The Usury Laws Repeal Act, 1855

The Usury Laws Repeal Act, 1855

The Usury Laws Repeal Act, 1855

[ACT NO.28 OF 1855] 1

[19th September, 1855.]

1. Short title given by the Indian Short Titles Act, 1897 (14 of 1897.

An Act for the repeal of the Usury Laws .

Preamble

WHEREAS it is expedient to repeal the laws now in force relating: to usury; It is enacted as follows: – -

This Act has been declared to be in force in the whole of India, except former Part B States and the Scheduled Districts, by the Laws Local Extent Act, 1874 (15 of 1874), s.3.

It has been declared, by notification under s.3 (a) of the Scheduled Districts Act, 1874 (14 of 1&74), to be in force in the following Scheduled Districts, namely:—

West Jalpaiguri, the Western Dvars, the Western Hills of Darjiling, the Darjeeling Tarai and the Damson Sub-division of the Darjeeling Distric. (Now in W.B.)

See Gazette of India,

1881, Pt. I, p.74.

The District of Hazaribagh. (Now in

Ditto

1881, Pt. I, p 507.

The District of Lohardaga (now the Ranchi District, see Calcutta Gazette, 1899, Pt. I, p.44).(Now in Bihar)

Ditto

1881, Pt. I, p.508.

The District of Manbhum (Now in Orissa)

Ditto

1881, Pt. I, p.509.

Pargana Dhalbhum in the District of Singhbhum(Now in Orissa)

Ditto

1881, Pt. I, p.510.

The Scheduled portion of the Mirzapur District. (Now in

Ditto

1879, Ft. I, p.383.

Jaunsar Bawar(Now in U.P. )

Ditto

1879, Pt.I, p.382.

The District of Lahaul(Now in H.P.)

Ditto

1886, Pt.I, p.301.

The Scheduled Districts of the C.P. (Now in Bihar)

Ditto

1879, Pt. I, p.771.

The Scheduled Districts in Ganjam and Vizagapatam (In Orissa & A.P. respectivly).

Ditto

1898, Pt. I, p.870.

The Districts of Kamrup, Naugong, Darrang, Sibsagar, Lakhimpur, Goalpara (excluding the Eastern Dvars) and Cachar (excluding the North Cachar Hills) ( Assam)

Ditto

1878, Pt. I, p.533.

It has been extended, under s.5 of the last-mentioned Act, to the following Scheduled Districts, namely:-

Kumaon and Garhwal (U.P.)

See Gazette of India

1876, Pt. I, p.606.

The Tarai of the Province of Agra (now U.P.)

Ditto

1876, Pt. I, p.505.}

The Act has been extended to:

(i) The transferred territories in Andhra Pradesh by A.P. Act 25 of 1961, S. 3 [ 7-9-1961]. (ii) The Merged States in former Madhya Pradesh by M.P. Act 12 of 1950, S. [ 3-4-1950].

2. Rate of interest to be decreed by courts.

In any suit in which interest is recoverable, the amount shall be adjudged or decreed by the Court at the rate (if any) agreed upon

(a) For the redemption of any security given after the commencement of this Act in respect of any loan made either before or after the commencement of this Act.]

3. Section

(1) Notwithstanding anything in the Usury Laws Repeal Act, 1855, where, in any suit to which this Act applies, whether heard ex parse or otherwise, the Court has reason to believe,-

(a) That the interest is excessive; and

(b) That the transaction was, as between the parties thereto, substantially unfair,

The Court may exercise all or any of the following powers, namely, may,-

(i) Re-open the transaction, take an account between the parties, and relieve the debtor of all liability in respect of any excessive interest;

(ii) Notwithstanding any agreement, purporting to close previous dealings and to create a new obligation, re-open any account already taken between them and relieve the debtor of all liability in respect of any excessive interest, and if anything has been paid or allowed in account in respect of such liability, order the creditor to repay any sum which it considers to be repayable in respect thereof;

(iii) Set aside either wholly or in part or revise or alter any security given or agreement made in respect of any loan, and if the creditor has parted with the security, order him to indemnify the debtor in such manner and to such extent as it may deem just:

Provided that, in the exercise of these powers, the Court shall] not-

(i) Re-open any agreement purporting to close previous dealings and to create a new obligation which has been entered into by the parties or any persons from whom they claim at a date more than 1[twelve] years from the date of the transaction;

(ii) Do anything which affects any decree of a Court.

Explanation.-In the case of a suit brought on a series of transactions the expression ” the transaction ” means, for the purposes of proviso (i), the first of such transactions.

(2) (a) In this section ” excessive ” means in excess of that which the Court deems to be reasonable having regard to the risk incurred

As it appeared, or must be taken to have appeared, to the creditor at the date of the loan.

(b) In considering whether interest is excessive under this section, the Court shall take into account any amounts charged or paid, whether in money or in kind, for expenses inquiries, fines, bonuses, premia, renewals or any other charges, and if compound interest is charged, the periods at which it is calculated, and the total advantage which may reasonably be taken to have been expected from the transaction.

(c) In considering the question of risk, the Court shall take into account the presence or absence of security and the value thereof, the financial condition of the debtor and the result of any previous transactions of the debtor, by way of loan, so far as the same were known, or must be taken to have been known, to the creditor.

(d) In considering whether a transaction was substantially unfair, the Court shall take into account all circumstances materially affecting the relations of the parties at the time of the loan or tending to show that the transaction was unfair, including the necessities or supposed necessities of the debtor at the time of the loan so far as the same were known, or must be taken to have been known, to the creditor.

Explanation.-Interest may of itself be sufficient evidence that the transaction was substantially unfair.

(3) This section shall apply to any suit, whatever its form may be, if such suit is substantially one for the recovery of a loan or for the enforcement of any agreement or security in respect of a loan 2[or for the redemption of any such security].

(4) Nothing in this section shall affect the rights of any transferee for value who satisfies the Court that the transfer to him was bona fide, and that he had at the time of such transfer no notice of any fact which would have entitled the debtor as against the lender to relief under this section.

For the purposes of this sub-section, the word “notice ” shall have the same meaning as is ascribed to it in section 4 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882.

(5) Nothing in this section shall be construed as derogating from the existing powers or jurisdiction of any Court.

1. Subs.by Act 28 of 1926, s.3, for ” six “.

2. Ins.by Act 28 of 1926, s, 3. 4. Section

On any application relating to the admission or amount of a proof of a loan in any insolvency proceedings, the Court may exercise the like powers as may be exercised under section 3 by a Court in a Suit to which this Act applies.

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