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Report No. 16

12. Section 4.-

The qualifications for the appointment of the Official Trustee require to be changed. The mention of Barristers as a separate class has become out of date. Section 4(2)(a) may, therefore, be deleted.

Under section 4(2)(b) no qualification is imposed under the Act as to the standing of the Advocates, Attorneys, etc. This may have been due to the paucity at the time of passing the Act of persons of any standing willing to take up the post. Conditions have changed now. In keeping with the nature of functions of the Official Trustee, we recommend that a minimum of seven years' standing should be prescribed. The reference to vakils may be deleted. Under the legislation now in hand relating to legal practitioners, Advocates will be enrolled by the Bar Councils and hence the expression "of High Court" will be unnecessary as regards Advocates.

Section 4(2) (c) has become obsolete, as it refers only to persons holding the office of Deputy at the commencement of the Act1. It should be omitted.

We are of the opinion that it is unfair to exclude Deputies altogether from the category of persons eligible for appointment as Official Trustee. As the Deputy can and does sometimes perform the functions of the Official Trustee, we consider it reasonable to provide that a person who has worked for a specified period as a Deputy should be eligible for appointment as Official Trustee. We need hardly add that in case of persons appointed as Deputies in accordance with the qualifications recommended by us, the case is much stronger. We recommend that sub-clause (c) of section 4 (2) may be deleted and in its place a provision may be introduced to the effect that a person who has worked as a Deputy for a period of five years is eligible for appointment as Official Trustee. (This will apply to present incumbents also).

Under section 4(2) (d), a person already in the service of the Government may be appointed as Official Trustee in a State other than West Bengal, Madras or Bombay. This provision was made on the ground that it would be difficult to get persons with legal qualifications in those States. Whatever may have been the position in 1913, the reason cannot hold good now. We, therefore, recommend that the clause may be deleted.

A fruitful source of recruitment for filling up the post of Official Trustee is the State Judiciary. We recommend that a person who has for at least ten years been a member of the Judicial Service of a State may also be made eligible for appointment as Official Trustee.

1. Viz., 1913.

Report on the Official Trustees Act, 1913 Back

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