SUGANDHA PADA BHATTACHARJEE Vs. NALINI MOHAN MUKHERJEE
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Sugandha Pada Bhattacharjee
Nalini Mohan Mukherjee
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A.N.RAY, J. -
(1.)THIS application raises a question as to the procedure to be followed in the issue of subpoena on the Registrar of Companies requiring him to produce documents. The summons has been taken out on behalf of the Registrar of Companies, West Bengal for an order that the subpoena dated July 20, 1960 issued be recalled, rescinded and/or set aside, and for a further order that the applicant be exempted from producing any document pursuant to the said subpoena. In the affidavit affirmed by the Registrar of Companies, West Bengal as a ground in support of the application it is stated first, that the Master had or has no jurisdiction or power to issue any subpoena except with the leave of the Court for production of documents under the Companies Act; secondly, it is stated in the affidavit that if subpoenas are issued by the Master inthe usual course and without leave of the Judge the work and records of the office will be upset, and it will also affect the right of the public to inspect the records or to obtain certified copies thereof under Section 610 of the Companies Act.
(2.)AS the question is a matter of procedure I requested Subimal C. Roy, Esqr., to appear as amicus curiae in this matter. I express my gratitude and thanks to Mr. Roy for having assisted the court.
Under Chapter VI, Rules 11 and 12 read together it appears that the Master may transact business mentioned in Clause (12) of Rule 11. Clause (12) mentions applications for time to plead, for leave to amend, for discovery and production of documents and generally all applications relating to the conduct of any Suit or matter. On behalf of the plaintiff it was contended that inasmuch as all applications relating to the conduct of any suit would he dealt with by the Master the issue of a subpoena on the Registrar of Companies for the production of documents would fail within the conduct of any suit or matter and the Master was competent to issue the subpoena.
(3.)UNDER Section 610 of the Companies Act, 1956 it appears, as Mr. Roy said, that four rights are contemplated there; first, there is the right of any person to inspect any document kept by the Registrar; secondly, any person has the right to require a certificate of incorporation or copy of or extract of any other document etc; thirdly, certified copies are in all legal proceedings admissible in evidence as of equal validity with the original documents; fourthly, Section 610(2) enacts that no process for compelling production of any document kept by the Registrar shall issue from any court except with the leave of the court. The last right, Mr. Roy contends, is not available as of right or as a matter of course.
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