Rule 37: Discretionary power to permit judgment-debtor to show cause against detention in prison—
(1) Notwithstanding anything in these rules, where an application is for the execution of a decree for the payment of money by the arrest and detention in the civil prison of a judgment-debtor who is liable to be arrested in pursuance of the application, the Court shall, instead of issuing a warrant for his arrest, issue a notice calling upon him to appear before the Court on a day to be specified in the notice and show cause why he should not be committed to the civil prison:
Provided that such notice shall not be necessary if the Court is satisfied, by affidavit, or otherwise, that, with the object or effect of delaying the execution of the decree, the judgment-debtor is likely to abscond or leave the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Court.
(2) Where appearance is not made in obedience to the notice, the Court shall, if the decree-holder so requires, issue a warrant for the arrest of the judgment-debtor.
Rule 38: Warrant for arrest to direct judgment-debtor to be brought up—
Every warrant for the arrest of a judgment-debtor shall direct the officer entrusted with its execution to bring him before the Court with all convenient speed, unless the amount which he has been ordered to pay, together with the interest thereon and the costs (if any) to which he is liable, be sooner paid.
Rule 39: Subsistence allowance—
(1) No judgment-debtor shall be arrested in execution of a decree unless and until the decree-holder pays into Court such sum as the Judge thinks sufficient for the subsistence of the judgment-debtor from the time of his arrest until he can be brought before the Court.
(2) Where a judgment-debtor is committed to the civil prison in execution of a decree, the Court shall fix for his subsistence such monthly allowance as he may be entitled to according to the scales fixed under Section 57, or, where no such scales have been fixed, as it considers sufficient with reference to the class to which he belongs.
(3) The monthly allowance fixed by the Court shall be supplied by the party on whose application the judgment-debtor has been arrested by monthly payments in advance before the first day of each month.
(4) The first payment shall be made to the proper officer of the Court for such portion of the current month as remains unexpired before the judgment-debtor is committed to the civil prison, and the subsequent payments (if any) shall be made to the officer in charge of the civil prison.
(5) Sums disbursed by the decree-holder for the subsistence of the judgment-debtor in the civil prison shall be deemed to be costs in the suit:
Provided that the judgment-debtor shall not be detained in the civil prison or arrested on account of any sum so disbursed.
Rule 40. Proceedings on appearance of judgment-debtor in obedience to notice or after arrest—
(1) When a judgment-debtor appears before the Court in obedience to a notice issued under Rule 37, or is brought before the Court after being arrested in execution of a decree for the payment of money the Court shall proceed to hear the decree-holder and take all such evidence as may be produced by him in support of his application for execution and shall then give the judgment-debtor an opportunity of showing cause why he should not be committed to the civil prison.
(2) Pending the conclusion of the inquiry under sub-rule (1) the Court may, in its discretion, order the judgment-debtor to be detained in the custody of an officer of the Court or release him on his furnishing security to the satisfaction of the Court for his appearance when required.
(3) Upon the conclusion of the inquiry under sub-rule (1) the Court may, subject to the provisions of Section 51 and to the other provisions of this Code, make an order for the detention of the judgment-debtor in the civil prison and shall in that event cause him to be arrested if he is not already under arrest:
Provided that in order to give the judgment-debtor an opportunity of satisfying the decree, the Court may, before making the order of detention, leave the judgment-debtor in the custody of an officer of the Court for a specified period not exceeding fifteen days or release him on his furnishing security to the satisfaction of the Court for his appearance at the expiration of the specified period if the decree be not sooner satisfied.
(4) A judgment-debtor released under this rule may be re-arrested.
(5) When the Court does not make an order of detention under sub-rule (3), it shall disallow the application and, if the judgment-debtor is under arrest, direct his release.
IMPORTANT CASE LAWS
1. Arrest under the Code
V. Ganesa Nadar v. K. Chellathai Ammal, AIR 1989 Mad 8 : “It is open to the decree-holder to file a petition for attachment and sale of the immovable property. The decree-holder in this case has not taken recourse to those provisions. It is obvious that he is utilising the provisions of O. 21, R. 38, C.P.C, merely as a lever to force payment without taking recourse to the proceedings for attachment and sale of the immovable property. The petition clearly appears to be wholly mala fide.”
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