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LAWS OF BRUNEI
REVISED EDITION 2000
(30th December 2000)
LAWS OF BRUNEI
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF HUSBAND AND WIFE
4. Rights and duties.
5. Abolition of wife’s dependent domiciled.
6. Capacity of married woman.
7. Property of a married woman.
8. Loans by wife to husband.
LAWS OF BRUNEI
9. Money and property derived from housekeeping allowance.
10. Gifts by husband to wife.
11. Remedies of married woman.
12. Wife’s antenuptial debts and liabilities.
13. Actions in tort between husband and wife.
14. Property disputes between husband and wife.
15. Married woman as an executrix or trustee.
17. Legal representative of married woman.
18. Liability for breach of trust.
MAINTENANCE OF WIVES AND CHILDREN
19. Court may order maintenance.
20. Duty to maintain child.
21. Enforcement of maintenance order.
22. Rescission and variation of order.
23. Power of a court of a Magistrate to refuse order.
25. Order for the protection of a spouse or a child.
26. Orders under section 25.
27. Arrest for breach of order under section 25.
28. Powers of High Court.
ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS
30. Power to make an attachment of earnings order.
31. Nature of order.
32. Effect of order.
33. Duty of defendant and employer to comply.
34. Additional powers of court.
35. Obligation to notify changes.
36. Power of court to determine earnings.
37. Payment of money under an order.
38. Where earnings paid by Government or out of Consolidated Fund.
MARRIED WOMEN ACT
An Act to provide for the rights of married women, and to provide for matters incidental thereto
Commencement: 1st August 1999
1. This Act may be cited as the Married Women Act.
2. This Act shall not apply in any matter if any of the partiesprofesses the Islamic religion.
3. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“defendant”, in relation to a maintenance order or a related attachment of earnings order, means the person liable to makepayments under the maintenance order;
“earnings”, in relation to a defendant, means any sums payable tohim
(a) by way of wages or salary, including any fees, bonus, commission, overtime pay or other emoluments payable in addition to wages orsalary by the person paying the wages or salary or payable under a contract ofservice;
(b) by way of pension, including an annuity in respect of past services, whether or not the services were rendered to the person paying the annuity, and including periodical payments by way of compensation for the loss,
abolition or relinquishment, or any diminution in the emoluments, of any office or employment;
“employer” means a person by whom, as a principal and not as anemployee or agent, earnings fall to be paid to a defendant, and references topayment of earnings shall be construed accordingly;
“maintenance order” means —
(a) an order for the payment of a monthly allowance made or deemedto be made by a court under this Act;
(b) an order for the payment of periodical sums by way ofmaintenance or alimony to a wife or for the benefit of any child under any otherlaw; and
(c) a maintenance order registered or confirmed by the court under the Maintenance Orders Reciprocal Enforcement Act (Chapter 175).
RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF HUSBAND AND WIFE
Rights and duties.
4. (1) Upon the solemnization of marriage, the husband and the wifeshall be mutually bound to cooperate with each other in safeguarding theinterests of the union and in caring and providing for the children.
(2) The husband and the wife shall have the right separately to engagein any trade or profession or in social activities.
(3) The wife shall have the right to use her own surname and nameseparately.
(4) The husband and the wife shall have equal rights in the running of thematrimonial household.
Abolition of wife’s dependent domicile.
5. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the domicile of a married womanshall, instead of being the same as her husband’s by virtue only ofmarriage, be ascertained by reference to the same factors as in the case of any other individual capable of having an independent domicile.
(2) Where immediately before the date of commencement a woman was marriedand then had her husband’s domicile by dependence, she is to be treated asretaining that domicile (as a domicile of choice, if it is not also her domicileof origin) unless it is changed by acquisition or revival of another domicileeither on or after that date.
Capacity of married women.
6. Subject to the provisions of this Act, a married woman shall—
(a) be capable of acquiring, holding and disposing of, anyproperty;
(b) be capable of rendering herself, and being rendered, liable inrespect of any tort, contract, debt or obligation;
(c) be capable of suing and being sued in her own name either in tortor in contract or otherwise and shall be entitled to all remedies and redressfor all purposes; and
(d) be subject to the law relating to bankruptcy and to theenforcement of judgments and orders,
in all respects as if she were a feme sole.
