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THE PRESIDENCY-TOWNS INSOLVENCY ACT, 1909

Title : THE PRESIDENCY-TOWNS INSOLVENCY ACT, 1909

Year : 1909



1*[(1) (a) The Chief Justice of the High Court at Madras may from time to time appoint substantively or temporarily such persons as he thinks fit to the office of official assignee of insolvents
estates and such person or persons as he thinks fit to the office of the deputy official assignee for the said Court and may, with the concurrence of a majority of the other Judges of the Court, remove the person for the time being holding any of the said offices for any cause appearing to the Court sufficient.

(b) The State Government of West Bengal shall, after consultation with, and with the concurrence of, the Chief Justice of the High Court at Calcutta, appoint substantively or temporarily a person to the office of official assignee of insolvents estates for the said Court and may, after the like consultation and with the like concurrence, appoint substantively or temporarily a person or persons to the office of the deputy official assignee for the said Court.

(c) For the High Court at Bombay, the State Government of Bombay
2*** may from time to time appoint substantively or temporarily such person as the State Government thinks fit to the office of official assignee of insolvents estates and such person or persons
as the State Government thinks fit to the office of the deputy official assignee.]

1*[(1A) Subject to rules made under section 112, 2* the deputy official assignee shall have all the powers and shall discharge all the duties and in exercise of such powers and in the discharge of such duties shall be subject to all the liabilities of the official assignee under this Act.]

(2) Every official assignee 1*[and every deputy official assignee] shall give such security and shall be subject to such rules and shall act in such manner as may be prescribed.

3*(3) Notwithstanding anything in sub-section (1), the persons substantively or temporarily holding the office of official assignee immediately before the commencement of this Act in the Courts for the relief of Insolvent Debtors at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay respectively under the 4* Indian Insolvency Act, 1848, 11 & 12 Vict., c. 21. 5*** shall, without further appointment for that purpose, become the official assignees, substantive or temporary, as the case may be, under this Act in the High Courts at Fort William, Madras and Bombay 6*** respectively. 7*

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1. Ins. by Act 10 of 1930, s. 4.

2. In Calcutta read "112A" for "112": see the Presidency-towns Insolvency (Bengal Amendment) Act, 1936 (Ben. 18 of 1936), s. 3 (b).

3. This sub-section has been replaced by another in Calcutta: see s. 3 (c), ibid.

4. Rep. by this Act.

5. The words "and in the Chief Court of Lower Burma under that Act as applied by the Lower Burma Courts Act, 1900" rep. by the A. O.
1937.

6. The words "and in the Chief Court of Lower Burma" rep., ibid.

7. For s. 77A, applicable to Bombay and Madras, see the Presidency-towns Insolvency (Bombay Amendment) Act, 1933 (Bom. 20 of 1933), s. 3.and the Presidency-towns Insolvency (Madras Amendment) Act, 1943 (Mad.5 of 1943), s. 8 respectively.

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An official assignee may, for the purpose of affidavits verifying proofs, petitions or other proceedings under this Act, administer oaths.




(1) The duties of an official assignee shall have relation to the conduct of the insolvent as well as to the administration of his estate.

(2) In particular it shall be the duty of the official assignee-

(a) To investigate the conduct of the insolvent and to report to the Court upon any application for discharge, stating whether there is reason to believe that the insolvent has committed any act which constitutes an offence under this Act or under sections 421 to 424 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), in connection with his insolvency or which would justify the Court in refusing, suspending or qualifying an order for his discharge;

(b) To make such other reports concerning the conduct of the insolvent as the Court may direct or as may be prescribed; and

(c) To take such part and give such assistance in relation to the prosecution of any fraudulent insolvent as the Court may direct or as may be prescribed.



The official assignee shall, whenever required by any creditor so to do and on payment by the creditor of the prescribed fee, furnish and send to the creditor by post a list of the creditors showing in the list the amount of the debt due to each of the creditors.



