Title : THE INDIAN TRUSTS ACT, 1882 Year : 1882
OF THE DUTIES AND LIABILITIES OF TRUSTEES
11.Trustee to execute trust.
11. Trustee to execute trust.-The trustee is bound to fulfil the purpose of the trust, and to obey the directions of the author of the trust given at the time of its creation, except as modified by the consent of all the beneficiaries being competent to contract.
Where the beneficiary is incompetent to contract, his consent may, for the purposes of this section, be given by a principal Civil
Court of original jurisdiction.
Nothing in this section shall be deemed to require a trustee to obey any direction when to do so would be impracticable, illegal or manifestly injurious to the beneficiaries.
Explanation.--Unless a contrary intention be expressed, the purpose of a trust for the payment of debts shall be deemed to be (a)
to pay only the debts of the author of the trust existing and recoverable at the date of the instrument of trust, or, when such instrument is a will, at the date of his death, and (b) in the case of debts not bearing interest, to make such payment without interest.
(a) A, a trustee, is simply authorized to sell certain land by public auction. He cannot sell the land by private contract.
(b) A, a trustee of certain land for X, Y and Z, is authorized to sell the land to B for a specified sum. X, Y and Z, being competent to contract, consent that A may sell the land to C for a less sum. A may sell the land accordingly.
(c) A, a trustee for B and her children, is directed by the author of the trust to lend, on Bs request, trust-property to Bs husband, C, on the security of his bond. C becomes insolvent and B
requests A to make the loan. A may refuse to make it.
12.Trustee to inform himself of state of trust-property.
12. Trustee to inform himself of state of trust-property.-A
trustee is bound to acquaint himself, as soon as possible, with the nature and circumstances of the trust-property; to obtain, where necessary, a transfer of the trust-property to himself; and (subject to the provisions of the instrument of trust) to get in trust-moneys invested on insufficient or hazardous security.
(a) The trust-property is a debt outstanding on personal security. The instrument of trust gives the trustee no discretionary power to leave the debt
24.so outstanding. The trustees duty is to recover the debt without unnecessary delay.
(b) The trust-property is money in the hands of one of two co-
trustees. No discretionary power is given by the instrument of trust.
The other co-trustee must not allow the former to retain the money for a longer period than the circumstances of the case required.
13.Trustee to protect title to trust-property.
13. Trustee to protect title to trust-property.-A trustee is bound to maintain and defend all such suits, and (subject to the provisions of the instrument of trust) to take such other steps as, regard being had to the nature and amount or value of the trust-
property, may be reasonably requisite for the preservation of the trust-property and the assertion or protection of the title thereto.
The trust-property is immoveable property which has been given to the author of the trust by an unregistered instrument. Subject to the provisions of the Indian Registration Act, 1877 (3 of 1877), 1* the trustees duty is to cause the instrument to be registered.
14.Trustee not to set up title adverse to beneficiary.
14. Trustee not to set up title adverse to beneficiary.-The trustee must not for himself or another set up or aid any title to the trust-property adverse to the interest of the beneficiary.
15.Care required from trustee.
15. Care required from trustee.-A trustee is bound to deal with the trust-property as carefully as a man of ordinary prudence would deal with such property if it were his own; and, in the absence of a contract to the contrary, a trustee so dealing is not responsible for the loss, destruction or deterioration of the trust-property.
(a) A, living in Calcutta, is a trustee for B, living in Bombay.
A remits trust-funds to B by bills drawn by a person of undoubted credit in favour of the trustee as such, and payable at Bombay. The bills are dishonoured. A is not bound to make good the loss.
(b) A, a trustee of leasehold property, directs the tenant to pay the rents on account of the trust to a banker. B, then in credit. The rents are accordingly paid to B, and A leaves the money with B only till wanted. Before the money is drawn out, B becomes insolvent. A, having had no reason to believe that B was in insolvent circumstances, is not bound to make good the loss.
(c) A, a trustee of two debts for B, releases one and compounds the other, in good faith, and reasonably believing that it is for Bs interest to do so. A is not bound to make good any loss caused thereby to B.
