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Report No. 16

6. Insertion of provisions similar to sections 30 and 51 of the Administrator-General's Act.-

We pass on to consider the suggestions made by the Government of Madras. The first suggestion is to the effect that provisions similar to sections 30 and 51 of the Administrator-General's Act may be inserted in the Official Trustees Act. Whilst section 30 of that Act empowers an Administrator-General to take evidence on oath, section 51 provides the penalty for giving false evidence on oath. As already pointed out1, the Administrator-General has certain judicial or quasi-judicial functions to perform and, therefore, there is full justification for clothing him with the power to take evidence on oath.

On the other hand, the Official Trustee has no such functions to discharge. Indeed, it will be contrary to the basic approach of the Official Trustees Act, which envisages the Official Trustee as standing on practically the same footing as a private trustee or private executor, to clothe the Official Trustee with judicial powers. We cannot, therefore, accept the suggestion, notwithstanding the fact that the provisions in question have been inserted in the Official Trustees Act in its application to West Bengal, by an amending Act2.

1. See para. 4, supra, and also sections 31-32 of the Administrator-General's Act.

2. See the Official Trustees (Bengal Amendment)-Act, 1941.

Report on the Official Trustees Act, 1913 Back

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