(1) Such remuneration shall be paid to the official assignee as may be prescribed.

(2) No remuneration whatever beyond that referred to in sub-
section (1) shall be received by an official assignee as such. 1*



The Court shall call the official assignee to account for any misfeasance, neglect or omission which may appear in his accounts or otherwise, and may require the official assignee to make good any loss which the estate of the insolvent may have sustained by reason of the misfeasance, neglect or omission. 1*

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1. Subs. by the A.O. 1937, for the original sub-section (1) as amended by Act 9 of 1926, s. 7, and Act 10 of 1930, s. 4. In its application to Calcutta, s. 77 had been previously amended by the
Presidency-towns Insolvency (Bengal Amendment) Act, 1936 (Ben. 18 of 1936), s. 3. In its application to Madras, this section has been amended by the Presidency-towns Insolvency (Madras Amendment) Act,1943 (Mad. 5 of 1943), s. 7.

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The official assignee may sue and be sued by the name of "the official assignee of the property of , an insolvent," inserting the name of the insolvent, and by that name may hold property of every description, make contracts, enter into any engagements binding on himself and his successors in office, and do all other acts necessary or expedient to be done in the execution of his office.

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1. The words "and for the Court of the Judicial Commissioner of Sind, the Provincial Government of Sind" rep. by the A. O. 1948.

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If an order of adjudication is made against an official assignee, he shall thereby vacate the office of official assignee. 1*

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1. In the application of the Act to Madras, ss. 81 and 83 have been repealed, see the Presidency-towns Insolvency (Madras Amendment) Act, 1943 (Mad. 5 of 1943), ss. 9 and 12. In the application of the Act to Bombay, s. 84 has been repealed, see the Presidency-towns Insolvency (Bombay Amendment) Act, 1933 (Bom. 20 of 1933), s. 11. For ss. 81,81B, 82, 82A, 82B, 82C and 84A, as applicable to Calcutta, see the Presidency-towns Insolvency (Bengal Amendment) Act, 1936 (Ben. 18 of 1936), ss. 4 to 7. For ss. 82 and 83, as applicable to Bombay, see Bombay Act 20 of 1933, ss. 4 and 5. For ss. 82, 82A, 82B, 84 and 84A, as applicable to Madras, see Madras Act 5 of 1943, ss. 11 and 14.
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(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act and to the directions of the Court, the official assignee shall, in the administration of the property of the insolvent and in the distribution thereof amongst his creditors, have regard to any resolution that may be passed by the creditors at a meeting.

(2) The official assignee may, from time to time, summon meetings of the creditors for the purpose of ascertaining their wishes, and it shall be his duty to summon meetings at such times as the creditors, by resolution at any meeting, or the Court may direct, or whenever requested in writing to do so by one-fourth in value of the creditors who have proved.

(3) The official assignee may apply to the Court for directions in relation to any particular matter arising under the insolvency.

(4) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the official assignee shall use his own discretion in the management of the estate and its distribution among the creditors.



If the insolvent or any of the creditors or any other person is aggrieved by any act or decision of the official assignee, he may appeal to the Court, and the Court may confirm, reverse or modify the act or decision complained of, and make such order as it thinks just.



(1) If any official assignee does not faithfully perform his duties and duly observe all the requirements imposed on him by any enactment, rules or otherwise, with respect to the performance of his duties, or if any complaint is made to the Court by any creditor in regard thereto, the Court shall enquire into the matter and take such action thereon as may be deemed expedient.

(2) The Court may at any time require any official assignee to answer any enquiry made by it in relation to any insolvency in which he is engaged, and may examine him or any other person on oath concerning the insolvency.

1* (3) The Court may also direct an investigation to be made of the books and vouchers of the official assignee.

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1. In the application of the Act to Bombay, this sub-section has been repealed, see the Presidency-towns Insolvency (Bombay Amendment)Act, 1933 (Bom. 20 of 1933), s. 11 and Sch. I.

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Last updated on June, 2016

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