PAWNBROKERS ORDINANCE

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

GENERAL

1. Short title.

2. Date of operation and application of Ordinance.

PART II

DUTIES OF PAWNBROKERS

2A. Certain persons prohibited from carrying on the business of a pawnbroker.

3. Pawnbroker's licence.

3A. Transfer of business without prior approval of the Divisional Secretary to be void.

4. Copies of licence to be sent to Superintendent of Police.

5. Application for licence.

6. Person entitled to licence.

7. Issue of licences to certain persons prohibited.

8. Refusal of licence.

9. Auctioneers not entitled to licence.

9A. No licence for carrying on the business of a pawnbroker shall be issued to any person unless he furnishes security in cash in the prescribed amount.

10. Notice of Pawnbroker's absence from Sri Lanka.

11. Hours of business.

12. Pawnbroker not to act as auctioneer.

13. Notice to be exhibited by pawnbrokers.

14. Language to be used in entering particulars.

15. Books to be kept by pawnbrokers.

16. Pawn tickets.

17. Rate of interest

PART III

PLEDGES

18. Pledges redeemable within one year.

19. Pledges to continue to be redeemable until sale.

20. Procedure for redemption of a pledge.

21. Compensation for depreciation of pledge.

22. Protection of owners and of pawners not having pawn tickets.

23. Pawn tickets to be retained by pawnbroker after redemption or sale of pledge.

23A. Application and return of security furnished by pawnbrokers.

24. Liability of pawnbrokers in case of fire.

25. Receipt of pawnbroker.

26. Pledges to be sold by auction.

27. Notice of sale.

28. Procedure of sale of pledge for more than the amount of the loan, interest and business turnover tax.

29. Procedure on sale of pledge before the appointed date for more than the amount due and interest.

30. Method of giving notice under sections 26, 27 and 28.

31. Purchase of pledges by pawnbroker.

PART IV

INSPECTION, EXAMINATION AND SEIZURE

32. Power to inspect sale books.

33. Proceedings where persons offering articles in pawn do not give a good account of themselves.

34. Pawnbroker's book subject to examination.

35. Power to search pawnbroker's shop or residence.

PART V

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

36. Offences by pawners and other persons.

37. Offences by pawnbrokers.

38. Prohibition of taking in pawn linen, clothing unfinished goods, in certain cases.

39. Pawnbroker failing to deposit in kachcheri money lying to the credit of a pawner.

40. Offence by servant or agent of pawnbroker.

41. Penalty.

42. Cancellation of pawnbroker's licence.

43. Articles in unlawful possession of pawnbroker.

PART VI

SUPPLEMENTARY

44. Sums of money deposited to pawner's credit in kachcheries.

45. Agents, servants of a pawnbroker.

46. Keepers of certain shops to be deemed pawnbrokers.

46A. Regulations.

46B. Delegation of powers by the Divisional Secretary of the Divisional Secretary's Division.

46C. Burden of proof.

47. Interpretation.

SCHEDULES.

13 of 1942,

23 of 1973,

2 of 1953,

55 of 1956,

11 of 1963,

1386-18-2005

AN ORDINANCE to provide for the regulation of the business Ordinance of Pawnbrokers and for other matters incidental to or connected with such regulation.

[Date of Commencement: 24th April, 1942]

PART I

GENERAL

1. Short title.

This Ordinance may be cited as the Pawnbrokers Ordinance.

2. Date of operation and application of Ordinance.

(1) On the appointed date this Ordinance shall come into operation in the provinces, districts, towns and places specified in the First Schedule.

(2) It shall be lawful for the Minister, by Order published in the Gazette

(a) to bring any province, district, town or place not specified in the First Schedule within the operation of this Ordinance; or

(b) to amend or vary the First Schedule.

PART II

DUTIES OF PAWNBROKERS

2A. Certain persons prohibited from carrying on the business of a pawnbroker.

On or after the first day of January, 1964, no person shall carry on the business of a pawnbroker if such person—

(i) is an individual who is not a citizen of Sri Lanka; or

(ii) is a foreign company; or

(iii) is a foreign firm, and accordingly any licence to carry on such business which was issued to any such individual, foreign company or foreign firm and was in force on the day immediately prior to the said first day of January shall, on and after the said first day of January, be deemed, for all purposes, to be null and void.

[S 2A ins by s 47 of Act 11 of 1963.]

3. Pawnbroker's licence.

(1) No person shall carry on the business of a pawnbroker unless he is the holder of a licence issued in that behalf by the 1Divisional Secretary of the Divisional Secretary's Division.

(2) Every licence issued under this section shall be in the form A set out in the Second Schedule.

[S 3(2) subs by s 2 of Law 23 of 1973.]

(3) Every licence shall be dated on the day of which it is issued, and shall expire on the thirty-first day of July next ensuing.

3A. Transfer of business without prior approval of the Divisional Secretary to be void.

The holder of a licence issued under section 3 shall not transfer the business to which such licence relates to any other person without the prior approval in writing of the Divisional Secretary of the Divisional Secretary's Division, and a transfer of such business without such prior approval shall be for all purposes null and void.

