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31 1964

PAWNBROKERS ACT, 1964

PART III

Pawning, Redemption and Sale of Pledges

Pawn-tickets.

14. —(1) A pawnbroker shall on taking a pledge in pawn give to the pawner a pawn-ticket and shall not take a pledge in pawn unless the pawner takes a pawn-ticket.

(2) A pawn-ticket shall contain the particulars set out in the appropriate form in Part I or Part II of the Third Schedule.

(3) A pawnbroker who fails to comply with any requirement of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

Special contracts and special contract pawn-tickets.

15. —(1) Notwithstanding anything in this Act, a pawnbroker may make a special contract with a pawner in respect of a pledge on which the pawnbroker makes a loan of more than ten pounds.

(2) (a) Where a pawnbroker makes a special contract with a pawner, he shall at the time of the pawning give to the pawner a special contract pawn-ticket which shall contain the particulars set out in Part III of the Third Schedule and shall be signed by the pawnbroker.

(b) A pawnbroker shall not take a pledge in pawn under a special contract under this section unless the pawner takes a special contract pawn-ticket.

(3) A duplicate of the special contract pawn-ticket shall be signed by the pawner.

(4) A special contract pawn-ticket and the duplicate thereof shall not be subject to stamp duty.

(5) The provisions of this Act shall apply to a special contract under this section save so far as excluded by the terms of the contract.

(6) A pawnbroker who fails to comply with paragraph (a), or contravenes paragraph (b), of subsection (2) of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

Pawnbroker's books and records.

16. —(1) Every pawnbroker shall in the course of his business—

(a) keep a pledge book and a sale book in the form set out in Part I and Part II, respectively, of the Fourth Schedule, and

(b) use, as occasion requires, the documents set out in the Third Schedule in the forms therein specified.

(2) Every pawnbroker shall in the course of his business clearly and legibly enter, as occasion requires, in any book or document required to be kept or used by him such, particulars as are specified in the Third and Fourth Schedules and it shall be the duty of every pawnbroker to make all enquiries necessary for the purpose of complying with this subsection.

(3) A pawnbroker who fails to comply with any requirement of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

Loans in current money.

17. —(1) Every sum advanced by a pawnbroker in respect of goods taken in pawn by him shall be in good and lawful current money and no such sum shall be made up or completed by the inclusion of any other kind of value, benefit or payment.

(2) A pawnbroker who contravenes subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) Where a pawnbroker is convicted of an offence under this section, the court, whether or not it imposes a penalty—

(a) shall order the sum properly due to be paid by the pawnbroker to the pawner in good and lawful current money; and

(b) may in its discretion order the pawner to repay or return to the pawnbroker the whole or any part of the other kind of value, benefit or payment given to the pawner.

Division of loan prohibited.

18. —(1) A pawnbroker shall not divide the amount of the loan sought by any borrower into smaller sums.

(2) A pawnbroker who contravenes subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

General restrictions on pawnbroker.

19. —(1) A pawnbroker shall not—

(a) knowingly take anything in pawn from a person under the age of sixteen years whether offered for pawning by that person on his own behalf or on behalf of another person;

(b) take anything in pawn from a person who appears to be intoxicated;

(c) take anything in pawn from a person whom he knows to be a habitual drunkard;

(d) purchase or take in pawn or exchange a pawn-ticket issued by him or by another pawnbroker;

(e) purchase, except at an auction held under this Act, any pledge in pawn with him;

(f) make any contract or agreement with any person pawning or offering to pawn any article, or with the owner of any article, for the purchase, sale or disposition thereof within the redemption period;

(g) employ any person under the age of sixteen years to take goods in pawn;

(h) take in pawn any article where he is aware or has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the pawning would be a contravention of section 25;

(i) take in pawn any firearm or ammunition; or

(j) sell or otherwise dispose of any pledge except in accordance with this Act.

(2) A pawnbroker who contravenes any provision of subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) Where a pawnbroker is charged with taking a thing in pawn from a person under the age of sixteen years whether offered for pawning by that person on his own behalf or on behalf of another person, it shall be a good defence for him to show that he did not know and had no reason to suspect that the person was under the age of sixteen years.

Lawful interest and charges.

20. —(1) A pawnbroker may charge interest on a loan on a pledge at a rate not exceeding that specified in Part I of the Fifth Schedule.

(2) A pawnbroker may demand and take the charges specified in Parts II, III, IV and V of the Fifth Schedule.

(3) A pawnbroker shall, if so required at the time of the redemption of any pledge, give a receipt, which shall be in the form set out in Part IV of the Third Schedule, for the amount of the loan, interest and charges paid to him.

