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Egleton v Inland Revenue Commissioners (2003)

Summary

The appropriate forum for a debtor to raise arguments under s.375(1) Insolvency Act 1986 was on his application for permission to appeal.

Facts

Debtor's ('E') application under Insolvency Act 1986 to vary an order of 27 February 2003, by which a deputy judge dismissed E's appeal on the basis that it could not be said that the commissioners unreasonably refused an offer to secure a debt. E applied to set aside a statutory demand for £170,000 being unpaid income tax served by the commissioners. The application was dismissed and following the presentation of a bankruptcy petition, E was adjudged bankrupt in November 2002. E's application to annul the bankruptcy order was dismissed. E appealed alleging that the commissioners unreasonably refused an offer to secure the debt under s.271(3) of the 1986 Act. On 27 February 2003, the appeal was dismissed by a deputy judge on the basis that even if there had been such an offer, the court was not satisfied that refusal of the offer was a course a reasonable creditor could not take. As E had not applied for an adjournment in order to adduce further evidence, E's application for permission to appeal was dismissed as having no prospect of success. E argued that the deputy judge's decision that the offer was not unreasonably refused was based on misleading and incorrect inferences of fact.

Held

In the circumstances, whatever the merits of E's position, the appropriate forum for his argument was on his application for permission to appeal, which was dismissed on the basis there was no prospect of success. It was not appropriate for E to then raise such matters again on an application under s.375(1) of the 1986 Act.

Application dismissed

Chancery Division
Lawrence Collins J
Judgment date
15 December 2003
References

[2004] BPIR 476