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BANKRUPTCY ACT 1966 - SECT 81

Discovery of bankrupt's property etc.

             (1)  Where a person (in this section called the relevant person ) becomes a bankrupt, the Court or a Registrar may at any time (whether before or after the end of the bankruptcy), on the application of:

                     (a)  a person (in this section called a creditor ) who has or had a debt provable in the bankruptcy;

                     (b)  the trustee of the relevant person's estate; or

                     (c)  the Official Receiver;

summon the relevant person, or an examinable person in relation to the relevant person, for examination in relation to the bankruptcy.

          (1A)  A summons to a person by the Court or the Registrar under subsection (1) shall require the person to attend:

                     (a)  at a specified place and at a specified time on a specified day, being a place, time and day that are reasonable in the circumstances; and

                     (b)  before the Court or the Registrar or, if the Court or the Registrar thinks fit, a magistrate;

to be examined on oath under this section about the relevant person and the relevant person's examinable affairs.

          (1B)  A summons to a person under subsection (1) may require the person to produce at the examination books (including books of an associated entity of the relevant person) that:

                     (a)  are in the possession of the first-mentioned person; and

                     (b)  relate to the relevant person or to any of the relevant person's examinable affairs.

          (1C)  Before summoning a person on an application under subsection (1) by a creditor, the Court or the Registrar, as the case requires, may impose on the applicant such terms as to costs as it, or he or she, thinks fit.

             (2)  An examination under this section shall be held in public.

             (3)  The Court, the Registrar or a magistrate may at any time adjourn the examination of a person under this section either to a fixed date or generally, or conclude the examination.

             (4)  The Registrar or a magistrate may at any time adjourn the examination of a person under this section for further hearing before the Court.

             (5)  Where the examination is adjourned by the Registrar or a magistrate for further hearing before the Court, the Registrar or the magistrate, as the case may be, may submit to the Court such report with respect to the examination as he or she thinks fit.

             (6)  Where the examination is adjourned for further hearing before the Court, the Court may:

                     (a)  continue the examination;

                     (b)  at any time direct that the examination be continued before the Registrar or a magistrate; or

                     (c)  make such other order as it thinks proper in the circumstances.

             (7)  A person summoned to attend before the Court, the Registrar or a magistrate for examination under this section is entitled to be represented, on his or her examination, by counsel or a solicitor, who may re-examine him or her after his or her examination.

             (8)  Where a person is summoned for examination under this section, a creditor, the trustee or the Official Receiver may take part in the examination and, for that purpose, may be represented by counsel or a solicitor or by an agent authorized in writing for the purpose.

             (9)  Without limiting the generality of subsection (8), where the Official Trustee is the trustee, the Official Trustee may, for the purpose of taking part in the examination, be represented by the Official Receiver.

           (10)  The Court, the Registrar or the magistrate may put, or allow to be put, to a person being examined under this section such questions about the relevant person or any of the relevant person's examinable affairs as the Court, the Registrar or the magistrate, as the case may be, thinks appropriate.

        (10A)  Notwithstanding subsection (10), where a person is being examined under this section after the end of the bankruptcy, a question about a matter or thing arising or occurring after the end of the bankruptcy shall not be put, or allowed to be put, at the examination unless the question is about a matter or thing connected with the administration of the relevant person's estate.

           (11)  A person being examined under this section shall answer all questions that the Court, the Registrar or the magistrate puts or allows to be put to him or her.

     (11AA)  Subject to any contrary direction by the Court, the Registrar or the magistrate, the relevant person is not excused from answering a question merely because to do so might tend to incriminate the relevant person.

        (11A)  The Court, the Registrar or the magistrate may direct a person who is being examined under this section to produce at the examination specified books, or specified classes of books, that are in the possession of the person and are relevant to matters about which the person is being, or is to be, examined.

        (11B)  Without limiting the generality of subsection (11A), a direction under that subsection may relate to books of an associated entity of the relevant person.

           (12)  Where a person admits on examination under this section that he or she is indebted to the relevant person, then, the Court, the Registrar or the magistrate, as the case may be, may, on the application of the trustee or a creditor, order the person to pay to the trustee, at or by such time and in such manner as the Court, the Registrar or the magistrate, as the case may be, thinks fit, the whole or a part of the amount in which the person admits he or she is indebted to the relevant person.

           (13)  Where a person admits on examination under this section that there is in the possession of the person property of the relevant person that is divisible among creditors, the Court, the Registrar or the magistrate, as the case requires, may, on the application of the trustee or a creditor, order the first-mentioned person to deliver the property to the trustee within a specified period, in a specified manner and on specified terms.

           (14)  The Court, the Registrar or the magistrate, as the case may be, may direct that the costs of a person, other than the relevant person, examined under this section shall be paid out of the estate of the relevant person.

           (15)  The Court, the Registrar or the magistrate, as the case may be, may cause such notes of the examination of a person under this section to be taken down in writing as the Court, the Registrar or the magistrate, as the case may be, thinks proper, and the person examined shall sign the notes.

           (17)  Notes taken down and signed by a person in pursuance of subsection (15), and the transcript of the evidence given at the examination of a person under this section:

                     (a)  may be used in evidence in any proceedings under this Act whether or not the person is a party to the proceeding; and

                     (b)  shall be open to inspection by the person, the relevant person, the trustee or a person who states in writing that he or she is a creditor without fee and by any other person on payment of the fee prescribed by the regulations.



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