The question as to whether a person may access the Right to
Information (RTI) Act to obtain records from the Registrar of
Companies [ROC] rather than through inspection under Section 610 of
the Companies Act, 1956, was the subject matter of a dispute that
has been recently decided by the Hon'ble Delhi High Court in
the case of Registrar of Companies & Othrs. v. Dharmendra
Kumar Garg and Anr, decided on 01.06.2012 [W.P.(C)
The answer to the above question was lined in favour of the ROC,
who had denied to provide information sought by queriest under the
RTI Act on the ground that the Act was unavailable to applicants
when the same right could be exercised through inspection under
section 610 of the Companies Act.
The Hon'ble Delhi Court while observing the provisions of
Section 610 of the Companies Act and the corresponding provisions
of the RTI Act categorically held that:
"The mere prescription of a higher charge in the other
statutory mechanism (in this case Section 610 of the Companies
Act), than that prescribed under the RTI Act does not make any
difference whatsoever. The right available to any person to seek
inspection/copies of documents under Section 610 of the Companies
Act is governed by the Companies (Central Government's) General
Rules & Forms, 1956, which are statutory rules and prescribe
the fees for inspection of documents, etc. in Rule 21A. The said
rules being statutory in nature and specific in their application,
do not get overridden by the rules framed under the RTI Act with
regard to prescription of fee for supply of information, which is
general in nature, and apply to all kinds of applications made
under the RTI Act to seek information. It would also be complete
waste of public funds to require the creation and maintenance of
two parallel machineries by the ROC – one under Section 610
of the Companies Act, and the other under the RTI Act to provide
the same information to an applicant. It would lead to unnecessary
and avoidable duplication of work and consequent
In the present case, the facility is made available –
not just to citizens but to any person, for obtaining information
from the ROC, under Section 610 of the Companies Act, and the Rules
framed thereunder above referred to. Section 4(2) of the RTI Act
itself postulates that in respect of information provided by the
public authority suo moto, there should be minimum resort to use of
the RTI Act to obtain information".
Court further observed that it does not find anything
inconsistent between the scheme provided under Section 610 of the
Companies Act and the provisions of the RTI Act. Merely because a
different charge is collected for providing information under
Section 610 of the Companies Act than that prescribed as the fee
for providing information under the RTI Act does not lead to an
inconsistency in the provisions of these two enactments. Even
otherwise, the provisions of the RTI Act would not override the
provision contained in Section 610 of the Companies Act. Section
610 of the Companies Act is an earlier piece of legislation.
While observing the above, the Hon'ble court relied on
various judicial pronouncements of the Hon'ble apex court and
eminent writers like the case of Ashoka Marketing Limited and
Another Vs. Punjab National Bank and Others, (1990) 4 SCC 406;
well-known work "Principles of Statutory
Interpretation 12th Edition 2010" by Justice G.P. Singh;
R.S. Raghunath Vs. State of Karnataka & Another, (1992) 3
SCC 335; Maharaja Pratap Singh Bahadur Vs. Thakur Manmohan Dey
& Others, AIR 1996 SC 1931 etc.
Therefore, in the light of the above judgment it can be
concluded that in case the documents or information sought from the
Registrar of Companies where inspection of the said records is
already available in the public domain under Section 610 of the
Companies Act, 1956 RTI Act would not apply.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The Hon'ble High Court of Bombay has held that where a Scheme of Amalgamation is executed between two companies registered in two different states [...], then the said two orders are two independent instruments.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs notified on June 5, 2015 that certain provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 shall not apply to private limited companies or shall apply with such exceptions or modifications as directed in the notification.
Whilst trade and barter have existed since early times, the modern practice of forming business relationships through the means of contract has come into existence only since the industrial revolution in the West.
The Supreme Court in Central Bureau of Investigation, Bank Securities and Fraud Cell and Others v. Ramesh Gelli and Others has held officers of private banks to be public servants under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).