CHAPTER 178
PRESUMPTION OF DEATHS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Who may petition for enquiry into death.

3. Form of enquiry.

4. Application to Supreme Court after enquiry.

5. Procedure on application.

6. Form of declaration of death.

7. Registration of declaration.

8. Power to open will of person declared absent.

9. Power of Judge to allow person to take or keep possession of absentee's property.

10. Inventory of absentee's property.

11. Curator of Vacant Estates' duty.

12. Duties and remuneration of person in possession of absentee's property.

13. When enquiry to be held by Judge.

14. Form of enquiry before Judge.

15. Effect of seven years' disappearance.

16. Person reappearing - rights of.

17. Limitation of time within which heirs can bring an action for possession.

18. Non-application of Act.

10 of 1907,

13 of 1908,

9 of 1948,

41 of 1948,

3 of 1959,

23 of 1976.

SI 95 of 1975,

13 of 1975,

72 of 1976.

[Date of commencement: 6th July 1907]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Presumption of Deaths Act.

2. Who may petition for enquiry into death.

The Attorney-General, the relatives of a person who has disappeared, or anyone interested in the property of the person who has disappeared*, may, whenever he or any of them have reason to believe that such person is dead, but such death cannot be proved or registered because the dead body has not been found or else because it is not possible to give formal proof of such death, lodge a petition at the Registry of the Supreme Court requesting a Judge to order an enquiry in order to ascertain whether such person is dead.

[*Note to 1991 Ed: See section 18.]

3. Form of enquiry.

If the person has disappeared while residing in Seychelles a Judge shall, on receiving such petition, order a magistrate (whose selection shall be approved by the Minister), to hold a public enquiry into the circumstances under which the person alleged to be dead disappeared, and the Judge shall direct such magistrate to summon as a witness any person whose evidence he may think necessary. The evidence of the witness shall be taken on oath and taken down in writing. When each witness has given his evidence it shall be read over to him and he shall be asked if the same is correct. After the deposition has been corrected (if this shall be necessary) or after the witness has admitted that the same is correct, the witness shall sign or put his mark to the same. The magistrate shall countersign the deposition. When the enquiry has been completed, the magistrate shall state in writing the conclusion he has come to upon such evidence and forward the depositions so signed with such conclusion to the Registrar of the Supreme Court.

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