Property of a married woman.
7. (1) Subject to provisions of this Act, all property which—
(a) immediately before the date of commencement was theproperty (including the separate property) of a married woman or held for herseparate use in equity;
(b) belongs at the time of her marriage to a woman married after thedate of commencement; or
(c) after the date of commencement is acquired by or devolves upon a married woman,
shall belong to her in all respects as if she were a feme sole and may be disposed of accordingly.
(2) Noting in subsection (1) shall —
(i) be construed as affecting adversely the right of any married womanto any property which she had immediately before the date of commencement;or
(ii) interfere with or render inoperative any valid restriction uponanticipation or alienation attached to the enjoyment of any property by virtue of any provision contained in any written law in forceimmediately before the date of commencement, or in any instrument executedbefore that date.
(3) Any instrument executed on or after the date of commencement shall, inso far as it purports to attach to the enjoyment of any property by a woman anyrestriction upon anticipation or alienation which could not have been attachedto the enjoyment of that property by a man, be void.
(4) For the purposes of this section relating to restrictions uponanticipation or alienation —
(a) an instrument attaching such a restriction as aforesaid,executed on or after the date of commencement, in pursuance of an obligationimposed before that date to attach such a restriction, shall be deemed to havebeen executed before that date;
(b) a provision contained in an instrument made in exercise of aspecial power of appointment shall be deemed to be contained in that instrumentonly and not in the instrument by which the power was created; and
(c) the will of any testator who dies after the date ofcommencement, shall (notwithstanding the actual date of the execution thereof)be deemed to have been executed after that date.
Loans by wife to husband.
8. Any money or other estate of the wife, lent or entrusted by her toher husband for the purpose of any trade or business carried on by him orotherwise, shall be treated as assets of her husband’s estate in case of his bankruptcy under reservation of the wife’s claim to adividend as a creditor for the amount or value of such money or other estateafter, but not before, all claims of the other creditors of the husband for valuable consideration in money or money’s worth have been satisfied.
Money and property derived from housekeeping allowance.
9. If any question arises as to the right of a husband or wife tomoney derived from any allowance made by the husband for the expenses ofthe matrimonial home or for similar purposes, or to any property acquired out ofthat money, the money or property shall, in the absence of any agreementbetween them to the contrary, be treated as belonging to the husband and thewife in equal shares.
Gifts by husband to wife.
10. Nothing in this Part shall give validity, as against creditorsof the husband, to any gift by a husband to his wife of any property which,after such gift, continues to be in the order and disposition or reputedownership of the husband, or to any deposit or other investment of moneys of the husband made by or in the name of his wife in fraud of his creditiors;but any moneys so deposited or invested may be followed as if this Act had notbeen passed.
Remedies of married woman.
11. (1) Every married woman shall have in her own name against allpersons whomsoever, including her husband, the same civil remedies andalso, subject as regards her husband to subsection (3), the same remedies andredress by way of criminal proceedings for the protection and security of herown property as if that property belonged to her as a feme sole.
(2) In any charge or other proceeding under this section it shall besufficient to allege that property to be her property.
(3) No criminal proceedings shall be taken against a husband or wife while they are living together as to or concerning any property claimed by her or him respectively nor while they are living apart as to or concerning any act done by the husband or wife while they were living together concerning property claimed by the wife or husband respectively unless that property has been wrongly taken by the husband or wife when leaving or deserting or about to leave or desert the wife or husband respectively.
(4) In any action or proceeding by a woman or by a next friend on herbehalf, the court before which that action or proceeding is pending shall havejurisdiction by judgment or order to order payment of the costs of the oppositeparty out of property which is subject to a restraint on anticipation, and mayenforce such payment by the appointment of a receiver and the sale of theproperty or otherwise as is just.
Wife’s antenuptial debts and liabilities.
