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THE OFFICIAL TRUSTEES ACT, 1913

Title : THE OFFICIAL TRUSTEES ACT, 1913

Year : 1913



(1) Subject to, and in accordance with, the provisions of this Act and the rules made there under, the Official Trustee may, if he thinks fit,-

(a) Act as an ordinary trustee;

(b) Be appointed trustee by a Court of competent jurisdiction.

(2) Save as herein after expressly provided, the Official Trustee shall have the same powers, duties and liabilities and be entitled to the same rights and privileges and be subject to the same control and orders of the Court as any other trustee acting in the same

(3) The Official Trustee may decline, either absolutely or except on such conditions as he may impose, to accept any trust.

(4) The Official Trustee shall not accept any trust under any composition or scheme of arrangement for the benefit of creditors.nor of any estate known or believed by him to be insolvent.

(5) The Official Trustee shall not, save as provided by any rules made under this Act, accept any trust for a religious purpose or any trust which involves the management or carrying on of any business.

(6) The Official Trustee shall not administer the estate of a deceased person, unless he is expressly appointed sole executor of, and sole trustee under, the will of such person.

(7) The Official Trustee shall always be sole trustee, and it shall not be lawful to appoint the Official Trustee to be trustee along with any other person.



(1) Any person intending to create a trust other than a trust which the Official Trustee is prohibited from accepting under the provisions of this Act may by the instrument creating the trust and with the consent of the Official Trustee, appoint him by that name or any other sufficient description to be the trustee of the property subject to such trust:

Provided that the consent of the Official Trustee shall be recited in the said instrument and that such instrument shall be duly executed by the Official Trustee.

(2) Upon such appointment the property subject to the trust shall vest in such Official Trustee, and shall be held by him upon the trusts declared in such instrument.



When the Official Trustee has by that name or any other sufficient description been appointed trustee under any will, the executor of the will of { Subs.by Act 18 of 1919, section.2 and Sch.I.for "such testator".}[the testator] or the administrator of his estate shall, after obtaining probate or letters of administration, notify in the prescribed manner the contents of such will to such Official Trustee; and, if such Official Trustee consents to accept the  trust, then upon the execution by such executor or administrator of an instrument in writing transferring the property subject to the trust to the Official Trustee, such property shall vest in such Official Trustee, and shall be held by him upon the trusts expressed in the said will:

Provided that the consent of the Official Trustee shall be recited in the said instrument and that such instrument shall be duly executed by the Official Trustee.



(1) If any property is subject to a trust other than a trust which the Official Trustee is prohibited from accepting under the provisions of this Act, and there is no trustee within the local limits of the ordinary or extraordinary original civil jurisdiction of the High Court willing or capable to act in the trust, the High Court may on application make an order for the appointment of the Official Trustee by that name with his consent to be the trustee of such property.

(2) Upon such order such property shall vest in the Official Trustee and shall be held by him upon the same trusts as the same was held previously to such order, and the previous trustee or trustees (if any) shall be exempt from the liability as trustees of such property save in respect of acts done before the date of such order.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to affect the provisions of1[***] the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 (2 of 1882. ).

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1. "The trustees" and Mortgages "Powers Act, 1866 (23 of 1866), or" omitted by the Official Trustees (Amendment), Act, 1964, w.e.f. 25-12-1964.

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(1) If any property is subject to a trust other than a trust which the Official Trustee is prohibited from accepting under the provisions of this Act, and all the trustees or the surviving or continuing trustee or trustees and all persons beneficially interested in the trust are desirous that the Official Trustee shall be appointed be in the room of such trustee or trustees, it shall be lawful for such of trustee or trustees, by an instrument in writing to appoint the Official Trustee by that name or any other sufficient description with his consent to be the trustee of such property:

Provided that the consent of the Official Trustee shall be recited in the said instrument and that such instrument shall be duly executed by him.

(2) Upon such appointment such property shall vest in the Official trustee and shall be held by him upon the same trusts as the same was held previously to such appointment, and the previous trustee or trustees shall be exempt from all liability as trustees of such property save in respect of acts done before the date of such appoint



(1) If any1*[minor] or lunatic is entitled to any gift, legacy or share of the assets of a deceased person, it shall be lawful for the person by whom such gift is made, or executor or administrator by of Whom such legacy or share is payable or transferable or any trustee leg of such gift, legacy or share, to transfer the same by an instrument in writing to the Official Trustee by that name or any other sufficient description with his consent:

Provided that the consent of the Official Trustee shall be recited in the said instrument and that such instrument shall be duly executed by the Official Trustee.

(2) Any money or property transferred to the Official Trustee under this section shall vest in him and shall be subject to the same provisions as are contained in this Act as to other property vested in such Official Trustee.

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1. Substituted for " infant" by the Official Trustees (Amendment), Act, 1964, w.e.f. 25-12-1964.

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(1) No Official Trustee shall be required by any Court to enter into any bond or security on his appointment in any capacity under this Act.

(2) No Official Trustee1[***] shall be required to verify otherwise than by his signature any petition presented by him under the provisions of this Act, and if the facts stated in any such petition are not within2*[his personal knowledge] , the petition may be verified and subscribed by any person competent to make the verification.

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1. "or Deputy official Trustee" omitted by the Official Trustees (Amendment), Act, 1964, w.e.f. 25-12-1964.

2. Substituted for "the official trustee's personal knowledge" by the Official Trustees (Amendment), Act, 1964, w.e.f 25-12-1964.

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The entry of the Official Trustee by that name in the books  of a company shall not constitute notice of a trust; and a company shall not be entitled to object to enter the name of the Official Trustee on its register by reason only that the Official Trustee is a corporation; and, in dealing with property, the fact that the person dealt with is the Official Trustee shall not of itself constitute notice of a trust.

{ For s 14A, ins.for the former Province of Bengal, see the Official Trustees (Bengal Amendment) Act, 1941 (Ben.1 of 1941).}



(1) The 1[***] Government { The words "of India" omitted by Act 21 of 1922. section3. } shall be liable to make good all sums required to discharge any liability which the Official Trustee, if he were a private trustee, would be personally liable to discharge, except when the liability is one to which neither the Official Trustee nor any of his officers has in any way contributed or which neither he nor any of his officers could by the exercise of reasonable diligence have averted, and in either of those cases the Official Trustee shall not, nor shall the1[***] [Government] { The words "or of the G. of I. " omitted by the A. O. 1937. } be subject to any liability.

(2) Nothing in sub- section (1) shall be deemed to render the1[***] [Government] { The words "or of the G. of I. " omitted by the A. O. 1937. }or any Official Trustee appointed under this Act liable for anything done by or under the authority of any Official Trustee before the commencement of this Act.

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1. "revenues of the" omitted by the Official Trustees (Amendment), Act, 1964, w.e.f. 25-12-1964.

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Nothing in section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908 ) ,shall apply to any suit against the Official Trustee in which no relief is claimed against him personally.

Last updated on August, 2016

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