The Sheriff of Calcutta

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Chapter- IV

The provisions for appointment, powers, functions of the sheriff were continued in Calcutta since 1774 by the subsequent Letters-Patents of the Calcutta High Court issued in 1862 and 1865 respectively, subject to the restriction that the jurisdiction of the sheriff's activities were limited to the town of Calcutta, more specifically to  the ordinary original jurisdiction of the High Court at Calcutta. Since then, and till the passing of the Calcutta Sheriffs Act 19483, the sheriffs establishment was an independent office, as distinguished from a Government office and the sheriff used to appoint the deputy-sheriff and the assistants in the sheriffs office at his disposal.


[ 3) THE CALCUTTA SHERIFF'S ACT, 1948 West Bengal Act 30 of 1948 West Ben. Act 23 of 1950. AMENDED west Ben. Act 8 of 1959. ADAPTED                      ..        The Adaptation of Laws Order, 1950. [15th October, 1948]

An Act to provide for certain matters relating to the office of the Sheriff of Calcutta.  WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for certain matters relating to the office of the 

Sheriff of Calcutta; It is hereby enacted as follows:—

1.    Short title and commencement.    (1) This Act may be called the Calcutta Sheriffs Act, 1948.

(2) It shall come into force on such date as the '[State] Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

2.     Definition.    In this Act, unless there is anything   repugnant   in the subject or context, "prescribed"   means   prescribed   by   rules   made under this Act.

3.     Appointment   of the   Sheriff of  Calcutta.    (l)The   Sheriff of Calcutta  (hereinafter referred to as the Sheriff) shall be appointed annually by the Governor from a 

penel of three persons to be nominated on the occassion of each vacancy by the High Court in Calcutta.

(2) The Sheriff shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor and shall be entitled to such 2[remuneration] as the Governor may determine and no other 2[remuneration].

4.    Appointment of the Deputy Sheriff  of  Calcutta.    The   Deputy Sheriff of Calcutta 3 [hereinafter referred to as the Deputy Sheriff] shall be appointed in such manner and shall be entitled to such 2 [remuneration] as may be prescribed.

44A. The Deputy Sheriff to perform functions of the Sheriff during casual vacancy in the office. In the event of the occurrence of any vacancy in the office of the Sheriff by 

reason of his death, resignation or removal, or otherwise, the Deputy Sheriff shall perform the functions of the Sheriff until a new Sheriff, appointed in accordance with the 

provisions of this Act, enters upon his office and shall, during such period,

1.     Word subst. by A.L.O.  1950.

2.     Word subst. by W. B. Act 23 of 1950.

3.     Words inserted by W. B. Act 8 of 1959.

4.      Section 4A inserted by W. B. Act 8 of 1959.

have the same privileges and be subject to the same liabilities as the Sheriff and be entitled to such remuneration as the Governor may determine.

5.     Power of the High Court to control certain functions of the Sheriff and other employees. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Sheriff and the Deputy Sheriff and their 

subordinates shall carry out the orders of the High Court in Calcutta in the manner determined by the said Court.

6.     Posts of officers and servants of the Sheriff to be civil posts under the Government. Notwithstanding   anything   contained   in   the   Charter establishing the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal, dated the twenty-sixth day of March, 1774, or in any other law, the posts of all such officers and servants (other than employees who are paid by the day) as may be employed for the proper performance of the duties of the Sheriff shall, on the commencement of this Act, be civil posts under 5[the Government].

7.    Indemnity.    The Sheriff and the Deputy Sheriff and their subordinates shall be exempt from liability in respect of all their acts or defaults done or committed while exercising or importing to exercise their functions under this Act or for which they would hate been liable but for this Act.

8.    Liability of the State revenues in certain cases.    

6(1) The Consolidated Fund of the State shall be liable to make good all sums required to discharge any liability from which the Sheriff, the Deputy Sheriff or their subordinates are exempted under the provisions of section 7.

(2)   Nothing in sub-section (1) shall be deemed to render liable the Consolidated Fund of the State] or any Sheriff, or Deputy Sheriff or any of their subordinates appointed after 

the commencement of this Act for anything done by, or under the authority of, any Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff before the commencement of this Act.

(3)   Nothing in sub-section (1) shall prevent the '[State] Government from recovering any sum paid by it under that sub-section from the Sheriff, the Deputy Sheriff or any of 

their subordinates liable personally to pay such sum.

(4)   Sums payable by the '[State] Government under sub-section (1) are hereby declared to be charged on the [Consolidated Fund of the State].

99.    Disposal of fees, poundages and charges by the  Sheriff4.   The Sheriff shall dispose of, in such manner and at such times as may be prescribed, the balance standing on the date of the commencement of this Act to the credit of the account known as the 'Sheriffs Account Number II

5.    Words subst. by A.L.O.  1950.

6.    Sub-section (1) subst..by W. B. Act 8 of 1959.

7.    Words subst. by W. B. Act 8 of 1959.

8.    Words subst. by W. B. Act 8 of 1959.

9.    Sect. 9 subst. by W. B. Act 8-of-1959.

and all fees, poundages, charges and other monies realised by him or by any of his officers and servants, after the said date. 

