The Companies Act, 1956
163. Place of keeping and inspection of, registers and returns.
(1) The register of members commencing from the date of the registration of the company, the index of members, the register and index of debenture-holders, and copies of all annual returns prepared under sections 159 and 160, together with the copies of certificates and documents required to be annexed thereto under sections 160 and 161, shall be kept at the registered office of the company:
1[Provided that such registers, indexes, returns and copies of certificates and documents or any or more of them may, instead of being kept at the registered office of the company, be kept of any other place within the city, town or village in which the registered office is situate, if
(i)such other place has been approved for this purpose by a special resolution passed by the company in general meeting, 2[and]
3[***]the Registrar has been given in advance a copy of the proposed special resolution.]
4[(1A) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Central Government may make rules for the preservation and for the disposal, whether by destruction or otherwise, of the registers, indexes, returns, and copies of certificates and other documents referred to in sub-section (1).]
(2) The registers, indexes, returns, and copies of certificates and other documents referred to in sub-section (1) shall, except when the register of members or debenture-holders is closed under the provisions of this Act, be open during business hours (subject to such reasonable restrictions, as the company may impose, so that not less than two hours in each day are allowed for inspection) to the inspection
(a)of any member or debenture-holder, without fee; and
(b)of any other person, on payment of 5[such sum as may be prescribed] for each inspection.
(3) Any such member, debenture-holder or other person may
(a)make extracts from any register, index or copy referred to in sub-section (1) without fee or additional fee, as the case may be; or
(b)require a copy of any such register, index or copy or of any part thereof, on payment of 6[such sum as may be prescribed] for every one hundred words or fractional part thereof required to be copied.
(4) The company shall cause any copy required by any person under clause (b) of sub-section (3) to be sent to that person within a period of ten days, exclusive of non-working days, commencing on the day next after the day on which the requirement is received by the company.
(5) If any inspection, or the making of any extract required under this section, is refused, or if any copy required under this section is not sent within the period specified in sub-section (4), the company, and every officer of the company who is in default, shall be punishable, in respect of each offence, with fine which may extend to 7[five hundred rupees] for every day during which the refusal or default continues.
(6) The 8[Central Government] may also, by order, compel an immediate inspection of the document, or direct that the extract required shall forthwith be allowed to be taken by the person requiring it, or that the copy required shall forthwith be sent to the person requiring it, as the case may be.
1. Ins. by Act 65 of 1960, sec. 41 (w.e.f. 28-12-1960).
2. Ins. by Act 31 of 1965, sec. 17 (w.e.f. 15-10-1965).
3. Clause (ii) omitted by Act 31 of 1965, sec. 17 (w.e.f. 15-10-1965).
4. Ins. by Act 65 of 1960, sec. 41 (w.e.f. 28-12-1960).
5. Subs. by Act 31 of 1988, sec. 67, for “a fee of one rupee” (w.e.f. 15-7-1988).
6. Subs. by Act 31 of 1988, sec. 67, for “six annas” (w.e.f. 15-7-1988).
7. Subs. by Act 53 of 2000, sec. 71, for “fifty rupees” (w.e.f. 13-12-2000).
8. Subs. by Act 11 of 2003, sec. 21, for “Company Law Board”. Earlier the words “Company Law Board” were substituted by Act 31 of 1988, sec. 67, for the word “Court” (w.e.f. 13-5-1991).