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Bankrupt absconding

for the time mentioned in those paragraphs as the time prior to the presentation within which the acts or omissions specified in those paragraphs constitute an offence.

(5) Where a receiving order is made against a person under section one hundred and seven of this Act, this section shall apply as if for references to the presentation of a petition there were substituted references to the making of the receiving order.

159. If any person who is adjudged bankrupt, or in respect of whose estate a receiving order has been made, after the presentation of a bankwith property. ruptcy petition by or against him, or within six months before such presentation, quits England and takes with him, or attempts or makes preparation to quit England and take with him, any part of his property to the amount of twenty pounds or upwards, which ought by law to be divided amongst his creditors, he shall (unless he proves that he had no intent to defraud) be guilty of felony.

False claim, &c.

Order by court for prosecution on report of trustee.

Criminal liabil

ity after discharge or composition.

Power for court to commit for trial.

Trial and punishment of offences.

160. If any creditor, or any person claiming to be a creditor, in any bankruptcy proceedings, wilfully and with intent to defraud makes any false claim, or any proof, declaration or statement of account, which is untrue in any material particular, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding one year.

161. Where an official receiver or a trustee in a bankruptcy reports to any court exercising jurisdiction in bankruptcy that in his opinion a debtor who has been adjudged bankrupt or in respect of whose estate a receiving order has been made has been guilty of any offence under this Act or any enactment repealed by this Act, or where the court is satisfied upon the representation of any creditor or member of the committee of inspection that there is ground to believe that the debtor has been guilty of any such offence, the court shall, if it appears to the court that there is a reasonable probability that the debtor will be convicted, order that the debtor be prosecuted for such offence.

Provided that it shall not be obligatory on the court in the absence of any application by the official receiver for such an order to make an order under this section for the prosecution of an offence, unless it appears to the court that the circumstances are such as to render a prosecution desirable.

162. Where a debtor has been guilty of any criminal offence, he shall not be exempt from being proceeded against therefor by reason that he has obtained his discharge or that a composition or scheme of arrangement has been accepted or approved.

163.-(1) Where there is, in the opinion of the court, ground to believe that the bankrupt or any other person has been guilty of any offence which is by statute made a misdemeanour in cases of bankruptcy, the court may commit the bankrupt or such other person for trial.

(2) For the purpose of committing the bankrupt or such other person for trial, the court shall have all the powers of a stipendiary magistrate as to taking depositions, binding over witnesses to appear, admitting the accused to bail, or otherwise.

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as derogating from the powers or jurisdiction of the High Court.

164.-(1) A person guilty of an offence declared to be a felony or a misdemeanour under this Act in respect of which no special penalty is imposed by this Act shall be liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding two years, or, on summary conviction, to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding six months.

Provided that the maximum term of imprisonment with or without hard labour which may be awarded on conviction on indictment of a misdemeanour under section one hundred and fifty-six of this Act shall be one year.

(2) Summary proceedings in respect of any such offence shall not be instituted after one year from the first discovery thereof either by the official receiver or by the trustee in the bankruptcy, or, in the case of proceedings instituted by a creditor, by the creditor, nor in any case shall they be instituted after three years from the commission of the offence.

(3) Every misdemeanour under this Act shall be deemed to be an offence under and subject to the provisions of the Vexatious Indict- 22 & 23 Vict. ments Act, 1859, and any Act amending that Act, and when any person c. 17. is charged with any such misdemeanour before a court of summary jurisdiction the court shall take into consideration any evidence adduced before them tending to show that the act charged was not committed with a guilty intent.

(4) In an indictment for an offence under this Act, it shall be sufficient to set forth the substance of the offence charged in the words of this Act specifying the offence, or as near thereto as circumstances admit, without alleging or setting forth any debt, act of bankruptcy, trading, adjudication, or any proceedings in, or order, warrant, or document of, any court acting under this Act or any Act repealed by this Act.

165. Where the court orders the prosecution of any person for any offence under this Act or any enactment repealed by this Act, or for any offence arising out of or connected with any bankruptcy proceedings, it shall be the duty of the Director of Public Prosecutions to institute and carry on the prosecution :

Provided that, where the order of the court is made on the application of the official receiver and based on his report, the Board of Trade may themselves, or through the official receiver, institute the prosecution and carry on the proceedings, if or so long as those proceedings are conducted before a court of summary jurisdiction, unless in the course thereof circumstances arise which, in the opinion of such court or of the Board, render it desirable that the remainder of the proceedings should be carried on by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Public Pro

secutor to act in

certain cases.

