• Divyanshita Singh

Maintenance and inspection of documents in electronic form (Sec 120)

Maintenance and inspection of documents in electronic form (Sec 120)

Section 120 of the Companies Act, 2013 (the Act) allows for the electronic storage of documents. The provisions also allow for the inspection of electronic documents. It states that any document, record, register, minutes, or other item required to be kept by a company or allowed to be inspected or copies given to any person by a company under the Act may be kept, inspected, or copies given in electronic form.

Where provisions w.r.t. Maintenance and inspection of electronic documents are defined?

The Provisions regarding maintenance and inspection of electric documents is given in Section 120 of Companies Act 2013.

Section 120 has been defined as:

“120. Without prejudice to any other provisions of this Act, any document, record, register, minutes, etc.,—

(a) required to be kept by a company; or

(b) allowed to be inspected or copies to be given to any person by a company under this Act, may be kept or inspected, or copies were given, as the case may be, in electronic form in such form and manner as may be prescribed.”

So, according to the said section, companies are required to keep company records in electronic form and to allow inspection or provide copies of the same in the prescribed manner. Furthermore, the Companies (Management and Administration) Rules of 2014 include specific guidelines for the preservation and inspection of electronic records.

Maintenance of records in electronic form

· The records are kept in the same formats and in accordance with all other requirements specified in the Act or its implementing rules;

· The information required by the Act's provisions or the rules made under it should be adequately recorded for future reference.

· The records must be readable, retrievable, and reproducible in printed form.

· Wherever required by the provisions of the Act or the rules promulgated thereunder, the records can be digitally dated and signed.

· The records, once digitally dated and signed, shall not be editable or alterable.

Inspection and copies of records maintained in electronic form:

When a company keeps its records in electronic form, any duty imposed by the Act or its rules -

· to make those records available for inspection

· to provide copies of all or part of those records shall be construed as a duty to make the records available for inspection in electronic form or in hard copy

· to provide copies of those records containing a clear reproduction of the whole or part thereof, as applicable, for a fee of not more than ten rupees per page

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