Disposal of property pledged - Maharashtra Money-Lending (Regulation) Ordinance, 2014

(1) If upon the inspection of record and documents made under section 16, the inspecting officer is satisfied that the money-lender is in possession of property pledge to him by a debtor as security for the loan advanced bymoney-lender in the course of his business of money-lending without a valid licence, the inspecting officer shall require the money-lender to deliver forthwith the possession of such property to him.

(2) Upon the property being delivered to him, the inspecting officer, if he is not the District Registrar, shall entrust it to the District Registrar and the District Registrar (when he is also the inspecting officer) shall keep it in his custody for being disposed of as hereinafter provided.

(3) On delivery of the property under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), the District Registrar shall, after due verification and identity thereof, return it to the debtor who has pledge it or, where the debtor is dead, to his known heirs.

(4) If the debtor or his known heirs cannot be traced, the District Registrar shall, within ninety days from the date of taking possession of the property, publish a notice in the prescribed manner inviting claims thereto. If, before the expiry of the said period, a claim is received, whether in answer to the notice or otherwise, he shall adjudicate upon and decide such claim. If the District Registrar is satisfied that any claim is valid, he shall deliver the possession of the property to the person claiming it on his giving a receipt therefor; and such delivery of the property to the person claiming it shall discharge the District Registrar of his liability in respect of such property against any other person. If the claim is refused, the property shall stand forfeited to the State Government.

(5) Whether the possession of the property pledged by a debtor cannot, for any reason (including identity thereof) be delivered to him, then the money-lenderto whom it was pledged shall be required to pay to the debtor or if he is dead, to his known heir, the value of such property if such debtor or, as the case may be, the heir claims the property. If the money-lender fails to pay the value, it may be recoverable from him as an arrear of land revenue; and on recovery of the value, it shall be delivered to the debtor by whom such property was pledge or, as the case may be, to the heir.

(6) If there is any difference of opinion between the money-lender and the debtor or, as the case may be, his heir on the question of value of the property or its identity, the question shall be referred to the Divisional Registrar for decision and his decision on the question shall be final.

(7) The value of the property may be determined with the assistance of the services of an expert appointed by the State Government in that behalf. The expert may be paid such honoraria as the State Government or any officer not below the rank of Tahsildar appointed by it may, by an order in writing, from time to time, in relation to any area or areas, determined.

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