Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
We recommend a new procedure for the liquidation of unsecured debts due from workmen. We contemplate that on the presentation of an application by a workman giving a statement of his debts and creditors and assets, the court should issue a notice to the creditors and should thereafter in a summary enquiry estimate the workman's assets, his probable earnings and reasonable expenditure for the maintenance of himself and his family during the ensuing two years. The court, having assessed these, would issue a decree based on the difference between the two sums. Execution of this decree could then be obtained in the usual way. but it should not be possible to keep the decree alive for more than three years in all. In order to prevent the defrauding of money-lenders by the subsequent contraction of collusive debts, we suggest that the debts should rank preferentially in order of their age, the oldest debts having priority. The application for the benefit of the special Act embodying the procedure might be made either in response to a suit for debt or without any previous proceedings. We should like to see the duty laid on the court of applying the special Act of its own motion in cases where it appeared to be applicable, but we recognise the difficulty of securing that such a provision will be effective; and there is no doubt that persons will be forthcoming to assist the workman in claiming his privileges. What is essential is that the procedure should be rapid and as free as possible from the intricacies and technicalities of ordinary civil court procedure.