Evidence as to frauds by agents.

166. A statement or admission made by any person in any compulsory examination or deposition before any court on the hearing of any matter in bankruptcy shall not be admissible as evidence against that person in any proceeding in respect of any of the misdemeanours referred to in section eighty-five of the Larceny Act, 1861 (which section 24 & 25 Vict. relates to frauds by agents, bankers and factors).

c. 96.

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167. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-
"The court means the court having jurisdiction in bankruptcy
under this Act;

"Affidavit " includes statutory declaration, affirmation, and
attestation on honour;

"Available act of bankruptcy means any act of bankruptcy
available for a bankruptcy petition at the date of the presenta-
tion of the petition on which the receiving order is made;


"Debt provable in bankruptcy or "provable debt" includes
any debt or liability by this Act made provable in bankruptcy ;
"Gazetted" means published in the London Gazette;
"General rules" include forms;

66 Goods " includes all chattels personal;

"Local bank " means any bank in, or in the neighbourhood of, the bankruptcy district in which the proceedings are taken; "Oath" includes affirmation, declaration, and attestation on honour;

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Ordinary resolution" means a resolution decided by a majority in value of the creditors present, personally or by proxy, at a meeting of creditors and voting on the resolution;

"Prescribed " means prescribed by general rules within the meaning of this Act;

"Property" includes money, goods, things in action, land, and every description of property, whether real or personal and whether situate in England or elsewhere; also obligations, easements, and every description of estate, interest, and profit, present or future, vested or contingent, arising out of or incident to property as above defined;

"Resolution " means ordinary resolution;

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"Secured creditor means a person holding a mortgage charge or lien on the property of the debtor, or any part thereof, as a security for a debt due to him from the debtor;

"Sheriff" includes any officer charged with the execution of a writ or other process;

"Special resolution means a resolution decided by a majority in number and three-fourths in value of the creditors present, personally or by proxy, at a meeting of creditors and voting on the resolution;


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'Trustee means the trustee in bankruptcy of a debtor's estate.

Repeal of enactments and savings.

Short title, extent, and commencement.


168.-(1) The Acts mentioned in the Sixth Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed to the extent mentioned in the third column of that schedule.

(2) This Act shall apply to proceedings under the Bankruptcy Acts 1883 to 1913, pending at the commencement of this Act, as if commenced under this Act.

(3) Until revoked or altered under the powers of this Act, any fees prescribed and any general rules and orders made under the Bankruptcy Acts, 1883 to 1913, and the Bankruptcy (Discharge and Closure) Act, 1887, which are in force at the commencement of this Act, shall continue in force, and shall have effect as if made under this Act.

(4) Nothing in the repeals effected by this Act shall affect the powers or duties, tenure of office, terms of remuneration, or right to pension, of any officer appointed before the commencement of this Act.

(5) Nothing in this Act shall affect any provisions of the Bankruptcy Acts, 1883 to 1913, relating to disqualifications on account of bankruptcy to executions or to the administration of small estates in county courts which are left unrepealed by this Act.

169.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Bankruptcy Act, 1914. (2) This Act shall not, except so far as is expressly provided, extend to Scotland or Ireland.

(3) This Act shall come into operation on the first day of January nineteen hundred and fifteen.




1. The first meeting of creditors shall be summoned for a day not later than fourteen days' after the date of the receiving order, unless the court for any special reason deem it expedient that the meeting be summoned for a later day.

2. The official receiver shall summon the meeting by giving not less than six clear days notice of the time and place thereof in the London Gazette and in a local paper.

3. The official receiver shall also, as soon as practicable, send to each creditor mentioned in the debtor's statement of affairs, a notice of the time and place of the first meeting of creditors, accompanied by a summary of the debtor's statement of affairs, including the cause of his failure, and any observations thereon which the official receiver may think fit to make; but the proceedings at the first meeting shall not be invalidated by reason of any such notice or summary not having been sent or received before the meeting.

4. The meeting shall be held at such place as is in the opinion of the official receiver most convenient for the majority of the creditors. 5. The official receiver or the trustee may at any time summon a meeting of creditors, and shall do so whenever so directed by the court, or so requested by a creditor in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

6. Meetings subsequent to the first meeting shall be summoned by sending notice of the time and place thereof to each creditor at the address given in his proof, or if he has not proved, at the address given in the debtor's statement of affairs, or at such other address as may be known to the person summoning the meeting.

