§ (1) Where under the Debtors Act, 1869, an act or default committed by a person who has been adjudged bankrupt, or in respect of whose estate a receiving order has been made, is an offence unless the jury are satisfied that he had no intent to defraud, or (as the case may be) to conceal the state of his affairs or to defeat the law, it is hereby declared that the onus of proving the absence of such intent lies upon the person accused, and that it is not necessary to allege in the indictment or information charging the offence, or to prove, any such intent.
§ (2) Any acts or defaults of any person who has been adjudged bankrupt, or in respect of whose estate a receiving order has been made, which under any of the provisions of the Debtors Act, 1869, are made offences if committed within four months next before the presentation of a bankruptcy petition by or against such person, shall, as from the commencement of this Act, be offences if committed within six months next before the presentation of such a petition.
§ (3) Any act or default which under paragraphs 13, 14, or 15 of Section 11 of the Debtors Act, 1869, as amended by this Section, is an offence if committed within six months next before the presentation of 1217 a bankruptcy petition, shall be an offence if committed after the presentation of a bankruptcy petition and before the making of a receiving order.
§ (4) Paragraphs 14 and 15 of Section 11 of the Debtor's Act, 1869 (which make certain acts offences if committed by traders), shall extend to the like acts committed by persons who are not traders, and accordingly those paragraphs in relation to persons who are not traders shall have effect as if the words "being a trader," wherever they occur in those paragraphs, and the words "otherwise than in the ordinary way of his trade," which occur in paragraph 15, were omitted therefrom.
§ (5) Section 11 of the Debtors Act, 1869, shall be construed and have effect as if references to the trustee administering an estate for the benefit of creditors included references to the Official Receiver.
§ (6) Section 14 of the Debtors Act, 1869 (which relates to false claims by creditors), shall extend to persons claiming to be creditors, and accordingly in that Section after the word "creditor" there shall be inserted the words "or any person claiming to be a creditor."
§ (7) Notwithstanding anything in Section 16 of the Debtors Act, 1869, it shall not be obligatory on any court, in the absence of any application by the Official Receiver for such an order, to make an order under that Section for the prosecution of an offence, unless it appears to the court not only that there is a reasonable probability that the bankrupt will be convicted, but also that the circumstances are such as to render a prosecution desirable.
§ (8) The Debtors Act, 1869, shall have effect as if for Section 11 thereof there were substituted the provisions set forth in the First Schedule to this Act, being the said Section 11 as amended by subsequent enactments, including this Section.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I beg to move in Subsection (2) to leave out the word "of" ["Any acts or defaults of any person"] and to insert instead thereof the words "committed after the commencement of this Act by." The object of this and the three following Amendments is to prevent the Clause being retrospective.
§ Amendment agreed to.1218
§ Further Amendments made: In Subsection (2) leave out the words "as from the commencement of this Act."
§ In Sub-section (4) after the word "committed,"["committed by persons who are not traders"], insert the words "after the commencement of this Act."
§ In Subsection (8) after the word "shall" ["The Debtors Act, 1869, shall have effect "], insert the words "as regards any acts or defaults committed after the commencement of this Act."—[Mr. Cassel.]