(Chapter I)|(Chapter II)|(Chapter III)|(Chapter IV)|(Chapter V)|(Chapter VI)|(Chapter VII)|(Chapter VIII)|(Chapter IX)|(Chapter X)|(Chapter XI)|(Chapter XII)|(Chapter XIII)|(Chapter XIV)|(Chapter XV)|(Chapter XVI)|(Chapter XVII)|(Chapter XIX)|(Chapter XX)|(Chapter XXI)|(Chapter XXII)|(Chapter XXIII)|(Chapter XXV)|(Chapter XXVIII)|(SCHEDULE I)|(SCHEDULE II)|(SCHEDULE III)|(SCHEDULE IV)|(SCHEDULE V)|(SCHEDULE VI)|(SCHEDULE VII)
Chapter XXIII – GOVERNMENT COMPANIES
Section 394 – Annual reports on Government companies
(1) Where the Central Government is a member of a Government company, the Central Government shall cause an annual report on the working and affairs of that company to be–
(a) prepared within three months of its annual general meeting before which the comments given by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and the audit report is placed under the proviso to sub-section (6) of section 143; and
(b) as soon as may be after such preparation, laid before both Houses of Parliament together with a copy of the audit report and comments upon or supplement to the audit report, made by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
(2) Where in addition to the Central Government, any State Government is also a member of a Government company, that State Government shall cause a copy of the annual report prepared under sub-section (1) to be laid before the House or both Houses of the State Legislature together with a copy of the audit report and the comments upon or supplement to the audit report referred to in sub-section (1).
Section 395 – Annual reports where one or more State Governments are members of companies
(1) Where the Central Government is not a member of a Government company, every State Government which is a member of that company, or where only one State Government is a member of the company, that State Government shall cause an annual report on the working and affairs of the company to be–
(a) prepared within the time specified in sub-section (1) of section 394; and
(b) as soon as may be after such preparation, laid before the House or both Houses of the State Legislature together with a copy of the audit report and comments upon or supplement to the audit report referred to in sub-section (1) of that section.
(2) The provisions of this section and section 394 shall, so far as may be, apply to a Government company in liquidation as they apply to any other Government company.
Chapter XXIV – REGISTRATION OFFICES AND FEES
Section 396 – Registration offices
(1) For the purposes of exercising such powers and discharging such functions as are conferred on the Central Government by or under this Act or under the rules made thereunder and for the purposes of registration of companies under this Act, the Central Government shall, by notification, establish such number of offices at such places as it thinks fit, specifying their jurisdiction.
(2) The Central Government may appoint such Registrars, Additional, Joint, Deputy and Assistant Registrars as it considers necessary for the registration of companies and discharge of various functions under this Act, and the powers and duties that may be exercisable by such officers shall be such as may be prescribed.
(3) The terms and conditions of service, including the salaries payable to persons appointed under sub-section (2), shall be such as may be prescribed.
(4) The Central Government may direct a seal or seals to be prepared for the authentication of documents required for, or connected with, the registration of companies.
Section 397 – Admissibility of certain documents as evidence
Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, any document reproducing or derived from returns and documents filed by a company with the Registrar on paper or in electronic form or stored on any electronic data storage device or computer readable media by the Registrar, and authenticated by the Registrar or any other officer empowered by the Central Government in such manner as may be prescribed, shall be deemed to be a document for the purposes of this Act and the rules made thereunder and shall be admissible in any proceedings thereunder without further proof or production of the original as evidence of any contents of the original or of any fact stated therein of which direct evidence is admissible.
Section 398 – Provisions relating to filing of applications, documents, inspection, etc., in electronic form
(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act, and without prejudice to the provisions contained in section 6 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000), the Central Government may make rules so as to require from such date as may be prescribed in the rules that–
(a) such applications, balance sheet, prospectus, return, declaration, memorandum, articles, particulars of charges, or any other particulars or document as may be required to be filed or delivered under this Act or the rules made thereunder, shall be filed in the electronic form and authenticated in such manner as may be prescribed;
(b) such document, notice, any communication or intimation, as may be required to be served or delivered under this Act, in the electronic form and authenticated in such manner as may be prescribed;
(c) such applications, balance sheet, prospectus, return, register, memorandum, articles, particulars of charges, or any other particulars or document and return filed under this Act or rules made thereunder shall be maintained by the Registrar in the electronic form and registered or authenticated, as the case may be, in such manner as may be prescribed;
(d) such inspection of the memorandum, articles, register, index, balance sheet, return or any other particulars or document maintained in the electronic form, as is otherwise available for inspection under this Act or the rules made thereunder, may be made by any person through the electronic form in such manner as may be prescribed;
(e) such fees, charges or other sums payable under this Act or the rules made thereunder shall be paid through the electronic form and in such manner as may be prescribed; and
(f) the Registrar shall register change of registered office, alteration of memorandum or articles, prospectus, issue certificate of incorporation, register such document, issue such certificate, record the notice, receive such communication as may be required to be registered or issued or recorded or received, as the case may be, under this Act or the rules made thereunder or perform duties or discharge functions or exercise powers under this Act or the rules made thereunder or do any act which is by this Act directed to be performed or discharged or exercised or done by the Registrar in the electronic form in such manner as may be prescribed.