7. The official receiver, or some person nominated by him, shall be the chairman at the first meeting. The chairman at subsequent meetings shall be such person as the meeting by resolution appoint.

8. A person shall not be entitled to vote as a creditor at the first or any other meeting of creditors unless he has duly proved a debt provable in bankruptcy to be due to him from the debtor, and the proof has been duly lodged before the time appointed for the meeting.

9. A creditor shall not vote at any such meeting in respect of any unliquidated or contingent debt, or any debt the value of which is not ascertained.

10. For the purpose of voting, a secured creditor shall, unless he surrenders his security, state in his proof the particulars of his security, the date when it was given, and the value at which he assesses it, and shall be entitled to vote only in respect of the balance (if any) due to him, after deducting the value of his security. If he votes in respect of his whole debt he shall be deemed to have surrendered his security unless the court on application is satisfied that the omission to value the security has arisen from inadvertence.

11. A creditor shall not vote in respect of any debt on or secured by a current bill of exchange or promissory note held by him, unless he is willing to treat the liability to him thereon of every person who is liable thereon antecedently to the debtor, and against whom a receiving order has not been made, as a security in his hands, and to estimate the value thereof, and for the purposes of voting, but not for the purposes of dividend, to deduct it from his proof.

12. It shall be competent to the trustee or to the official receiver, within twenty-eight days after a proof estimating the value of a security

Section 13.

as aforesaid has been made use of in voting at any meeting, to require the creditor to give up the security for the benefit of the creditors generally on payment of the value so estimated, with an addition thereto of twenty per centum: Provided that where a creditor has put a value on such security, he may, at any time before he has been required to give up such security as aforesaid, correct such valuation by a new proof, and deduct such new value from his debt, but in that case such addition of twenty per centum shall not be made if the trustee requires the security to be given up.

13. If a receiving order is made against one partner of a firm, any creditor to whom that partner is indebted jointly with the other partners of the firm, or any of them, may prove his debt for the purpose of voting at any meeting of creditors, and shall be entitled to vote thereat.

14. The chairman of a meeting shall have power to admit or reject a proof for the purpose of voting, but his decision shall be subject to appeal to the court. If he is in doubt whether the proof of a creditor should be admitted or rejected he shall mark the proof as objected to and shall allow the creditor to vote, subject to the vote being declared invalid in the event of the objection being sustained.

15. A creditor may vote either in person or by proxy.

16. Every instrument of proxy shall be in the prescribed form, and shall be issued by the official receiver of the debtor's estate, or by some other official receiver, or, after the appointment of a trustee, by the trustee, and every insertion therein shall be in the handwriting of the person giving the proxy, or of any manager or clerk, or other person in his regular employment, or of any commissioner to administer oaths in the Supreme Court.

17. General and special forms of proxy shall be sent to the creditors, together with a notice summoning a meeting of creditors, and neither the name nor the description of the official receiver, or of any other person, shall be printed or inserted in the body of any instrument of proxy before it is so sent.

18. A creditor may give a general proxy to his manager or clerk, or any other person in his regular employment. In such case the instrument of proxy shall state the relation in which the person to act thereunder stands to the creditor.

19. A creditor may give a special proxy to any person to vote at any specified meeting or adjournment thereof on all or any of the following

matters :

(a) For or against any specific proposal for a composition or scheme of arrangement;

(b) For or against the appointment of any specified person as trustee at a specified rate of remuneration, or as member of the committee of inspection, or for or against the continuance in office of any specified person as trustee or member of a committee of inspection;

(c) On all questions relating to any matter other than those above referred to, arising at any specified meeting or adjournment thereof.

20. A proxy shall not be used unless it is deposited with the official receiver or trustee before the meeting at which it is to be used.

21. Where it appears to the satisfaction of the court that any solicitation has been used by or on behalf of a trustee or receiver in obtaining proxies, or in procuring the trusteeship or receivership, except by the direction of a meeting of creditors, the court shall have power, if it thinks fit, to order that no remuneration shall be allowed to the person by whom or on whose behalf such solicitation may have been exercised, notwithstanding any resolution of the committee of inspection or of the creditors to the contrary.

22. A creditor may appoint the official receiver of the debtor's estate to act in manner prescribed as his general or special proxy.

23. The chairman of a meeting may, with the consent of the meeting, adjourn the meeting from time to time and from place to place.

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