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Section 196 – The Companies Act,1956

The Companies Act, 1956

196. Inspection of minute books of general meetings.

(1) The books containing the minutes of the proceedings of any general meeting of a company held on or after the 15th day of January, 1937, shall

(a)be kept at the registered office of the company, and

(b)be open, during business hours, to the inspection of any member without charge, subject to such reasonable restrictions as the company may, by its articles or in general meeting impose, so however that not less than two hours in each day are allowed for inspection.

(2) Any member shall be entitled to be furnished, within seven days after he has made a request in that behalf to the company, with a copy of any minutes referred to in sub-section (1), on payment of 1[such sum as may be prescribed] for every one hundred words or fractional part thereof required to be copied.

(3) If any inspection required under sub-section (1) is refused, or if any copy required under sub-section (2) is not furnished within the time specified therein, the company, and every officer of the company who is in default, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to 2[five thousand rupees] in respect of each offence.

(4) In the case of any such refusal or default, the 3[Central Government] may, by order, compel an immediate inspection of the minute books or direct that the copy required shall forthwith be sent to the person requiring it.


1. Subs. by Act 31 of 1988, sec. 67, for “six annas” (w.e.f. 15-7-1988).

2. Subs. by Act 53 of 2000, sec. 82, for “five hundred rupees” (w.e.f. 13-12-2000).

3. Subs. by Act 11 of 2003, sec. 25, 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. 31-5-1991).

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The Companies Act, 1956

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