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.
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.
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,
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
(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
(2) The Central Government may, by notification, frame a scheme to carry out the
provisions of sub-section (1) through the electronic form.
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.
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.
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.
402. Application of provisions of Information Technology Act, 2000.
All the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 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.
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.
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
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