(4) Where a pawnbroker charges on a loan on a pledge interest greater than that permitted by subsection (1) of this section or takes or demands a charge greater than that permitted by subsection (2) of this section or fails or refuses to give a receipt in accordance with subsection (3) of this section, he shall be guilty of an offence.

Redemption periods.

21. —(1) Subject to subsections (3) and (4) of this section, the period within which a pledge (other than a pledge made up wholly or partly of gold, silver or other precious metal or of any precious or semi-precious stone) may be redeemed from a pawnbroker shall be the period of six months from the date on which the loan was made but, if the interest on the loan is paid within that period, the period within which such pledge may be redeemed shall be extended for a period of six months from the date up to which the interest was paid.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4) of this section, the period within which a pledge made up wholly or partly of gold, silver or other precious metal or of any precious or semi-precious stone may be redeemed shall be one year.

(3) There shall be added to the periods mentioned in subsections (1) and (2) of this section a further period of seven days during which a pledge may not be lawfully sold or disposed of by a pawnbroker and shall be redeemable.

(4) A pledge pawned for a sum exceeding two pounds and a pledge made up wholly or partly of gold, silver or other precious metal or of any precious or semi-precious stone shall further continue redeemable until it is disposed of as provided in this Act although the redemption period has expired.

Holder of pawn-ticket person entitled to redeem.

22. —(1) The holder for the time being of a pawn-ticket shall, as between the pawner and the pawnbroker, be presumed to be the person entitled to redeem the pledge to which the ticket relates and, accordingly, subject to the provisions of this Act, a pawnbroker shall, on delivery to him of a pawn-ticket and on payment of the loan and interest and any other charges payable under this Act, deliver the pledge to the person tendering the ticket and the pawnbroker shall retain the ticket for a period of not less than one year.

(2) A pawnbroker shall not, except as otherwise provided in this Act, be bound to deliver up a pledge unless the pawn-ticket in respect of it is delivered to him.

Offences relating to pawning and redeeming.

23. —Any person who—

(a) offers to a pawnbroker any article by way of pawn being unable or refusing to give a satisfactory account of the means by which he came into possession of the article;

(b) wilfully gives false information to a pawnbroker about the ownership of an article offered by him to the pawnbroker by way of pawn or about his name or address or the name or address of the owner of the article; or

(c) redeems or attempts to redeem or procures another person to redeem or attempt to redeem a pledge without being entitled to do so,

shall be guilty of an offence.

Failure to deliver pledge to person entitled.

24. —(1) Any pawnbroker who, without reasonable cause (proof of which shall lie on him), refuses or neglects to deliver a pledge to the person entitled thereto shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) Where a pawnbroker is charged with an offence under this section, the court may, if it thinks fit, whether or not it imposes a penalty, order—

(a) the delivery of the pledge to the person entitled thereto,

(b) the payment by that person of the whole or part of the amount of the loan, interest and other lawful charges, or

(c) both such delivery and payment.

Unlawful pawning of property of another.

25. —(1) A person who knowingly pawns any article which is the property of another person without the consent of that other person shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court may, in addition to any fine imposed, order him to pay to the owner of the article by way of compensation a sum not exceeding the full value of the article as determined by the court.

Delivery to owner of property unlawfully pawned.

26. —(1) Where—

(a) any person is convicted under this Act by any court of knowingly and wrongfully pawning with a pawnbroker any goods or chattels belonging to another person, or

(b) any person is convicted of stealing or of obtaining by means of fraud any goods or chattels and it appears to the court that the goods or chattels have been pawned with a pawnbroker, or

(c) it appears to a court in the course of any proceedings that any goods or chattels before it have been unlawfully pawned with a pawnbroker,

the court, upon proof of the ownership of the goods or chattels may, in its discretion, order the delivery thereof to the owner, either with or without payment by him to the pawnbroker of the whole or part of the amount of the loan obtained by virtue of the pawning.

(2) Before making an order under subsection (1) of this section, the court shall have regard to any failure on the part of the owner of the goods or chattels to exercise reasonable care in the protection of his property, except to the extent that the pawnbroker has been unjustly enriched.

Offences by pawnbroker in relation to certain pledges.

27. —If, with respect to a pledge for a loan of a sum exceeding two pounds or a pledge made up wholly or partly of gold, silver or other precious metal or of any precious or semi-precious stone, a pawnbroker—

(a) does not bona fide in accordance with this Act sell the pledge, or

(b) enters in his sale book a pledge as sold for a lesser sum than that for which it was sold,

he shall be guilty of an offence.