(d) A, a trustee directed to sell the trust-property by auction, sells the same, but does not advertise the sale and otherwise fails in reasonable diligence in inviting competition. A is bound to make good the loss caused thereby to the beneficiary.
1 See now the Indian Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908),
25.(e) A, a trustee for B, in execution of his trust, sells the trust-property, but from want of due diligence on his part fails to receive part of the purchase-money. A is bound to make good the loss thereby caused to B.
(f) A, a trustee for B of a policy of insurance, has funds in hand for payment of the premiums. A neglects to pay the premiums, and the policy is consequently forfeited. A is bound to make good the loss to B.
(g) A bequeaths certain moneys to B and C as trustees, and authorizes them to continue trust-moneys upon the personal security of a certain firm in which A had himself invested them. A dies, and a change takes place in the firm. B and C must not permit the moneys to remain upon the personal security of the new firm.
(h) A, a trustee for B, allows the trust to be executed solely by his cotrustee, C. C misapplies the trust-property. A is personally answerable for the loss resulting to B.
16.Conversion of perishable property.
16. Conversion of perishable property.-Where the trust is created for the benefit of several persons in succession, and the trust-
property is of a wasting nature or a future or reversionary interest, the trustee is bound, unless an intention to the contrary may be inferred from the instrument of trust, to convert the property of a in to property permanent and immediately profitable character.
(a) A bequeaths to B all his property in trust for C during his life, and on his death for D, and on Ds death for E. As property consists of three leasehold houses, and there is nothing in As will to show that he intended the houses to be enjoyed in specie. B should sell the houses, and invest the proceeds in accordance with section
20.(b) A bequeaths to B his three leasehold houses in Calcutta and all the furniture therein in trust for C during his life, and on his death for D, and on Ds death for E. Here an intention that the houses and furniture should be enjoyed in specie appears clearly, and B
should not sell them.
17.Trustee to be impartial.
17. Trustee to be impartial.-Where there are more beneficiaries than one, the trustee is bound to be impartial, and must not execute the trust for the advantage of one at the expense of another.
Where the trustee has a discretionary power, nothing in this section shall be deemed to authorize the Court to control the exercise reasonably and in good faith of such discretion.
A, a trustee for B, C and D, is empowered to choose between several specified modes of investing the trust-property. A in good faith chooses one of these modes. The Court will not interfere, although the result of the choice may be to vary the relative rights of B, C and D.
18.Trustee to prevent waste.
18. Trustee to prevent waste.-Where the trust is created for the benefit of several persons in succession and one of them is in possession of the trust-property, if
26.he commits, or threatens to commit, any act which is destructive or permanently injurious thereto, the trustee is bound to take measures to prevent such act.
19.Accounts and information.
19. Accounts and information.-A trustee is bound (a) to keep clear and accurate accounts of the trust-property, and (b), at all reasonable times, at the request of the beneficiary, to furnish him with full and accurate information as to the amount and state of the trust-property.
20.Investment of trust-money.
20. Investment of trust-money.-Where the trust-property consists of money and cannot be applied immediately or at an early date to the purposes of the trust, the trustee is bound (subject to any direction contained in the instrument of trust) to invest the money on the following securities, and on no others:-
(a) in promissory notes, debentures, stock or other securities 1*[of any State Government or] of the
Central Government or of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland:
2*[Provided that securities, both the principal whereof and the interest whereon shall have been fully and unconditionally guaranteed by any such Government shall be deemed, for the purposes of this clause, to be securities of such Government;]
(b) in bonds, debentures and annuities 3*[charged or secured by the 4*[Parliament of the United Kingdom] 5* [before the fifteenth day of August, 1947] on the revenues of
India or of the 6*[Governor-General in Council] or of any Province]:
7*[Provided that, after the fifteenth day of February, 1916, no money shall be invested in any such annuity being a terminable annuity unless a sinking fund has been established in connection with such annuity; but nothing in this proviso shall apply to investments made before the date aforesaid;]
1 Ins. by Act 31 of 1920, s. 2 and Sch. I.
2 Added by Act 18 of 1934, s. 2.3 Subs. by the A. O. 1937 for "charged by the Imperial Parliament on the revenues of India".
