Particulars of the Property that are not Liable to Attachment and Sale in Execution of a Decree in India

The following particulars of property shall not be liable to attachment and sale in execution of a decree:

(a) The necessary wearing apparel, cooking vessels, beds and bedding of the judgment-debtor, his wife and children, and such personal ornaments as, in accordance with religious usage, cannot be parted with by any woman;

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(b) Tools of artisans, and, where the judgment-debtor is an agriculturist, his implements of husbandry and such cattle and seed grain as may, in the opinion of the court, be necessary to enable him to earn his livelihood as such, and such portion of agricultural produce as may have been declared to be free from liability by the State Government.


(c) House and other buildings (without materials and the sites thereof and land immediately appurtenant thereto and necessary for their enjoyment) belonging to an agriculturist or a laborer or a domestic servant and occupied by him;

(d) Books of account;

(e) A mere right to sue for damages;


(f) Any right of personal service;

(g) Stipends and gratuities allowed to pensioners of the government or of a local authority or of any other employment, or payable out of any service family pension fund notified in the Official Gazette by the Central Government or the State Government in this behalf, and political pensions;

(h) The wages of laborers and domestic servants, whether payable in money or in kind;

(i) Salary to the extent of the one thousand rupees and two-thirds of the remainder in execution of any decree other than a decree for maintenance;


Provided that, where any part of such portion of the salary as is liable to attachment has been under attachment, whether continuously or intermittently, for a total period of 24 months, no further attachment shall be made for a period of 12 months and, where such attachment has been made in execution of one, and the same decree, such portion of that salary shall, after the attachment has continued for a total period of 24 months, be finally exempt in execution of that decree;

(i-a) one-third of the salary in execution of any decree for maintenance;

(j) The pay allowances of persons to whom the Air Force Act, 1950, or the Army Act, 1950, or Navy Act, 1957, applies;

(k) All compulsory deposits and other sums in or derived from any fund to which the Provident Funds Act, 1925, for the time being applies in so far as they are declared by the said Act not to be liable to attachment.

(k-a) all deposits and other sums in or derived from any fund to which the Public Provident Funds Act, 1968, applies, in so far as they are declared by the said Act as not to be liable to attachment;

(k-b) all money payable under a policy of insurance on the life of the judgment-debtor.

(k-c) the interest of a lessee of a residential building to which provisions of law relating to control of rents and accommodation apply;

(l) Any allowance forming part of the emoluments of any servants of the Government or of any servant of a railway company or local authority which the appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare to be exempt from attachment, and any subsistence grant or allowance made to any such servants while under suspension;

(m) An expectancy of succession by survivorship or other merely contingent or possible right or interest;

(n) Right to future maintenance;

(o) Any allowance declared by any Indian law to be exempt from liability to attachment or sale in execution of a decree; and

(p) Where the judgment-debtor is a person liable for the payment of land revenue, any movable property which under any law for the time being applicable to him, is exempt from sale for the recovery of an arrear of such revenue. (S. 60).

Under Section 60 (1) (n) of the Code of Civil Procedure, a right to future maintenance is not attachable. This is analogous to S. 6 (dd) of the Transfer of Property Act which says that a right to future maintenance cannot be transferred. Once the maintenance amount has accrued, and especially when the same is deposited into court the money so accrued or deposited does not remain a mere right to future maintenance.

Both under S. 60 (1) (n) of the Code of Civil Procedure and S. 6 (dd) of the Transfer of Property Act, what is not attachable or transferable as the case may be, is not ‘future maintenance’.

But ‘right to future maintenance’. Once the right is exercised and the same fructifies in to a quantified amount which has actually come into court, it cannot be called a mere right to future maintenance. In such a contingency the right transforms into cash. Once that stands to the credit of the respondent, it is attachable.

What is future maintenance at a particular time would become arrears of maintenance at a later point of time. Maintenance which has accrued and is in arrear can never be described as a mere right to future maintenance. The maintenance-holder can dispose it of otherwise and on the person dying intestate the amount would go only to the legal representatives.

The fact that a right for maintenance is only a personal right to the person on whom the right is conferred either by a decree of the civil court or order of a criminal court or otherwise has nothing to do with the question of maintenance which had accrued and is in arrears; such amount is the property of the person who is entitled to get the maintenance. (R Swaminathan v. Annammal, [(1975) 1 M.L.J. 328).


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