9A. The Sheriff not to incur any expenditure unless parties have deposited amounts. The Sheriff shall not incur any expenditure on account of the wages of temporary guards, 

advertisement charges, subsistence allowance or on any other account unless the parties have deposited the necessary amounts in advance.

[Rules of The High Court at Calcutta, Original Side, 1914, Ch XVII

4)

23. Release of person or property attached under warrant.—The payment to the Sheriff of the monies, specified in rules 15 and 16 or rule 17 together with his fees, poundage and charges, shall justify him in discharging the judgment-debtor or releasing the property, provided there are no other detainers against the judgment-debtor or warrants of attachment against the property.

23A. Sheriff’s poundage when order directs release.—Where property under attachment is ordered to be released, it shall be a condition of the order, unless the Court or Judge shall otherwise direct, that the Sheriff’s poundage be paid to him by the party upon whose application the order is made:

Provided that in the event of the decree, order or award in respect, of, or under which, the attachment was made being set aside, the Sheriff shall return the poundage so paid, unless the Court or Judge shall otherwise direct.

24. Payment by Sheriff of money received or realised in execution by him.—The Sheriff shall receive all moneys tendered to him under any warrant of arrest or attachment, and upon receipt of such moneys, or on realisation of moneys by sale or otherwise from the property of the judgment-debtor, he shall forthwith certify to the Court the amount and date of such receipt or realisation, and shall pay the amount less his fees, poundage and charges, to the Reserve Bank of India with the Privity of the Accountant-General of the Court in his Personal Ledger Account to be placed by him to the credit of the suit, in his Ledger Book kept in his office subject to the further order of the Court.

36. Certificate of Registrar as to other prior applications for execution.—Where assets realised in execution are held by the Court, the Registrar shall at the request of the judgment-creditor at whose instance the realization was made, certify what persons have, within 12 years prior to the receipt of such assets (the date whereof shall be furnished by the Sheriff or the Accountant-General as the case may be), applied to the Court for execution of decrees for money against the same judgment-debtor whose applications are subsisting and have not been satisfied. Should the decree-holder at whose instance the realization was made neglect or refuse to apply for the certificate, any other person entitled to share in the assets shall be at liberty to apply for such certificate. 

39. Application for payment or rateable distribution to be supported by three certificates.—The application mentioned in each of the last two preceding rules shall be supported by— 

(a) of Accountant General; a certificate of the Accountant-General, stating what money has been received by him and when, also stating all orders or notices received by him affecting the same;

(b)  of the Registrar; a certificate of the Registrar, stating what persons have within 12 years prior to the receipt of the assets applied to the Court for execution of decrees for money against the same judgment-debtor, whose applications are subsisting and have not been satisfied, and when such applications were made;

(c) of the Sheriff; a certificate of the Sheriff, stating what money has been received by him, and when, and that at the date of such certificate he has no other assets belonging to the judgment-debtor, and also stating all orders or notices received by him affecting the same, and where there has been a sale of property, whether at the time of the sale such property, or any other property belonging to the judgment-debtor, was affected by any attachment before judgment. 


Rule of The High Court at Calcutta, Original Side, Ch XXXVI

77. Fees to Sheriff.—The fees to be allowed to the Sheriff and his officers shall be as .follows:—

Rs.       a.

1. For arresting each person named

in the writ when nothing is realised                  .....    16 0

Otherwise                                                       .....        2 0

(The latter to be allowed plus poundage on sums levied). 

2.  For executing any attachment against movable

or immovable property                                    .....      2          0

3.  For serving each juryman with summons {to be

charged to the contingent fund.)                      .....      2          0

4.  For serving every other summons, for each

person served                                                  .....       2          0

5.  For executing every order or warrant in the nature of a writ of habeas corpus, every order in the nature of a writ of injunction or other order or writ for which a fee is not specially provided, for each person against

whom the writ or order is directed                  .....          2        0

6.  For executing warrants for apprehension of witnesses, and warrants for security to be furnished by defendant (issued by another

Court), for each person                                   .....          4        0

7.  For receiving and filing every copy of a Judge’s

order or other document to be filed in his office .....     1       0

8.  For serving summons, notice, proclamation, subpoena, etc. (issued by another Court) for each person or property on whom service is

effected                                                               .....       2       0

9.  For serving citation                                        .....      2        0

10.  For every ordinary return                             .....      1        0

11.  For every special return                               .....       2        0

.1A. For every notice for scrutiny or every defect notice, issued by the Registrar or any other officer of the Court entitled to issue such notice including return                                    .....          Nil.

