ILLITERATES’ PROTECTION ACT, 1912 (CAP. 262)

ILLITERATES’ PROTECTION ACT, 1912 (CAP. 262)

DATE ON WHICH ACT CAME INTO FORCE: 1st July, 1912.

AN ACT to provide for the protection of illiterates and for related matters.

1. Prohibition of letter writing for reward

A person shall not, for a reward to be paid to that person or to any other person, write a letter or any other document for or at the request of an illiterate person,

(a) except in conformity with this Act, and

(b) unless that person has obtained a licence.

2. Grant of licence

(1) A licence shall be granted by a District Assembly or by a person so directed in writing by the Minister.

(2) A licence may be refused without a reason being assigned.

(3) A licence issued under this Act

(a) shall be in the form set out in the First Schedule,

(b) is not transferable, and

(c) shall expire on the 31st day of December following the date of issue.

(4) A fee of two hundred thousand cedis shall be paid for a licence.[Amended by the Illiterates Protection (Amendment) Act, 1963 (Act 217).]

3. Conditions for persons writing letters for illiterates

A person writing a letter or any other document for or at the request of an illiterate person, whether gratuitously or for a reward, shall

(a) clearly and correctly read over and explain the letter or document or cause it to be read over and explained to the illiterate person,

(b) cause the illiterate person to sign or make a mark at the foot of the letter or the other document or to touch the pen with which the mark is made at the foot of the letter or the other document,

(c) clearly write the full name and address of the writer on the letter or the other document as writer of it, and

(d) state on the letter or the other document the nature and amount of the reward charged or taken by the writer for writing the letter or the other document, and shall give a receipt for the reward and keep a counterfoil of the receipt to be produced at the request of any of the officers named in section 5.

4. Reward for writing letters

(1) A person duly licensed under this Act to charge or take a fee or reward for writing a letter or any other document for or at the request of an illiterate person, shall not charge or take a fee or reward exceeding in money or in value the amount set forth in the Second Schedule.

(2) A fee or reward for witnessing the signature or any other execution of a letter or any other document shall not be charged against or taken from a person by a licensee in respect of a letter or any other document for which a fee or reward for the writing of it has already been charged against or taken by the licensee.[Substituted by section 2 of the Illiterates Protection (Amendment) Ordinance, 1942 (No. 17 of 1942).]

(3) The Minister responsible for Justice may, by legislative instrument, amend the Second Schedule.

5. Production of licence

A licensee shall produce the licence at the request of a District Chief Executive or a police officer.

6. Penalties

(1) A person who acts in contravention of a provision of this Act, commits an offence and is liable fora first offence to a fine not exceeding fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one month and for a subsequent offence to a fine not exceeding one hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months.

(2) In addition to subsection (1), a licensee contravening a provision of this Act is liable to forfeit the licence.

7. Summary procedure

An offence against this Act shall be summarily heard and determined by, and the penalties shall be recoverable before, a District Court

8. Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,

 “licence” means licence issued under this Act;

 “licensee” means a person who holds a valid licence;

 “Minister” means the Minister responsible for Justice.

9. Operation of Act

This Act shall not apply to the writing of a letter or any other document or to a letter or any other document written in the course of business by a salaried clerk or by or at the direction of a person admitted to practise and practising as a barrister or solicitor in the Superior Court of Judicature.

SCHEDULES

First Schedule

ILLITERATES’ PROTECTION ACT, 1912

LETTER WRITER’S LICENCE

[Section 2 (3)]

 Letter writer’s licence

A licence is hereby granted to [insert name and address of licensee] to write letters or other documents for illiterate persons for a reward until the 31st day of December, 20 ............, subject to the Illiterates’ Protection Act.

[Insert place of issue] the .......................day of......................................, 20 .............................................................................................................

                                                                             Signature of Issuing Officer

Second Schedule

[Added by section 3 of the Illiterates Protection (Amendment) Ordinance, 1942 (No. 17 of 1942).]

[Section 4 (1)]

For a letter or document, per fifty words or part thereof............¢1000.00

For the first copy of the same (if any), per fifty words or part thereof ........................  ¢500.00

For the second and subsequent copies of the same (if any), per fifty words or part thereof

if in manuscript .....................................................................      ¢500.00

if typewritten ..........................................................................      ¢200.00

for witnessing the signature or other execution of any letter or document .................    ¢300.00

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