Garnishee proceeding is a proceeding by which the decree-holder seeks to reach money or
property of the judgment-debtor in the hands of a third party (debtor of judgment-debtor).
By this process, an executing court may order a third party to pay to the judgment-creditor
(decree-holder) the debt from him to the judgment-debtor. The payment made by the
garnishee pursuant to the order passed by the executing court is a valid discharge to him
against his decree-holder.
Garnishee means a judgment-debtor’s debtor. He is a person who is liable to pay a debt to a
judgment-debtor or to deliver any movable property to him.
“Garnisher” is a judgment-creditor (decree-holder) who initiates garnishee proceedings to
reach judgment-debtors money or property held or possessed by third party (garnishee).
“Garnishment” is a proceeding by which the decree-holder seeks to get the property of the
“Garnishee proceeding” is a judicial proceeding in which a judgment-creditor (decreeholder) prays to executing court to direct third party who is a debtor of the judgmentdebtor to pay the amount to the garnisher (decree-holder).
“Garnishee order” is an order passed by a court ordering a garnishee not to pay money to
the judgment-debtor because the latter is indebted to the garnisher.
Suppose A owes Rs 1000 to B and B owes Rs 1000 to C. By a garnishee order, the court
may require A not to pay money owed by him to B, but instead to pay to C, since B owes
the said amount to C, who has obtained the order.
The primary object of a garnishee order is to make the debt due by the debtor of the
judgment-debtor available to the decree-holder in execution without driving him to a suit.
Rules 46-A to 46-I have been newly introduced in the Code by the Amendment Act ofThey lay down the procedure in garnishee cases. The Court may, in the case of debt (other than a debt secured by a mortgage or charge) which has been attached under Rule 46, upon the application of the attaching creditor, issue a notice to the garnishee liable
to pay such debt, calling upon him either to pay into court the debt due from him to the
judgment-debtor or so much thereof as may be sufficient to satisfy the decree and costs of
execution, or to appear and show cause why he should not do so.
The order contemplated by Rule 46-A is discretionary and the court refuse to pass such
order if it is inequitable. The discretion, however, must be exercised judicially. Where the
court finds that there is a bona fide dispute against the claim and the dispute is not false or
frivolous, it should not take action under this rule.
If money is payable to the judgment-debtor on certain contingencies, the garnishee cannot
be asked to make payment unless those contingencies take place. Similarly, garnishee
proceedings cannot be taken in respect of a debt which cannot be attached under the Code.”
Where the garnishee disputes his liability, the court must raise an issue, and determine the
liability of the garnishee.”
Rule 46-A requires a notice to be issued to a garnishee before a garnishee order is passed
against him. If such notice is not issued and opportunity of hearing is not afforded before
passing an order, the order would be null and void.
EFFECT OF PAYMENT
The payment made by the garnishee into the court pursuant to such notice shall be treated
as a valid discharge to him as against the judgment-debtor. The Court may direct that such
amount may be paid to the decree-holder towards the satisfaction of the decree and costs of
FAILURE TO PAY
Where neither the garnishee makes the payment into the court, as ordered, nor appears and
shows any cause in answer to the notice, the court may order the garnishee to comply with
such notice as if such order were a decree against him.
DETERMINATION OF ATTACHMENT
RULES 55-58 An attachment under the Code will be determined in the following
(i) Where the decretal amount is paid or the decree is otherwise satisfied;
(ii) Where the decree is reversed, or is set aside;
(iii) Where the court upholds objection against the attachment and makes an order
releasing the property;”
(iv) Where after the attachment the application for execution is dismissed;
(v) Where the attaching creditor withdraws attachment
(vi) Where the decree-holder fails to do what he the decree
(vii) Where the suit of the plaintiff is dismissed
(viii) Where the attachment is ordered before judgment and the defend- ant furnishes
(ix) Where there is agreement or compromise between the parties
(x) Where the attaching creditor abandons the attachment.
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