T.C. Raghavan, J.
1. The short question to be considered is whether the Provident Fund amount of an employee in the Central Bank of India is the absolute property of his wife, who is the nominee under the Provident Fund Rules of the Bank, on the death of the subscriber, so that the amount is not liable for attachment for a debt due by the subscriber. The learned Munsif of Cochin has taken the view that it was not attachable and the creditor has come up in revision.
2. Rule 23 of the Employees' Provident Fund Rules of the Bank, marked as Ex. D-3, provides that each member may nominate in writing any person, to whom the amount standing to the credit of such member shall be paid, in the event of his death while in the service of the Bank or before his claim on the Fund shall have been discharged, and may from time to time change such nomination in writing. Under this provision the subscriber nominated his wife, who is the respondent before me.
3. In the recent Full Bench decision in Sarojini Amma v. Neelakanta Pillai, 1960 Ker LT 1319: (AIR 1961 Kerala 126) this Court has held that a nominee in respect of a policy of insurance does not become the owner of the money payable to him under the policy, he being only a receiver of the money and not the owner thereof, and he has therefore only the right to collect it. The decision has also laid down that a nomination by itself conferred no right on the nominee during the lifetime of the assured and it gave only a bare right to collect the money on the death of the assured. Sub-section (1) of Section 39 of the Insurance Act has been considered in the decision; and interpreting that section the Full Bench has given the aforesaid ruling. In considering the case their Lordships have referred to the case in Ramballav Dhandhania v. Gangadhar Nathmall, AIR 1956 Cal 275. Rule 23 and the nomination in the present case are in effect similar to Section 39(1) of the Insurance Act and the nomination referred to in the Calcutta case, AIR 1956 Cal 275. Therefore that decision must apply to the present case as well.
4. The Civil Revision Petition is allowed, the order of the lower Court is set aside and the attachment is confirmed. Since the respondent has not appeared, I pass no order regarding costs.
5. Mr. P.R. Balachandran appeared amicus curiae for the respondent and my thanks are due to him.