4 Subs. by the A. O. 1950 for "Imperial Parliament".
5 Ins. by the A. O. 1948.6 Subs. by the A. O. 1948 for "Federation".
7 Added by Act 1 of 1916, s. 2.27.1*[(bb) in India three and a half per cent. stock, India three per cent. stock, India two and a half per cent.
stock or any other capital stock 2*[which before the
15th day of August, 1947, was] issued by the Secretary of State for India in Council under the authority of an
Act of Parliament 3*[of the United Kingdom] and charged on the revenues of India] 4*[or which 5*[was] issued by the Secretary of State on behalf of the Governor-
General in Council under the provisions of Part XIII of the Government of India Act, 1935]; (26 Geo. 5, Ch. 2.)
(c) in stock or debentures of, or shares in, Railway or other Companies the interest whereon shall have been guaranteed by the Secretary of State for India in
Council 1*[or by the Central Government] 6*[or in debentures of the Bombay 7*[Provincial] Co-operative
Bank, Limited, the interest whereon shall have been guaranteed, by the Secretary of State for India in
Council] 4*[or the State Government of Bombay];
8*[(d) in debentures or other securities for money issued, under the authority of 9*[any Central Act or Provincial
Act or State Act], by or on behalf of any municipal body, port trust or city improvement trust in any
Presidency-town, or in Rangoon Town, or by or on behalf of the trustees of the port of Karachi:]
10*[Provided that after the 31st day of March, 1948, no money shall be invested in any securities issued by or on behalf of a municipal body, port trust or city improvement trust in Rangoon town, or by or on behalf of the trustees of the port of Karachi.]
1 Ins. by Act 1 of 1916, s. 2.2 Subs. by the A. O. 1950 for "which may at any time hereafter be".
3 Ins. by the A. O. 1950.
4 Ins. by the A. O. 1937.5 Subs. by the A. O. 1950 for "may be".
6 Ins. by Act 21 of 1917, s. 2.7 Subs. by Act 37 of 1925, s. 2 and Sch. I, for "Central".
8 Subs. by Act 3 of 1908, s. 2, for the original clause.
9 The words "any Act of a Legislature established in British India"
have been successively amended by the A. O. 1948, the A. O. 1950 and
Act 3 of 1951 to read as above.
10 Ins. by the A. O. 1948.28.(e) on a first mortgage of immoveable property situate in
1*[any part of the territories to which this Act extends]: Provided that the property is not a leasehold for a term of years and that the value of the property exceeds by one-third, or, if consisting of buildings, exceeds by one-half, the mortgage-money;4***
4*(ee) in units issued by the Unit Trust of India under any unit scheme made under section 21 of the Unit Trust of India Act, 1963; or;
(f) on any other security expressly authorized by the instrument of trust 4* [or by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette,] or by any rule which the High Court may from time to time prescribe in this behalf:
Provided that, where there is a person competent to contract and entitled in possession to receive the income of the trust-property for his life, or for any greater estate, no investment on any security mentioned or referred to in clauses (d), (e) and (f) shall be made without his consent in writing.
Power to purchase redeemable stock at a premium.
2*[20A. Power to purchase redeemable stock at a premium.-(1) A
trustee may invest in any of the securities mentioned or referred to in section 20, notwithstanding that the same may be redeemable and that the price exceeds the redemption value:
Provided that a trustee may not purchase at a price exceeding its redemption value any security mentioned or referred to in clauses (c)
and (d) of section 20 which is liable to be redeemed within fifteen years of the date of purchase at par or at some other fixed rate, or purchase any such security as is mentioned or referred to in the said clauses which is liable to be redeemed at par or at some other fixed rate at a price exceeding fifteen per centum above par or such other fixed rate.
(2) A trustee may retain until redemption any redeemable stock, fund or security which may have been purchased in accordance with this section.]
21.Mortgage of land pledged to Government under Act 26 of 1871. Deposit in Government Savings Bank.