12. (1) A woman after her marriage shall continue to be liablefor all debts contracted and all contracts entered into or wrongs committed byher before her marriage, including any sums for which she is liable asa contributory, either before or after she has been placed on the list of contributories under and by virtue of the Companies Act (Chapter39).
(2) A woman referred to in subsection (1) may be sued for any such debt andfor any liability in damages or otherwise under any such contract or in respectof any such wrong.
Actions in tort between husband and wife.
13. (1) Subject to this section, each of the parties to amarriage shall have the like right of action in tort against the other as if they were not married.
(2) Where an action in tort is brought by one of the parties to amarriage against the other during the subsistence of the marriage, the court maystay the action if it appears —
(a) that no substantial benefit would accrue to either party fromthe continuation of the proceedings; or
(b) that the question or questions in issue could more convenientlybe disposed of on an application made under section 14,
and without prejudice to paragraph (b) the court may, in such an action, either exercise any power which could be exercised on an application under section 14, or give such directions as it thinks fit for the disposal under that section of any question arising in the proceedings.
Property disputes between husband and wife.
14. (1) In any question between husband and wife as to the titleto or possession of property, either party may apply by summons or otherwise ina summary way to a Judge of the Supreme Court, who may make such order withrespect to the property in dispute and as to the costs of and consequent on theapplication as he thinks fit, or may direct the application to stand over, andany inquiry touching the matters in question to be made in such manner as hethinks fit.
(2) Any order made under this section shall be subject to appeal in thesame way as an order made by a Judge in an action pending in the High Court.
(3) The Judge may, if either party so requires, hear any suchapplication in his chambers.
(4) An application may be made under this section by either of the partiesto a marriage notwithstanding that their marriage has been dissolved or annulledso long as the application is made within the period of three years beginningwith the date on which the marriage was dissolved or annulled; and referencesin this section to a husband or a wife shall be construedaccordingly.
Married woman as an executrix or trustee.
15. A married woman who is an executrix or administratrix, alone orjointly with any other person or persons, of the estate of any deceasedperson, or a trustee alone or jointly as aforesaid of property subject to anytrust, may sue or be sued, and may transfer or join in transferring anymovable or immovable property belonging to the estate or trust without herhusband as if she were a feme sole.
16. (1) Nothing in this Part shall interfere with or affect any settlement or agreement for a settlement made or to be made, whether before or after marriage, respecting the property of any married woman, or shall interfere with or render inoperative any restriction against anticipation at present attached or to be hereafter attached to the enjoyment of any property or income by a woman under any settlement, agreement for a settlement, will or other instrument.
(2) No restriction against anticipation contained in any settlement oragreement for a settlement of a woman’s own property, to be made orentered into by herself, shall have any validity against debts contracted by herbefore marriage, and no settlement or agreement for a settlement shall haveany greater force or validity against creditors of that woman than a like settlement or agreement for a settlement made or entered into by aman would have against his creditors.
Legal representative of married woman.
17. For the purposes of this Part, the legal personal representativeof any married woman shall, in respect of her estate, have the same rightsand liabilities as she would have, and be subject to the same jurisdiction asshe would be, if she were living.
Liability for breach of trust.
18. The provisions of this Part as to liabilities of marriedwomen shall extend to all liabilities by reason of any breach of trust or devastavit committed by any married woman being a trustee or executrix or administratrix either before or after her marriage, and her husbandshall not be subject to those liabilities unless he has acted or intermeddled inthe trust or administration.
MAINTENANCE OF WIVES AND CHILDREN
Court may order maintenance.
19. (1) Any married woman whose husband neglects or refuses toprovide her reasonable maintenance may apply to a court of a Magistrate and thatcourt may, on due proof thereof, order the husband to pay a monthly allowanceor a lump sum for her maintenance.
(2) If any person neglects or refuses to maintain his legitimate or illegitimate child, a court of a Magistrate may, on due proof thereof, order that person to pay a monthly allowance or a lump sum for the maintenance of that child.
(3) The allowance referred to in subsections (1) and (2) shall bepayable from such date as the court directs.
