20. Admission or rejection of claims.-
(1) After examining the claims with reference to the priority set out in the Schedule, the Commissioner shall fix a date on or before which every claimant shall file the proof of his claim, failing which he shall be excluded from the benefit of the disbursements made by the Commissioner.
(2) Not less than fourteen days notice of the date so fixed shall be given by advertisement in one issue of the daily newspaper in English language and in one issue of the daily newspaper in the regional language as the Commissioner may consider suitable, and every such notice shall call upon the claimant to file the proof of his claim with the Commissioner within the time specified in the advertisement.
(3) Every claimant who fails to file the proof of his claim within the time specified by the Commissioner shall be excluded from the disbursements made by the Commissioner.
(4) The Commissioner shall, after such investigation as may, in his opinion, be necessary and after giving the Company an opportunity of refuting the claim and after giving the claimant a reasonable opportunity of being heard, in writing, admit or reject the claim in whole or in part.
(5) The Commissioner shall have the power to regulate his own procedure in all matters arising out of the discharge of his functions, including the place or places at which he will hold his sittings and shall, for the purpose of making any investigation under this Act, have the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters, namely:-
(a) the summoning and enforcing the attendance of any witness and examining him on oath;
(b) the discovery and production of any document or other material object producible as evidence;
(c) the reception of evidence on affidavits;
(d) the issuing of any commission for the examination of witnesses.
(6) Any investigation before the Commissioner shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) and the Commissioner shall be deemed to be a civil court for the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).
(7) A claimant who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Commissioner may prefer an appeal against the decision to the principal civil court of original jurisdiction within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the registered office of the Company is situated:
Provided that where a person who is a Judge of a High Court is appointed to be the Commissioner, the appeal shall lie to the High Court at Calcutta and such appeal shall be heard and disposed of by not less than two Judges of that High Court.