21. Mortgage of land pledged to Government under Act 26 of 1871.-
Deposit in Government Savings Bank. Nothing in section 20 shall apply to investments made before this Act comes into force, or shall be deemed to preclude an investment on a mortgage of immoveable property already pledged as security for an advance under the Land Improvement
Act, 18713*, or, in case the trust-money does not exceed three thousand rupees, a deposit thereof in a Government Savings Bank.
1 Subs. by Act 3 of 1951, s. 3 and Sch., for "a Part A State or a
Part C State".
2 Ins. by Act 1 of 1916, s. 3.3 See now the Land Improvement Loans Act, 1883 (19 of 1883).
4 Omitted and ins by Act 16 of 1975, s. 2 (w.e.f. 7-1-1975).
29.22.Sale by trustee directed to sell within specified time.
22. Sale by trustee directed to sell within specified time.-Where a trustee directed to sell within a specified time extends such time, the burden of proving, as between himself and the beneficiary, that the latter is not prejudiced by the extension lies upon the trustee, unless the extension has been authorized by a principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction.
A bequeaths property to B, directing him with all convenient speed and within five years to sell it, and apply the proceeds for the benefit of C. In the exercise of reasonable discretion, B postpones the sale for six years. The sale is not thereby rendered invalid, but
C, alleging that he has been injured by the postponement, institutes a suit against B to obtain compensation. In such suit the burden of proving that C has not been injured lies on B.
23.Liability for breach of trust.
23. Liability for breach of trust.-Where the trustee commits a breach of trust, he is liable to make good the loss which the trust-
property or the beneficiary has thereby sustained, unless the beneficiary has by fraud induced the trustee to commit the breach, or the beneficiary, being competent to contract, has himself, without coercion or undue influence having been brought to bear on him, concurred in the breach, or subsequently acquiesced therein, with full knowledge of the facts of the case and of his rights as against the trustee.
A trustee committing a breach of trust is not liable to pay interest except in the following cases:-
(a) where he has actually received interest:
(b) where the breach consists in unreasonable delay in paying trust-money to the beneficiary:
(c) where the trustee ought to have received interest, but has not done so:
(d) where he may be fairly presumed to have received interest.
He is liable, in case (a), to account for the interest actually received, and, in cases (b), (c) and (d), to account for simple interest at the rate of six per cent. per annum, unless the Court otherwise directs.
(e) where the breach consists in failure to invest trust-
money and to accumulate the interest or dividends thereon, he is liable to account for compound interest
(with halfyearly rests) at the same rate:
(f) where the breach consists in the employment of trustproperty or the proceeds thereof in trade or business, he
is liable to account, at the option of the beneficiary, either for compound interest (with half-yearly rests)
at the same rate, or for the net profits made by such employment.
(a) A trustee improperly leaves trust-property outstanding, and it is consequently lost: he is liable to make good the property lost, but he is not liable to pay interest thereon.
(b) A bequeaths a house to B in trust to sell it and pay the proceeds to C. B neglects to sell the house for a great length of time, whereby the house is deteriorated and its market price falls. B
is answerable to C for the loss.
(c) A trustee is guilty of unreasonable delay in investing trust-
money in accordance with section 20, or in paying it to the beneficiary. The trustee is liable to pay interest thereon for the period of the delay.
(d) The duty of the trustee is to invest trust-money in any of the securities mentioned in section 20, clause (a), (b), (c) or (d).
Instead of so doing, he retains the money in his hands. He is liable, at the option of the beneficiary, to be charged either with the amount of the principal money and interest, or with the amount of such securities as he might have purchased with the trust-money when the investment should have been made, and the intermediate dividends and interest thereon.
(e) The instrument of trust directs the trustee to invest trust-
money either in any of such securities or on mortgage of immoveable property. The trustee does neither. He is liable for the principal money and interest.
(f) The instrument of trust directs the trustee to invest trust-
money in any of such securities and to accumulate the dividends thereon. The trustee disregards the direction. He is liable, at the option of the beneficiary, to be charged either with the amount of the principal money and compound interest, or with the amount of such securities as he might have purchased with the trust-money when the investment should have been made, together with the amount of the accumulation which would have arisen from a proper investment of the intermediate dividends.
