The term ‘receiver’ has not been defined in the Code of C.P.C. However, the Supreme Court in Thomas vs. Indian Bank, explained the meaning of the word receiver as an indifferent person between the parties to a cause, appointed by the Court to receive and preserve the property or fund in litigation pendente lite, when it does not seem reasonable to the Court that either party should hold it.
Order 40 of C.P.C. provides for Appointment, Remuneration and Duties of a receiver and Enforcement of Receiver’s duties.
1. Appointment of receivers:
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1. Where it appears to the Court to be just and convenient, the Court may by order-
(a) Appoint a receiver of any property, whether before or after decree;
(b) Remove any person from the possession or custody of the property;
(c) Commit the same to the possession, custody or management of the receiver; and
(d) confer upon the receiver all such powers, as to bringing and defending suits and for the realization, management, protection, preservation and improvement of the property, the collection of the rents and profits thereof, the application and disposal of such rents and profits, and the execution of documents as the owner himself has, or such of those powers as the Court thinks fit.
2. Nothing in this rule shall authorize the Court to remove from the possession or custody of property, any person whom any party to the suit has not a present right so to remove.
The Court may by general or special order fix the amount to be paid as remuneration for the services of the receiver.
Every receiver so appointed shall-
(a) Furnish such security (if any) as the Court thinks fit, duly to account for what he shall receive in respect of the property;
(b) Submit his accounts at such periods and in such form as the Court directs;
(c) Pay the amount due from him as the Court directs; and
(d) Be responsible for any loss occasioned to the property by his willful default or gross negligence.
4. Enforcement of receiver’s duties:
Where a receiver-
(a) Fails to submit his accounts at such periods and in such form as the Court directs, or
(b) Fails to pay the amount due from him as the Court directs, or
(c) Occasions loss to the property by his willful default or gross negligence,
the Court may direct his property to be attached and may sell such property, and may apply the proceeds to make good any amount found to be due from him or any loss occasioned by him, and shall pay the balance (if any) to the receiver.
The status of a receiver has been appropriately explained in the leading case of Jagat Tarini Dasi vs. Naba Gopal Chaki in the following words “The receiver is appointed for the benefit of all concerned, he is the representative of the Court, and of all parties interested in the litigation, wherein he is appointed. He is the right arm of the Court in exercising the jurisdiction invoked in such case for administering the property; the Court can only administer through a receiver. For this reason, all suits to collect or obtain possession of the property must be prosecuted by the receiver, and the proceeds received and controlled by him alone”.