Explanation. — For the removal of doubts, it is hereby clarified that the rules made under this section shall not relate to imposition of fines or other pecuniary penalties or demand or payment of fees or contravention of any of the provisions of this Act or punishment therefor.
(2) The Central Government may, by notification, frame a scheme to carry out the provisions of sub-section (1) through the electronic form.
Section 399 – Inspection, production and evidence of documents kept by Registrar
(1) Save as otherwise provided elsewhere in this Act, any person may–
(a) inspect by electronic means any documents kept by the Registrar in accordance with the rules made, being documents filed or registered by him in pursuance of this Act, or making a record of any fact required or authorised to be recorded or registered in pursuance of this Act, on payment for each inspection of such fees as may be prescribed;
(b) require a certificate of the incorporation of any company, or a copy or extract of any other document or any part of any other document to be certified by the Registrar, on payment in advance of such fees as may be prescribed:
Provided that the rights conferred by this sub-section shall be exercisable–
(i) in relation to documents delivered to the Registrar with a prospectus in pursuance of section 26, only during the fourteen days beginning with the date of publication of the prospectus; and at other times, only with the permission of the Central Government; and
(ii) in relation to documents so delivered in pursuance of clause (b) of subsection (1) of section 388, only during the fourteen days beginning with the date of the prospectus; and at other times, only with the permission of the Central Government.
(2) No process for compelling the production of any document kept by the Registrar shall issue from any court or the Tribunal except with the leave of that court or the Tribunal and any such process, if issued, shall bear thereon a statement that it is issued with the leave of the court or the Tribunal.
(3) A copy of, or extract from, any document kept and registered at any of the offices for the registration of companies under this Act, certified to be a true copy by the Registrar (whose official position it shall not be necessary to prove), shall, in all legal proceedings, be admissible in evidence as of equal validity with the original document.
Section 400 – Electronic form to be exclusive, alternative or in addition to physical form
The Central Government may also provide in the rules made under section 398 and section 399 that the electronic form for the purposes specified in these sections shall be exclusive, or in the alternative or in addition to the physical form, therefor.
Section 401 – Provision of value added services through electronic form
The Central Government may provide such value added services through the electronic form and levy such fee thereon as may be prescribed.
Section 402 – Application of provisions of Information Technology Act, 2000
All the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000) relating to the electronic records, including the manner and format in which the electronic records shall be filed, in so far as they are not inconsistent with this Act, shall apply in relation to the records in electronic form specified under section 398.
Section 403 – Fee for filing, etc.
(1) Any document, required to be submitted, filed, registered or recorded, or any fact or information required or authorised to be registered under this Act, shall be submitted, filed, registered or recorded within the time specified in the relevant provision on payment of such fee as may be prescribed:
Provided that any document, fact or information may be submitted, filed, registered or recorded, after the time specified in relevant provision for such submission, filing, registering or recording, within a period of two hundred and seventy days from the date by which it should have been submitted, filed, registered or recorded, as the case may be, on payment of such additional fee as may be prescribed:
Provided further that any such document, fact or information may, without prejudice to any other legal action or liability under the Act, be also submitted, filed, registered or recorded, after the first time specified in first proviso on payment of fee and additional fee specified under this section.
(2) Where a company fails or commits any default to submit, file, register or record any document, fact or information under sub-section (1) before the expiry of the period specified in the first proviso to that sub-section with additional fee, the company and the officers of the company who are in default, shall, without prejudice to the liability for payment of fee and additional fee, be liable for the penalty or punishment provided under this Act for such failure or default.
Section 404 – Fees, etc., to be credited into public account
All fees, charges and other sums received by any Registrar, Additional, Joint, Deputy or Assistant Registrar or any other officer of the Central Government in pursuance of any provision of this Act shall be paid into the public account of India in the Reserve Bank of India.