Companies Act, 1963

Liability where proper books of account not kept.

296.—(1) If it is shown that proper books of account were not kept by a company throughout the period of 2 years immediately preceding the commencement of its winding up, or the period between the incorporation of the company and the commencement of the winding up, whichever is the shorter, every officer of the company who is in default shall, unless he shows that he acted honestly and that in the circumstances in which the business of the company was carried on the default was excusable, be liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding £500 or to both or, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding £100 or to both.

(2) For the purposes of this section, proper books of account shall be deemed not to have been kept in the case of any company if there have not been kept such books or accounts as are necessary to exhibit and explain the transactions and financial position of the trade or business of the company, including books containing entries from day to day in sufficient detail of all cash received and cash paid, and, where the trade or business has involved dealings in goods, statements of the annual stocktakings and (except in the case of goods sold by way of ordinary retail trade) of all goods sold and purchased, showing the goods and the buyers and sellers thereof in sufficient detail to enable those goods and those buyers and sellers to be identified.