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Companies Act 1948

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158Right to receive copies of balance sheets and auditors' report

(1)A copy of every balance sheet, including every document required by law to be annexed thereto, which is to be laid before a company in general meeting, together with a copy of the auditors' report, shall, not less than twenty-one days before the date of the meeting, be sent to every member of the company (whether he is or is not entitled to receive notices of general meetings of the company), every holder of debentures of the company (whether he is or is not so entitled) and all persons other than members or holders of debentures of the company, being persons so entitled: Provided that—

(a)in the case of a company not having a share capital this subsection shall not require the sending of a copy of the documents aforesaid to a member of the company who is not entitled to receive notices of general meetings of the company or to a holder of debentures of the company who is not so entitled;

(b)this subsection shall not require a copy of those documents to be sent—

(i)to a member of the company or a holder of debentures of the company, being in either case a person who is not entitled to receive notices of general meetings of the company and of whose address the company is unaware;

(ii)to more than one of the joint holders of any shares or debentures none of whom are entitled to receive such notices; or

(iii)in the case of joint holders of any shares or debentures some of whom are and some of whom are not entitled to receive such notices, to those who are not so entitled; and

(c)if the copies of the documents aforesaid are sent less than twenty-one days before the date of the meeting, they shall, notwithstanding that fact, be deemed to have been duly sent if it is so agreed by all the members entitled to attend and vote at the meeting.

(2)Any member of a company, whether he is or is not entitled to have sent to him copies of the company's balance sheets, and any holder of debentures of the company, whether he is or is not so entitled, shall be entitled to be furnished on demand without charge with a copy of the last balance sheet of the company, including every document required by law to be annexed thereto, together with a copy of the auditors' report on the balance sheet.

(3)If default is made in complying with subsection (1) of this section, the company and every officer of the company who is in default shall be liable to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds, and if, when any person makes a demand for any document with which he is by virtue of subsection (2) of this section entitled to be furnished, default is made in complying with the demand within seven days after the making thereof, the company and every officer of the company who is in default shall be liable to a default fine, unless it is proved that that person has already made a demand for and been furnished with a copy of the document.

(4)The foregoing provisions of this section shall not have effect in relation to a balance sheet of a private company laid before it before the commencement of this Act, and the right of any person to be furnished with a copy of any such balance sheet and the liability of the company in respect of a failure to satisfy that right shall be the same as they would have been if this Act had not passed.

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