Owners and pawners of pledges not having pawn-tickets.

28. —(1) Any person who—

(a) claims to be the owner of a pledge but does not hold the pawn-ticket, or

(b) claims to be entitled to hold a pawn-ticket and alleges that it has been lost, mislaid, destroyed or stolen or taken from him by fraud,

may, on payment of the fee prescribed in Part V of the Fifth Schedule, request the pawnbroker to supply to him the appropriate form of statutory declaration set out in the Sixth Schedule.

(2) Where the person returns to the pawnbroker the form of statutory declaration duly completed within three days (excluding any day on which the pawnbroker is prohibited from carrying on business) after the form was supplied to him, he shall, as between himself and the pawnbroker, have the same rights and remedies in respect of the pledge as if he had produced the pawn-ticket.

(3) The pawnbroker is hereby indemnified—

(a) for refusing to deliver the pledge to any other person until the said three days have expired,

(b) for the delivering up of the pledge to the person, unless he had actual or constructive notice that the statutory declaration was false in any material particular, and

(c) for failing to deliver the pledge to the person immediately upon the return of the form of statutory declaration, where the failure is due to the difficulty of identifying the pledge by reason of the pledge number not being known.

(4) A pawnbroker who fails to comply with a request under subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

Unredeemed pledges.

29. —(1) Except in the case of a pledge made up wholly or partly of gold, silver or other precious metal or of any precious or semiprecious stone, a pledge pawned for a sum not exceeding two pounds shall, if not redeemed within the redemption period (including the seven days referred to in subsection (3) of section 21), become the pawnbroker's absolute property.

(2) A pledge pawned for a sum exceeding two pounds or made up wholly or partly of gold, silver or other precious metal or of any precious or semi-precious stone may, if not redeemed within the redemption period, be disposed of by the pawnbroker by sale by public auction held in accordance with this Act, but not otherwise.

Sale of pledges.

30. —(1) Every auction of pawnbrokers' pledges shall be conducted by an auctioneer nominated by the Minister.

(2) The Minister may, for the purpose of this section, nominate auctioneers for specified areas and may terminate a nomination at any time.

(3) Every auction of pawnbrokers' pledges shall be conducted in the premises of the auctioneer conducting the auction.

(4) Every auction of pawnbrokers' pledges shall be conducted in accordance with the regulations contained in the Seventh Schedule.

Right of pawnbroker to purchase at auction.

31. —A pawnbroker may, at an auction held under this Act, bid for and purchase a pledge pawned with him.

Right to inspect sale book and catalogue.

32. —(1) The person who holds a pawn-ticket in respect of a pledge pawned for a sum exceeding two pounds or any pledge made up wholly or partly of gold, silver or other precious metal or of any precious or semi-precious stone may, at any time before the expiration of twelve months from the date on which the goods are sold, request the pawnbroker with whom the goods were pawned to produce the sale book and catalogue containing the entries of the sale and may, on payment of the fee prescribed in Part IV of the Fifth Schedule, inspect such entries.

(2) A pawnbroker who fails to comply with a request under subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

Right of pawner to surplus on sale.

33. —(1) Where, in the case of a pledge pawned for a sum exceeding two pounds or any pledge made up wholly or partly of gold, silver or other precious metal or of any precious or semiprecious stone, the amount obtained on the sale of the pledge exceeds the amount of the loan given on the pledge with the addition of the interest and lawful charges thereon and the fees paid by the pawnbroker in respect of the sale, the holder of the pawn-ticket in respect of the pledge, may, subject to the provisions of this Act, demand and obtain the amount of the excess from the pawnbroker at any time before the expiration of twelve months from the date of the sale.

(2) If, however, in a case where there is an excess such as is referred to in subsection (1) of this section, it appears from the pawnbroker's sale book that, within six months before or after the date of the sale, on the sale of any other pledge pawned by the same pawner the amount obtained for such other pledge was less than the amount of the loan thereon with the addition of the interest and the lawful charges and the fees paid by the pawnbroker in respect of its sale, the pawnbroker may set off theamount of the deficit against the amount of the excess and shall be liable to pay only the balance (if any) to the holder of the pawnticket.

(3) A pawnbroker who, on demand, fails to pay to the holder of a pawn-ticket the amount which he is liable to pay to him under this section shall be guilty of an offence.

Offences by auctioneers.

34. —Every auctioneer who fails to comply with any requirement of this Act relating to the sale of pawnbrokers' pledges or acts in contravention of any provision of this Act relating to such sale shall be guilty of an offence.