The Companies Act, 1956
209A. Inspection of books of accounts, etc. of companies.
1[209A. Inspection of books of accounts, etc. of companies.(1) The books of account and other books and papers of every company shall be open to inspection during business hours
(i)by the Registrar, or
2[(ii)by such officer of the Government as may be authorised by the Central Government in this behalf;
(iii)by such officers of the Securities of Exchange Board of India as may be authorised by it:
Provided that such inspection may be made without giving any previous notice to the company or any officer thereof:
Provided further that the inspection by the Securities and Exchange Board of India shall be made in respect of matters covered under sections referred to in section 55A.]
(2) It shall be the duty of every director, other officer or employee of the company to produce to the person making inspection under sub-section (1), all such books of account and other books and papers of the company in his custody or control and to furnish him with any statement, information or explanation relating to the affairs of the company as the said person may require of him within such time and at such place as he may specify.
(3) It shall also be the duty of every director, other officer or employee of the company to give to the person making inspection under this section all assistance in connection with the inspection which the company may be reasonably expected to give.
(4) The person making the inspection under this section may, during the course of inspection,
(i)make or cause to be made copies of books of accounts and other books and papers; or
(ii)place or cause to be placed any marks of identification thereon in token of the inspection having been made.
(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force or any contract to the contrary, any person making an inspection under this section shall have the same powers as are vested in a civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters, namely:
(i)the discovery and production of books of account and other documents, at such place and such time as may be specified by such person;
(ii)summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and examining them on oath;
(iii)inspection of any books, registers and other documents of the company at any place.
(6) Where an inspection of the books of account and other books and papers of the company has been made under this section, the person making the inspection shall make a report to the Central Government 3[or the Securities and Exchange Board of India in respect of inspection made by its officers].
(7) Any officer authorised to make an inspection under this section shall have all the powers that a Registrar has under this Act in relation to the making of inquiries.
(8) If default is made in complying with the provisions of this section, every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than 4[fifty thousand rupees], and also with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.
(9) Where a director or any other officer of a company has been convicted of an offence under this section he shall, on and from the date on which he is so convicted, be deemed to have vacated his office as such and on such vacation of office, shall be disqualified for holding such office in any company, for a period of five years from such date.]
1. Ins. by Act 41 of 1974, sec. 21 (w.e.f. 1-12-1975).
2. Subs. by Act 53 of 2000, sec. 96, for clause (ii) and the proviso (w.e.f. 13-12-2000).
3. Ins. by Act 53 of 2000, sec. 96 (w.e.f. 13-12-2000).
4. Subs. by Act 53 of 2000, sec. 96, for “five thousand rupees” (w.e.f. 13-12-2000).