(4) The court, when ordering maintenance for a wife or child under thissection, shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case including thefollowing matters —
(a) the financial needs of the wife or child;
(b) the income, earning capacity (if any), property and otherfinancial resources of the wife or child;
(c) any physical or mental disability of the wife or child; and
(d) the standard of living enjoyed by the applicant before thehusband or father neglected or refused to provide reasonablemaintenance for the wife or child.
(5) An application for the maintenance of a child under subsection
(2) may be made by any person who is the guardian or has the actual custodyof the child.
(6) The court shall have the same powers as are conferred by section 34 in respect of proceedings relating to an attachment of earnings order.
Duty to maintain child.
20. (1) Where a person has accepted a child who is not his childas a member of his family, it shall be his duty to maintain that child while he remains a child, so far as the father or the mother of the child failsto do so, and the court may make such orders as may be necessary to ensurethe welfare of the child:
Provided that the duty imposed by this subsection shall cease if the child istaken away by his father or mother.
(2) Any sums expended by a person maintaining that child shall berecoverable as a debt from the father or mother of the child.
Enforcement of maintenance order.
21. (1) If any person fails to make one or more payments required tobe made under a maintenance order, the court which made the order may forevery breach of the order by warrant direct the amount due to be levied in themanner by law provided for levying fines imposed by a court of a Magistrate, ormay sentence him to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month for eachmonth’s allowance remaining unpaid.
(2) A maintenance order made by the High Court may be enforced by a courtof a Magistrate in accordance with subsection (1) as if that order had been made by the court of a Magistrate, except that a court of a Magistrateshall have no power to vary an order of the High Court.
Rescission and variation of order
22. (1) On the application of any person receiving or ordered to paya monthly allowance under this Part and on proof of a change in thecircumstances of that person, his wife or child, or for other good cause beingshown to the satisfaction of the court, the court by which the order was mademay rescind the order or may vary it as it thinks fit.
(2) Without prejudice to the extent of the discretion conferred upon thecourt by subsection (1), the court may, in considering any application madeunder this section, take into consideration any change in the general cost ofliving which may have occurred between the date of the making of the ordersought to be varied and the date of the hearing of the application.
Power of a court of a Magistrate to refuse order
23. If in the opinion of the court of a Magistrate the matters inquestion between the parties or any of them would be more conveniently dealtwith by the High Court, the court may refuse to make an order and in that casethere shall be no appeal from its decision:
Provided that the High Court or a Judge thereof shall have power by order inany proceeding in the High Court relating to or comprising the samesubject-matter as the application refused as aforesaid or any part thereof todirect the court to rehear or determine the same.
24. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Part, an appeal shall liefrom any order or the refusal of any order by a court of a Magistrate under thisPart to the High Court exercising appellate civil jurisdiction under theprovisions of the Supreme Court Act (Chapter 5).
(2) No appeal made under the provisions of this Part from any order shalloperate as a stay of such order unless the High Court or the court of aMagistrate so directs.
Order for the protection of a spouse or a child.
25. (1) Either party to a marriage may, whether or not anapplication is made by that party for an order under section 19, apply toa court of a Magistrate for an order under this section.
(2) Where on an application for an order under this section the court is satisfied that the respondent has used, or threatened to use, violenceagainst the person of the applicant or a child of the family and that itis necessary for the protection of the applicant or a child of the family thatan order should be made under this subsection, the court may make one or both ofthe following orders —
(a) an order that the respondent shall not use, or threaten to use,violence against the person of the applicant;
(b) an order that the respondent shall not use, or threaten to use,violence against the person of a child of the family.
(3) Where on an application for an order under this section the court issatisfied —
(a) that the respondent has used violence against the person of theapplicant or a child of the family;
(b) that the respondent has threatened to use violence againstthe person of the applicant or a child of the family and has usedviolence against some other person; or
(c) that the respondent has in contravention of an order made under subsection (2) threatened to use violence against the person of the applicant or a child of the family,
and that the applicant or a child of the family is in danger of being physically injured by the respondent (or would be in such danger if the applicant or child were to enter the matrimonial home) the court may make one or both of the following orders —
(i) an order requiring the respondent to leave the matrimonial home;
(ii) an order prohibiting the respondent from entering the matrimonialhome.
