Section 399 of Companies Act, 2013 – Inspection, production and evidence of documents kept by Registrar

  • Updated Till : November 15, 2018

SECTION 399. INSPECTION, PRODUCTION AND EVIDENCE OF DOCUMENTS
KEPT BY REGISTRAR

[Effective from 1st April, 2014, except reference of word Tribunal in sub-section (2) which is effective from 1st June 2016]

(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][1]; and

(ii)   in relation to documents so delivered in pursuance of clause (b) of sub-section (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.

Applicable Rules

Companies (Registration Offices and Fees) Rules, 2014

[Effective from 1st April, 2014]

Rule 14. Inspection, production and evidence of documents kept by Registrar. —The inspection of the documents maintained in the electronic registry so set up in pursuance of rule 9 and which are otherwise available for inspection under the Act or rules made thereunder, shall be made by any person in electronic form.

Rule 15. Inspection of documents.—Any person may—

(a)           inspect any document kept by the Registrar, being documents filed or registered by him in pursuance of this Act or the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) 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 fee.

(b)           require a certificate of 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 of fee.

[Provided that no person shall be entitled under section 399 to inspect or obtain copies of resolutions referred to in clause (g) of sub-section (3) of section 117 of the Act.][2]

Applicable Circulars

Online payment of stamp duty and court fee stamp for issue of certified copies

General Circular No. 05/2014, dated 28-3-2014

The Ministry has reviewed the process of issue of certified copies of the documents filed with the Registrar of companies. As per the existing process, in case a User applies for the certified true copy of any document, he needs to pay MCA fee online at MCA portal. The fee is computed based on the number of documents required.

2. Once the selection of documents is done and the requisite MCA fee is paid, the Stakeholder is required to approach the jurisdictional ROC along with the application and the acknowledgement of the fee paid. The application needs to be filed along with Stamp Papers of requisite value and the Court Fee stamp attached to the same. The amount of Stamp Duty as well as Court Fee varies from State to State. On receipt of the application, the respective ROC affix the certified documents on the Stamp paper and returns the same to the Stakeholder (Applicant) duly certified.

3. With a view to identify and improve the component causing delay in issue of certified copy the Ministry has enabled payment of Stamp Duty as well as Court Fee online through MCA portal. This would enable the respective ROCs to send the certified documents without awaiting for physical stamp papers and any formal application (with Court Fee Stamp) in this regard.

4. Amount of Court Fee shall be added to the MCA fee calculated by the system for getting Certified Copies. This would be based on the State in which the registered office of the company is situated. Court Fee would be added per SRN irrespective of number of documents applied for.

5. Stamp duty for obtaining certified true copy would also be paid electronically through the system as per the existing process. The Stamp Duty would be calculated based on document, number of copies requested and the State wherein the registered office of the company is situated. Separate SRN will be generated for payment of Stamp Duty.

6. After the application is completely processed; an acknowledgement for stamp duty payment shall be generated separately. The same to be appended to the certified copy of the document. The certified copy of the documents requested shall be sent to the stakeholder by the jurisdictional Registrar of Companies within 15 days by post. The Copies would be sent at the address of applicant mentioned in the challan.

7. The Registrar of company shall ensure that the corresponding amount of court fee stamp is pasted against the record of despatch of certified copy or the print out of the challan for payment of MCA fee. The court fee stamp paid by ROC will be booked as Office expenses.

8. The Circular shall be effective from 31.03.2014.

[1] Powers of Central Government delegated to Regional Director vide Notification No. No. S.O. 4090(E) dated 19th December, 2016.

[2]Inserted by the Companies (Registration Offices and Fees) Second Amendment Rules, 2015 dated  29th May, 2015 vide Notification F No. 1/16/2013-CL-V dated 29th May, 2015.

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