MAINTENANCE CLAIMS (RECIPROCAL
ENFORCEMENT) ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title and Commencement.

2. Application of the Act.

3. Application by a person in Sri Lanka for recovery of maintenance or for enforcement or variation of a maintenance orders made in a specified country.

4. Application by persons in specified country for recovery of maintenance in Sri Lanka.

5. Enforcement of an order made in a specified country.

6. Application in respect of an illegitimate child.

TRANSFER, ENFORCEMENT, VARIATION AND REVOCATION OF REGISTERED ORDERS

7. Transfer of Orders.

8. Enforcement of Orders.

9. Variation of a registered order.

10. Power to vary an order not made by the registering court.

11. Admissibility of evidence given in specified country.

12. Obtaining of evidence for purpose of proceedings in Sri Lanka.

13. Taking of evidence at request of Court in specified country.

14. Transitional provision.

15. Savings in respect of applications relating to Muslims.

16. Sinhala text to prevail in case of inconsistency.

17. Interpretation.

54 of 1998.

AN ACT to give effect to the united nations convention on the recovery abroad of maintenance, signed at New York on 20th June, 1956; to make provision for facilitating the recovery of maintenance by or from persons in Sri Lanka from or by persons in any other country; to extend the jurisdiction of Magistrate's courts to hear applications against persons outside Sri Lanka and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 7th August, 1958]

1. Short title and Commencement.

This Act may be cited as the Maintenance Claims (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act and shall be deemed for all purposes to have come into operation on August 7, 1958 being the date on which Sri Lanka ratified the United Nations Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance, signed at New York on 20th June, 1956.

2. Application of the Act.

(1) The Minister may by Order published in the Gazette declare, that the provisions of this Act shall apply—

(a) In respect of every country as specified in such Order where—

(i) such country is a country to which the Maintenance Convention applies; or

(ii) an agreement has been entered into between Sri Lanka and such country extending the application of the provisions of this Act in respect of that country; or

(b) to the Hongkong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, where an agreement has been entered into between Sri Lanka and such Special Administrative Region extending the application of the provisions of this Act, in respect of that Region.

(2) A country or the Special Administrative Region declared by Order made under subsection (1) shall hereinafter be referred to as a "specified country”.

3. Application by a person in Sri Lanka for recovery of maintenance or for enforcement or variation of a maintenance orders made in a specified country.

(1) Where a person in Sri Lanka (hereinafter in this section referred to as the "applicant”) claims to be entitled to recover in a specified country maintenance from another person, (hereinafter referred to as the "respondent”) and the respondent is for the time being subject to the jurisdiction of that specified country, the applicant may apply to the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister (hereinafter referred to as the "Secretary”) in accordance with the provisions of this section, to have the claim for the recovery of maintenance from the respondent, transmitted to that specified country.

(2) Where an applicant seeks to—

(a) enforce an order; or—

(b) vary an order,

made in a specified country, for the payment by a respondent of maintenance to the applicant and the respondent is for the time being residing in that country, the applicant may apply to the Secretary in accordance with the provisions of this section, to have the claim for enforcement or variation as the case may be, of that order, be transmitted to that specified country.

(3) On receipt of an application under subsection (1) or subsection (2), as the case may be, the Secretary shall transmit the application together with any accompanying documents, to the appropriate authority in such specified country.

4. Application by persons in specified country for recovery of maintenance in Sri Lanka.

(1) Where the Secretary receives from the appropriate authority in a specified country, an application by a person in that country for the recovery of maintenance from another person who is for the time being residing in Sri Lanka, he shall send the application together with any accompanying documents to the Registrar of the Magistrates Court within the jurisdiction of which other person is residing.

(2) If a summons to appear before a Magistrate's Court having jurisdiction to hear the application cannot be duly served on the other person, the Registrar of the Court shall, subject to subsection (3), return the application and the accompanying documents to the Secretary with a statement that such other person is not residing within the jurisdiction of that court and such persons whereabouts are not known. The Secretary shall thereupon return the application and the accompanying documents to the appropriate authority in the specified Country.

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