(4) Where the court makes an order under subsection (3), the court may, ifit thinks fit, make a further order requiring the respondent to permit theapplicant to enter and remain in the matrimonial home.
(5) Where on an application for an order under this section the court issatisfied that there is imminent danger of physical injury to the applicant or achild of the family, the court may make an order under subsection (2)notwithstanding —
(a) that the summons has not been served on the respondent or hasnot been served on the respondent within a reasonable time before the hearing ofthe application; or
(b) that the summons requires the respondent to appear at some othertime or place,
and any order made by virtue of this subsection is referred to in thissection and in section 26 as an expedited order.
(6) An expedited order shall not take effect until the date on which noticeof the making of the order is served on the respondent in such manner as may be prescribed or, if the court specifies a later date as the date on whichthe order is to take effect, that later date, and an expedited order shall ceaseto have effect on whichever of the following dates occurs first —
(a) the date of the expiration of the period of 28 days beginningwith the date of the making of the order; or
(b) the date of commencement of the hearing of the application foran order under this section.
(7) An order under this section may be made subject to such exceptions or conditions as may be specified in the order and subject, in the case of an expedited order, to subsection (6), may be made for such term as may be so specified.
(8) The court in making an order under subsection (2) may include provisionthat the respondent shall not incite or assist any other person to use, orthreaten to use, violence against the person of the applicant or, as the casemay be, the child of the family.
Orders under section 25.
26. (1) A court of a Magistrate shall, on an application made byeither under party to the marriage in question, have power by order to vary or revoke any order made under section 25.
(2) Rules may be made for the purpose of giving effect to section 25 andany such rules may in particular, but without prejudice to the generality of this subsection, make provision for the hearing without delay of anyapplication for an order under subsection (3) of section 25.
(3) The expiry by virtue of subsection (4) of section 25 of anexpedited order shall not prejudice the making of a further expedited orderunder that section.
(4) Except so far as the exercise by the respondent of a right tooccupy the matrimonial home is suspended or restricted by virtue of an ordermade under subsection (3) of section 25, an order made under that section shall not affect any estate or interest in the matrimonial home of therespondent or any other person.
Arrest for breach of order under section 25.
27. (1) Where a court of a Magistrate makes an order under section 25 which provides that the respondent shall not —
(a) use violence against the person of the applicant;
(b) use violence against a child of the family; or
(c) enter the matrimonial home,
the court may, if it is satisfied that the respondent has physically injured the applicant or a child of the family and considers that he is likely to do so again, attach a power of arrest to the order.
(2) Where by virtue of subsection (1) a power of arrest is attached to an order, a police officer may arrest without warrant a person whom he has reasonable cause for suspecting of being in breach of any such provision of the order as is mentioned in paragraphs (a) , (b) or (c) of subsection (1) by reason of that person’s use of violence or, as the case may be, his entry into the matrimonial home.
(3) Where a court has made an order under section 25 but has not attachedto the order a power of arrest under subsection (1), then, if at any time theapplicant for that order considers that the other party to the marriage inquestion has disobeyed the order, he may apply for the issue of a warrant forthe arrest of that other party and a court shall not issue a warrant on such anapplication unless —
(a) the application is substantiated on oath; and
(b) the court has reasonable grounds for believing that the otherparty to the marriage has disobeyed the order.
(4) The court before whom any person is brought by virtue of awarrant issued under subsection (3) may remand him.
Power of High Court.
28. The High Court shall have the jurisdiction and powers which belongto and are exercisable by a court of a Magistrate under this Part.
29. All applications to a court of a Magistrate under this Part shall be made and heard in the same manner and in accordance with the same procedure as applications for summonses are made and heard by the court of a Magistrate under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (Chapter 7) and an application for maintenance under this Part shall be deemed to be a complaint for the purposes of that Code.
ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS
Power to make an attachment of earning order.
30. (1) If any person fails to comply with any maintenance order the court which made the order may for every breach of the order make an attachment of earnings order.
(2) The court shall not, except with the consent of the defendant,make an attachment of earnings order to secure payments in accordance with amaintenance order if it appears to it that the defendant’s failure tocomply with the maintenance order is not due to his wilful refusal or culpable neglect.
(3) A court of a Magistrate may make an attachment of earnings order to secure payments the defendant is required to make under amaintenance order made by the High Court.
Nature of order
31. (1) An attachment of earnings order shall require the person to whom the order in question is directed, being a person appearing tothe court to be the defendant’s employer, to make out of the earningsfalling to be paid to the defendant payments in satisfaction of the order.
(2) The amount to be prescribed in an attachment of earnings order shall besuch sum as to the court seems reasonable after taking into account theresources and needs of the defendant and the needs of persons for whom he mustor reasonably should provide.
(3) An attachment of earnings order shall contain, so far as they are knownto the court making the order, such particulars as may be prescribed for thepurpose of enabling the defendant to be identified by the person to whom theorder is directed.
(4) An attachment of earnings order or any variation thereof shallnot come into force until the expiration of 7 days from the date when a copy ofthe order is served on the person to whom the order is directed.
(5) An attachment of earnings order shall designate the officer towhom the payments under the order are to be made.
Effect of order.
32. (1) When an attachment of earnings order is made, all other proceedings for the enforcement of the related maintenance order begunbefore the making of the attachment of earnings order shall be suspended.
(2) The court by which an attachment of earnings order has been mademay, if it thinks fit, on the application of the defendant or a personentitled to receive payments under the related maintenance order, make an orderdischarging or varying the attachment of earnings order.
(3) An attachment of earnings order shall cease to have effect —
(a) upon the issue of a warrant directing that the amount dueunder the related maintenance order shall be levied in the mannerprovided by law for levying fines;
(b) by upon the making of an order sentencing the defendant toimprisonment for failure to comply with the related maintenance order;and
(c) upon the rescission of the related maintenance order,
and where an attachment of earnings order ceases to have effect as aforesaidthe court making the order shall give notice of the cessation to the person towhom the order was directed.
Duty of defendant and employer to comply.
33. (1) A person to whom an attachment of earnings order isdirected shall, notwithstanding anything in any other written law but subject to the provisions of this Part, comply with the order or, if the order issubsequently varied under section 32 with the order as varied.
(2) Where on any occasion on which earnings fall to be paid to adefendant there are in force two or more attachment of earnings ordersrelating to those earnings, then, for the purpose of complying with this Part,the employer shall —
(a) deal with those orders according to the respective dates onwhich they came into force disregarding any later order until all earlierorders have been dealt with; and
(b) deal with any later order as if the earnings to which it relates were the residue of the defendant’s earnings after the making of any payment under this Part in pursuance of any earlier order.
(3) An employer who, in pursuance of an attachment of earnings order, makes a payment under this Part, shall give to the defendant a statementin writing specifying the amount of that payment.
(4) A person to whom an attachment of earnings order is directed who, atthe time when a copy of the order is served on him, has on no occasionduring the period of one month immediately preceding that time been thedefendant’s employer shall forthwith give notice in writing to that effectin the prescribed form to the court which made the order.
Additional powers of court.
34. (1) Where proceedings relating to an attachment of earningsorder are brought in any court, the court may, either before or at the hearing—
(a) order the defendant to give to the court, within such period asmay be specified by the order, a statement signed by him of —
(i) the name and address of his employer, or of each of his employers if hehas more than one;
(ii) such particulars as to the defendant’s earnings as may be sospecified; and
(iii) such prescribed particulars as may be so specified for the purpose ofenabling the defendant to be identified by any employer of his; and
(b) order any person appearing to the court to be an employer of thedefendant to give to the court, within such period as may be specified bythe order, a statement signed by him or on his behalf of such particulars as maybe specified by the order of all earnings of the defendant which fell to be paidby that person during such period as may be so specified.
