order.
(vi) Formulating for discussion and decision questions which have been moved for the consideration of the meeting.
(vii) Deciding points of order and other incidental matters which require decision at the time.
(viii) Ascertaining the sense of the meeting by-
(a) putting relevant questions to the meeting and taking a vote on them (and, where authorised, giving a casting vote.)
(b) declaring the result, and
(c) causing a poll to be taken if duly demanded
(ix) In the case of a meeting which is recurrent or is one of a series, to deal with the record or minutes of the proceedings.
(x) Declaring the meeting closed when business has been completed.
Regarding this point, it should be noted that the chairman has no power to adjourn a meeting merely because the proceedings have taken a turn which he himself does not like: National Dwellings Society v Sykes (95). However, he may adjourn the meeting if it becomes disorderly or if the members present agree.