[S 3A ins by s 3 of Law 23 of 1973.]

4. Copies of licence to be sent to Superintendent of Police.

The Divisional Secretary of the Divisional Secretary's Division shall forward a copy of each licence issued under section 3 to the Superintendent of Police of the division within which the business to which such licence relates, is carried on.

[S 4 subs by s 4 of Law 23 of 1973.]

5. Application for licence.

(1) Every person desirous of obtaining a licence for carrying on the business of a pawnbroker shall make application in that behalf to the Divisional Secretary of the Divisional Secretary's Division.

[S 5 renumbered as s 5(1) by s 5 of Law 23 of 1973.]

(2) Every application for a licence shall be accompanied by a licence fee of one thousand rupees.

[S 5(2) ins by s 5 of Law 23 of 1973.]

6. Person entitled to licence.

No person shall be entitled to a licence for carrying on the business of a pawnbroker unless he produces to the Divisional Secretary of the Divisional Secretary's Division satisfactory evidence of good character.

[S 6 am by s 2 of Act 55 of 1956.]

7. Issue of licences to certain persons prohibited.

On or after the first day of January, 1964, no licence for carrying on the business of a pawnbroker shall be issued to any person who is prohibited from carrying on such business by virtue of the operation of the provisions of section 2A, and accordingly any such licence issued to any such person, whether by inadvertence or otherwise, shall be deemed, for all purposes, to be null and void.

[S 7 subs by s 47 of Act 11 of 1963.]

8. Refusal of licence.

(1) No licence for carrying on the business of a pawnbroker shall be issued to any person if—

[S 8 renumbered as s 8(1) by s 6 of Law 23 of 1973.]

(a) at any time during the five years immediately preceding the date on which he makes his application for such licence, he has been found guilty of any act rendered punishable under Chapters XI, XIII, XVII or XVIII of the Penal Code, or under the provisions of this Ordinance; or

(b) in the opinion of the Divisional Secretary of the Divisional Secretary's Division, the shop or place in which that person intends to carry on the business of a pawnbroker, or any adjacent house or place possessed by him, is frequented by thieves or persons of bad character, or is used for the sale of intoxicating liquor, opium, or the preparations of the hemp plant commonly known as bhang, hashish or ganja; or

(c) a licence issued to him under this Ordinance has been cancelled under section 42.

(2) Where the holder of a licence issued under section 3 makes an application for a renewal of such licence, the Divisional Secretary of the Divisional Secretary's Division may refuse to renew such licence, if he is of the opinion that such holder has, during any period preceding such application, and in relation to his business as a pawnbroker, dealt in practices which are contrary to the spirit and purposes of the provisions of this Ordinance.

[S 8(2) ins by s 6 of Law 23 of 1973.]

9. Auctioneers not entitled to licence.

No licence for carrying on the business of a pawnbroker shall be issued to any person who is an auctioneer. Security to be furnished before licence is issued.

9A. No licence for carrying on the business of a pawnbroker shall be issued to any person unless he furnishes security in cash in the prescribed amount.

[S 9A ins by s 4 of Act 55 of 1956.]

10. Notice of Pawnbroker's absence from Sri Lanka.

Every pawnbroker who intends to be absent from Sri Lanka for any period exceeding three months shall—

(a) give written notice of his intention to the Divisional Secretary of the Divisional Secretary's Division; and

(b) appoint a person (being a person entitled under this Ordinance to a licence for carrying on the business of a pawnbroker) to act for him and on his behalf during his absence from Sri Lanka, and give to the Divisional Secretary of the Divisional Secretary's Division written notice of the name of the person so appointed.

11. Hours of business.

No pawnbroker shall take any article on pawn before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m. on any day.

12. Pawnbroker not to act as auctioneer.

No pawnbroker shall act as or carry on the business of an auctioneer.

13. Notice to be exhibited by pawnbrokers.

Every pawnbroker shall—

(a) always keep exhibited in large characters over the outer door of his shop or place of business his name with the word "Pawnbroker” in Sinhala, Tamil and English; and

(b) always keep exhibited in a conspicuous part of his shop or place of business so as to be clearly visible to and legible by every person resorting thereto a notice containing in Sinhala, Tamil and English the particulars set out in the Third Schedule.

14. Language to be used in entering particulars.

Where any particulars are required by this Ordinance to be entered in any book, form or document, such particulars shall be entered in Sinhala, Tamil or English.

15. Books to be kept by pawnbrokers.

Every pawnbroker shall keep and use in his business a pledge book in the form B and a sale book of pledges in the form C set out in the Second Schedule, and shall from time to time, as occasion demands, enter therein in a fair and legible manner all the particulars for the recording of which provision is made in such forms, and shall make all inquiries necessary for that purpose.

16. Pawn tickets.

(1) Every pawn ticket shall be executed in foil and counterfoil in the form D set out in the Second Schedule and in accordance with the directions contained in that form.

(2) The particulars in the Third Schedule shall be printed legibly in Sinhala, Tamil and English on the back of the foil of every pawn ticket.

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