(2) A document purporting to be such a statement as is mentioned insubsection (1) shall, in any such proceedings as are so mentioned, bereceived in evidence and be deemed to be such a statement without further proofunless the contrary is shown.
Obligation to notify changes.
35. While an attachment of earnings order is in force —
(a) the defendant shall, from time to time, notify in writing thecourt which made the order of every occasion on which he leaves any employment,or becomes employed or re-employed, not later (in each case) than seven daysfrom the date on which he did so;
(b) the defendant shall, on any occasion when he becomes employed or re-employed, include in his notification under paragraph (a) particulars of his earnings and anticipated earnings from the relevant employment; and
(c) any person who becomes the defendant’s employer andknows that the order is in force and by what court it was made shall, withinseven days of his becoming the defendant’s employer or of acquiringthat knowledge (whichever is the later), notify that court in writing that he is the defendant’s employer, and include in his notification astatement of the defendant's earnings and anticipated earnings.
Power of court to determine earnings.
36. (1) The court by which an attachment of earnings order has been shall, on the application of the person to whom the order is directed or ofthe defendant or of the person in whose favour the order was made, determinewhether payments to the defendant of a particular class or descriptionspecified by the application are earnings for the purposes of that order; andthe person to whom the order is directed shall be entitled to give effect to anydetermination for the time being in force under this subsection.
(2) A person to whom an attachment of earnings order is directed whomakes an application under subsection (1) shall not incur any liability forfailing to comply with the order as regards any payments of the class ordescription specified by the application which are made by him to thedefendant while the application, or any appeal in consequence thereof, ispending:
Provided that this subsection shall not apply as regards such payments ifthat person subsequently withdraws the application or, as the case may be,abandons the appeal.
Payment of money under an order
37. (1) The court to whom an employer pays any sum in pursuance ofan attachment of earnings order shall pay that sum to the person entitledto receive payments under the related maintenance order as is specified by theattachment of earnings order.
(2) Any sums received by virtue of an attachment of earnings order by thecourt shall be deemed to be payments made by the defendant, so as to dischargefirst any sums for the time being due and unpaid under the related maintenanceorder (a sum due at an earlier date being discharged before a sum due at alater date) and secondly any costs incurred in proceedings relating to themaintenance order which were payable by the defendant when the attachment ofearnings order was made or last varied.
Where earnings paid by Government or out of Consolidated Fund.
38. (1) In relation to earnings falling to be paid by the Governmentor out of the Consolidated Fund, the earnings shall be treated as falling to bepaid by the chief officer for the time being of the department, office or otherbody concerned.
(2) If any question arises, in connection with any proceedings relatingto an attachment of earnings order, as to what department, officer or other body is concerned for the purposes of this section, or as to who for thosepurposes is the chief officer thereof, that question shall be referred to anddetermined by the Minister of Finance, but the Minister of Finance shall not beunder any obligation to consider reference under this subsection unless itis made by a court.
(3) A document purporting to set out a determination of the Minister ofFinance under subsection (2) and to be signed by an officer of the Ministry of Finance shall, in any such proceedings as are mentioned in thatsubsection, be admissible in evidence and deemed to contain an accuratestatement of such a determination unless the contrary is shown.
39. (1) Any person who —
(a) fails to comply with subsections (1) or (4) of section 33 or anorder of a court under subsection (1) of section 34;
(b) gives such a notice as is mentioned in subsection (4) of section 33 or a statement in pursuance of an order of a court under subsection (1) of section 34, which notice or statement he knows to be false in a material particular; or
(c) recklessly gives such a notice or statement which is false in amaterial particular,
shall, subject to subsection (2), be guilty of an offence and shall be liableon conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term notexceeding one year or to both.
(2) It shall be a defence for a person charged with failing to comply withsubsection (1) of section 33 to prove that he took all reasonable steps tocomply with the attachment of earnings order to which the failure relates.
40. The Chief Justice may, with the approval of His Majesty the Sultanand Yang Di-Pertuan, make rules generally for the carrying out of theprovisions of this Act.