Powers of auditors in relation to subsidiaries.
196.—(1) Where a company (referred to in this section as “the holding company”) has a subsidiary, then—
(a) in case the subsidiary is a body corporate incorporated in the State, it shall be the duty of the subsidiary and its auditors to give to the auditors of the holding company such information and explanations as those auditors may reasonably require for the purposes of their duties as auditors of the holding company,
(b) in any other case, it shall be the duty of the holding company, if required by its auditors to do so, to take all such steps as are reasonably open to it to obtain from the subsidiary such information and explanations as aforesaid.
(2) If a company or an auditor fails to comply with subsection (1) within five days of the making of the relevant requirement under that subsection, the company and every officer thereof who is in default, or the auditor, as the case may be, shall be guilty of an offence.
(3) In a prosecution for an offence under this section, it shall be a defence for the defendant to show that it was not reasonably possible for him to comply with the requirement under subsection (1) to which the offence relates within the time specified in subsection (2) but that he complied therewith as soon as was reasonably possible after the expiration of such time.
(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable to a fine.