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K. Venkatarama Ayyar and Five ors. Vs. the Official Receiver - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1928)54MLJ585
AppellantK. Venkatarama Ayyar and Five ors.
RespondentThe Official Receiver
Excerpt:
- - we think that the alteration of the language in section 17 is only intended to show clearly the nature of the proceedings, that is, that the proceedings are only for the realisation and distribution of the property......orders were passed by the learned district judge. the petitioners filed an application before the learned judge contending that as their father died before adjudication they were entitled to get his property back 'free from proceedings in insolvency. the learned district judge overruled their contention and stated that their objections as regards the actual administration of the property might be brought to the notice of the official receiver. in appeal, the same point has been argued before us, namely, that there was no jurisdiction to adjudicate the petitioners' father as an insolvent after his death under the provincial insolvency act. the section applicable to the case is section 17 of act v of 1920. it runs thus:if a debtor by or against whom an insolvency petition has been.....
Judgment:

1. In this case the father of the petitioner filed an application for adjudicating himself as an insolvent. The learned District Judge appointed an interim receiver and transferred the petition for disposal to the Official Receiver. Before the petitioner was adjudicated, he died. The Official Receiver later on adjudicated him as an insolvent and asked for orders of the court for administering the estate and orders were passed by the learned District Judge. The petitioners filed an application before the learned Judge contending that as their father died before adjudication they were entitled to get his property back 'free from proceedings in insolvency. The learned District Judge overruled their contention and stated that their objections as regards the actual administration of the property might be brought to the notice of the Official Receiver. In appeal, the same point has been argued before us, namely, that there was no jurisdiction to adjudicate the petitioners' father as an insolvent after his death under the Provincial Insolvency Act. The section applicable to the case is Section 17 of Act V of 1920. It runs thus:

If a debtor by or against whom an insolvency petition has been presented dies, the proceedings in the matter shall, unless the court otherwise orders, be continued so far as may be necessary for the realisation and distribution of the property of the debtor.

Before the Act was amended, the section was in the same form except that for the words 'so far as may be necessary for the realisation and distribution of the property of the debtor' the words in the section were ' as if he were alive '. Section 93 of the Presidency Towns Insolvency Act is in the same language as the old Section 10 (corresponding to Section 17) of Act III of 1907. Section 108 of the English Act is also in the same words. It is argued that under Section 17, if a debtor dies after the presentation of the insolvency petition, he cannot afterwards be adjudicated as an insolvent ; and reference is made in support of the argument to the omission of the words 'as if he were alive' introduced by the amendment. We think that the wording of the Section does not warrant such a conclusion. It states that if a debtor dies the proceedings in the matter shall be continued. The petition having been presented, the words ' proceedings in the matter,' will include subsequent steps in connection with it, of which the earliest will be the adjudication of the insolvent, without which nothing can be done. In a case reported in Re Walker (1886)54 L.T. 682, it was held that 'proceedings in the matter' would include the adjudication of the insolvent after his death subsequent to the presentation of the application. We think that the alteration of the language in Section 17 is only intended to show clearly the nature of the proceedings, that is, that the proceedings are only for the realisation and distribution of the property. It is not intended to indicate that adjudication is not allowed after the death of the debtor subsequent to the presentation of the insolvency petition. There is no reason why we should assume that the law according to the Provincial Insolvency Act should be understood in a different way from the law according to the Presidency Towns Insolvency Act. If this interpretation is correct, then the learned District Judge's order must be upheld. Whatever abjection, the petitioners may have, with regard to the actual administration of the estate, may be put by them before the Official Receiver as indicated in paragraph 4 of the learned Judge's order. We confirm the order of the learned Judge and dismiss the appeal with costs.


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