(g) Trust-property is invested in one of the securities mentioned in section 20, clause (a), (b), (c) or (d). The trustee sells such security for some purpose not authorized by the terms of the instrument of trust. He is liable, at the option of the beneficiary, either to replace the security with the intermediate dividends and interest thereon, or to account for the proceeds of the sale with interest thereon.
(h) The trust-property consists of land. The trustee sells the land to a purchaser for a consideration without notice of the trust.
The trustee is liable, at the option of the beneficiary, to purchase other land of equal value to be settled upon the like trust, or to be charged with the proceeds of the sale with interest.
24.No set-off allowed to trustee.
24. No set-off allowed to trustee.-A trustee who is liable for a loss occasioned by a breach of trust in respect of one portion of the trust-property cannot set-off against his liability a gain which has accrued to another portion of the trust-property through another and distinct breach of trust.
31.25.Non-liability for predecessors default.
25. Non-liability for predecessors default.-Where a trustee succeeds another, he is not, as such, liable for the acts or defaults of his predecessor.
26.Non-liability for predecessors default.
26. Non-liability for predecessors default.-Subject to the provisions of sections 13 and 15, one trustee is not, as such, liable for a breach of trust committed by his cotrustee:
Provided that, in the absence of an express declaration to the contrary in the instrument of trust, a trustee is so liable--
(a) where he has delivered trust-property to his co-trustee without seeing to its proper application:
(b) where he allows his co-trustee to receive trust-property and fails to make due enquiry as to the co-trustees dealings therewith, or allows him to retain it longer than the circumstances of the case reasonably require:
(c) where he becomes aware of a breach of trust committed or intended by his co-trustee, and either actively conceals it or does not within a reasonable time take proper steps to protect the beneficiarys interest.
Joining in receipt for conformity.
Marginal heading. A co-trustee who joins in signing a receipt for trust-property and proves that he has not received the same is not answerable, by reason of such signature only, for loss or misapplication of the property by his co-trustee.
A bequeaths certain property to B and C, and directs them to sell it and invest the proceeds for the benefit of D. B and C accordingly sell the property, and the purchase-money is received by B and retained in his hands. C pays no attention to the matter for two years and then calls on B to make the investment. B is unable to do so, becomes insolvent, and the purchase-money is lost. C may be compelled to make good the amount.
27.Several liability of co-trustees.
27. Several liability of co-trustees.-Where co-trustees jointly commit a breach of trust, or where one of them by his neglect enables the other to commit a breach of trust, each is liable to the beneficiary for the whole of the loss occasioned by such breach.
Contribution as between co-trustees.
But as between the trustees themselves, if one be less guilty than another and has had to refund the loss, the former may compel the latter, or his legal representative to the extent of the assets he has received, to make good such loss; and if all be equally guilty, any one or more of the trustees who has had to refund the loss may compel the others to contribute.
32.Nothing in this section shall be deemed to authorize a trustee who has been guilty of fraud to institute a suit to compel contribution.
28.Non-liability of trustee paying without notice of transfer by beneficiary.
28. Non-liability of trustee paying without notice of transfer by beneficiary.-When any beneficiarys interest becomes vested in another person, and the trustee, not having notice of the vesting, pays or delivers trust-property to the person who would have been entitled thereto in the absence of such vesting, the trustee is not liable for the property so paid or delivered.
29.Liability of trustee where beneficiarys interest is forfeited to the
29. Liability of trustee where beneficiarys interest is forfeited to the Government.-When the beneficiarys interest is forfeited or awarded by legal adjudication 1*[to the Government], the trustee is bound to hold the trust-property to the extent of such interest for the benefit of such person in such manner as 2*[the State
Government] may direct in this behalf.
Indemnity of trustees.
30. Indemnity of trustees.-Subject to the provisions of the instrument of trust and of sections 23 and 26, trustees shall be respectively chargeable only for such moneys, stocks, funds and securities as they respectively actually receive, and shall not be answerable the one for the other of them, nor for any banker, broker or other person in whose hands any trustproperty may be placed, nor for the insufficiency or deficiency of any stocks, funds or securities, nor otherwise for involuntary losses.
Last updated on May, 2015