12.  For translations when necessary, per folio (One charge only shall be allowed for translations in one language).

13.  For every warrant to discharge defendant

from custody                                                        .....     2        0

14.  For bringing up defendant from jail after

remand                                                                            0 

15.  For every certificate of seizure                         .....  5        0

16.  For every other certificate                                .....  2        0

17.  For drawing every security bond in mofussil

cases                                                               .....          8        0

18.  For officer copies, per folio                         .....      0        8

{When more copies than one are required subsequent copies shall be charged  for according to the scale for copies laid down in ‘ item 13, rule 91)

19.  For attending Court or before a Judge or

Officer of Court with papers                           .....        3        0

20.  For every bond of indemnity for seizing

property, etc., when there are adverse claims   .....      32       0

21.  For every search, when no certificate or office

copy obtained                                                 .....         1        0

22.  Poundage on sums levied by the Sheriff in       For the first execution or in the event of the claim being     1,000 rupees satisfied, compromised or settled, upon the      at 5 per cent amount of such satisfaction, compromise or     and for the settlement                                                       rest at 2'/2

per cent

23.  Poundage on a writ of possession, upon

every 10 rupees of the yearly value                  .....      0        8

24.  For attending Court during each criminal sessions, per diem (to be charged to the

contingent fund)                                             .....       16        0

25.  For attending at a sale other than in the

Sheriff’s officer                                                .....      16       0

26.  For the crier at every Sheriff’s sale (when the sale is not at the Sheriff’s office) exclusive

of the cost of conveyance, if the same is not

provided by the party requiring the same         .....      2        0 

27. For every man required to be left in possession of property attached

28.  For removal of movable property attached, to the Sheriff’s office when necessary

29.  For conveyance charges for serving summons or executing other processes The amount actually paid per diem as wages or a reasonable amount thereof

Actual expenses. Such expenses as are reasonably necessary.  ]


10.    The Sheriffs Pension Fund.    The Trustees of the fund known as "the Sheriff s Pension Fund" (hereinafter referred to as the Fund), maintained for the provision of 

pensions for the officers and servants employed by the Sheriff " *                  *, shall transfer and pay to such authority, in such manner and at such times   as may be 

prescribed,   the balance standing to the credit of the Fund J*, and such balance shall be carried to the account and credit of the A[Consolidated Fund 

of the State].


11.    Pensions'.    (l)j All   officer's and servants previously employed by the Sheriff who, at the date of the commencement of this Act, are in receipt of pensions or entitled to 

gratuities in accordance with the rules of the Fund, shall be paid-such pensions or gratuities out of the A[Consolidated Fund of the State].

(2) All officers and servants of the Sheriff, who are in his employment at the date of the 

(3) commencement of this Act, shall, in respect of such employment prior to that date, be paid out of the 12 Consolidated Fund of the State] such pensions, gratuities and compensation as   may   be   determined by the '[State] Government in accordance with   the rules   of the Fund: Provided that such compensation, if any, shall not be less than that which, in similar circumstances and in accordance with the rules made in this behalf by the [State] Government, would be admissible to persons in the service of the 

[State] Government.

(3)   Any dispute arising in connection with the amount of the pension, gratuity or compensation payable under sub-section   (1)   or   subsection (2) shall be referred to the 

West Bengal Public Service Commission, the decision of which shall be final and shall not be the subject-matter of any proceedings in any Court.

(4)  All pensions payable under this section out of the 12[Consolidated Fund of the State] shall be so payable in all respects as pensions payable for service under the [State] 

Government and shall be subject to the rules made in that behalf by the [State] Government.


(5)   If any officer or servant of the Sheriff is permanently reemployed in the service of the [State] Government, I3[the period of his employment

10.    Sect. 9A inserted by W. B. Act 8 of 1959.

11.    Words omitted by W. B. Act 23 of 1950.

12.    Words subst. by W. B. Act 8 of 1959.

13.    Words subst. by W. B. Act 8 of 1959.

under the Sheriff including the period up to the date of such permanent re-employment] shall, for the purposes of the rules relating to l4 [leave,] pay and pensions, be deemed to have been service under the [State] Government:

''Provided that if any such officer or servant has been paid any pension or gratuity under subsection (2) then, unless he surrenders his right to such pension and refunds the amount received by him as pension or gratuity the period of employment under the Sheriff prior to the date of the commencement of this Act shall not count as service for purposes of pension under this subsection.

^Explanation.—The rules relating to leave, pay and pensions shall mean the rules relating to the leave, pay and pensions of the State Government.

12. Power to make rules. (1) The '[State] Government may make rules for carrying into effect the purposes of this Act in regard to those functions of the Sheriff which are 

discharged under the administrative control of the [State] Government.

(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for,—

a)   the manner of  appointment   and   the   "^[remuneration]   of the Deputy Sheriff referred to in section 4;

(b)   the distribution of work   between the Sheriff and the   Deputy Sheriff;

(c)   the authority referred to in sections 9 and 10 and the manner in which   and the time  at which the fees   I7[,   poundage and charges,] and   balances referred to in these   

sections shall be transferred and paid;

(d)   the safe custody and deposit of all monies, securities and other moveables which come into the hands of the Sheriff; and

(e)   the accounts to be maintained by the Sheriff, and the audit and inspection thereof.

14.     Word inserted by W. B. Act 8 of 1959.

15.     Proviso Explanation subst. by W. B. Act of 1959

16.     Word subst. 'by W.B. Act 23 of 1950.17, Words inserted by W. B. Act 23 of 1950.]