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Based on our research of the Supreme Court’s view regarding the meaning of debt, it appears that there are Supreme Court’s decisions that interpret debt from a broad perspective and there are Supreme Court’s decisions that interpret it from a narrow perspective. Therefore, below are several Supreme Court decisions related to this matter.

No. Decision In a Broad Perspective In a Narrow Perspective
1. Supreme Court Decision No. 030 K/N/1999 dated 28 September 1999   An agreement to show an advertisement on television has been made between SCTV and PT GEBYAR CIPTA KREASI, the Advertiser. After the ad aired on SCTV, it turned out that “Advertiser” committed a breach of contract, i.e., not paying the fees/costs of the advertisement that had been aired to SCTV. Then, the advertiser is gone, and his domicile in Indonesia is no longer known;The breach of contract committed by the Advertiser is not a debt obligation, as considered in Law No. 4/1998 concerning Bankruptcy, but it is a civil case that must be sued in the District Court.   The Parties: PT Surya Citra Televisi (Petitioner),represented by their Attorneys: Denny Kailimang, S.H.Harry Ponto, S.H., LL.M., and Benny Ponto, S.H. VS PT Gebyar Cipta Kreasi (Respondent)  
2. Supreme Court Decision No. 05 K/N/99 dated 2 March 1999   Legal binding in the Contractor Agreement or “Agreement for work” as in Article 1601 Indonesian Civil Code, the “Employer” does not/has not paid in full the “fees/labor costs” to the Employees. Therefore the Employer has committed a breach of contract, so the Employer has a “debt” to the Employees. The debt that is not/has not been paid, is not the authority of the Commercial Court (Bankruptcy Case) but the authority of the District Court as a Civil Case;The object of Bankruptcy Case, which becomes the authority of the Commercial Court as stipulated in Article 1 paragraph (1) of Law No. 4 of 1998, is “debt” arising from the debt obligation. And the “debt” consists of principal debt and interest that is not paid by the Debtor to the Creditor, which is due and payable.   Panel of Judges: H. Soeharto, S.H. (Presiding Judge);Ny. Supraptini Sutarto, S.H. andPaulus Effendi Lotulung.   The Parties in this case: PT Suryatata Internusa (Petitioner), represented by their Attorneys: Denny Kailimang, S.H.;Harry Ponto, S.H., LL.M;Benny Ponto, S.H.; VS PT Abdi Persada Nusantara (Respondent)   PT Bank Negara Indonesia (PERSERO) Tbk., Represented by their Attorney, Wimboyono Seno Adji, S.H., Suratini, S.H., Indriyanto Seno Adji, S.H. MH. from Oemar Seno Adji Law Office.   PT BNI Multi Finance (Other Creditors) Represented by their Attorney, Handra Deddy Hasan, S.H., Rahmad Irwan, S.H., Affandi M., S.H. from Handra, Darwinm Rahmad, and Partners.   Serikat Pekerja Tingkat Perusahaan (SPTP) Taman Festival Bali (Other Creditors)  
3. Supreme Court Decision No. 03 K/N/99 dated 5 May 1999   Debts arising from the sale and purchase of goods (cement) and the sale and purchase of shares, where the debt is due and cannot be paid in full by the debtor, the legal binding of such debt is not an object of bankruptcy according to Law No. 4 of 1998;The object of bankruptcy, according to Article 1 paragraph (1) of Law No. 4. In 1998 and its elucidation is the debt that was not paid by Debtor, in the form of principal debt and interest, so the definition of debt obligation in the Bankruptcy Law is a legal relationship based on the legal construction of lending and borrowing money in the form of principal debt and interest.   The parties in this case: PT Cipta Niaga Cabang Utama Surabaya; PT Sumber Artha Invesindo; Harsono Lukito; All three are represented by their Attorney: Artono, S.H. VS UD Sarana Bakti (Petitioner),represented by their Attorneys: Koestiyanto, S.H. and PT Semen Gresik (PERSEROAN);PT Bank Negara Indonesia (PERSERO) Tbk.;Ny. Indrawati.  
4. Supreme Court (Review Decision) No. 05.PK/N/1999 dated 14 May 1999     The legal definition of “Debt” in Article 1 paragraph (1) Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No. 1 of 1998 in conjunction with Law No. 4 of 1998 is: “Debt in relation to lending and borrowing money or the obligation to pay a sum of money as a specific form of various forms of obligation (verbintenis) in general, such as buying and selling, leasing and so on; The legal relation that occurs in the case above is the legal relationship between the buyer and seller and then creates a debt obligation/ obligation between the debtor with the creditor, meaning that the seller is obliged to give the apartment to the buyer who is also obliged to pay the purchase. Because the seller has not fulfilled his obligations, breach of contract ensues, which can be the basis for filing a lawsuit in a Civil/District Court, and not by submitting a request for bankruptcy in a Commercial Court.   The Panel of Judges: Sarwata, S.H. (Presiding Judge);TH. Ketut Suraputra, S.H.;Zakir, S.H.   The Parties: PT Jawa Barat Indah (Petitioner),represented by their Attorneys: Gunawan Nanung, S.H.; VS Sumeini Omar Sandjaya; Widyastuti; Both are represented by their Attorneys: Marlianus Rusli, S.H., and Metiawati, S.H.
5. Supreme Court (Review Decision) No. 06.PK/N/1999 dated 14 May 1999     The legal relation is in the form of sale and purchase agreement for apartment unit, where the payment is arranged in installments. Buyers/Consumers have paid installments to the developer. Then it turns out that the developer/seller states that they are no longer able to continue the apartment construction. The cancellation of this sale and purchase agreement cannot be accepted by the buyers. A dispute arises between the buyers and the seller;This problem/dispute is “not” a Debtor’s debt that is due and can be collected immediately because the Debtor does not pay at least one debt to one of the Creditors, so it is a bankruptcy case (Article 1 paragraph (1) of Law No. 4/1998);This case is a civil case concerning a Home Sale and Purchase Agreement with all legal sanctions as a result of a breach of contract by one of the parties which in the scope of the authority of the Civil Judge in District Court (Article 1266 in conjunction with Article 1267 Indonesian Civil Code). Commercial Court Judge has no authority to examine and adjudicate the case because it is related to Demurrer in Jurisdiction.The Panel of Judges of the Supreme Court in its Review Decision No. 06/PK/N/1999 dated 14 May 1999 issued a decision rejecting the Review to the Supreme Court request submitted by the Petitioner;   The Panel of Judges: Sarwata (Presiding Judge); H. Zakir, S.H.; Ketut Suraputra, S.H.   The Parties: PT Modern Land Realty LTD. Vs. Husein Sani dan Johan Subekti  
6. Supreme Court (Review Decision) No. 08 PK/N/1999 dated 27 May 1999   Fees/Labor costs, for a construction work project arising from the “Contractor Agreement” in which the project has been appropriately completed by the Contractor, and it turns out the Outsourcer (Debtor) has not paid the fees to the Contractor ( Creditors), the unpaid fees are “Debt” (Article 1 paragraph (1) Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No. 1 of 1998 in conjunction with Law No. 4 of 1998);In the Supreme Court’s Review decision No. 01/K/N/1999 dated 29 February 1999 – vide Varia Peradilan Year XIV No. 1666, it turns out that the opinion of the Supreme Court remains consistent – what is meant by “Debt” in the Bankruptcy Law is “debt” arising from both the Law or because of the agreement which can be valued with a certain amount of money.   The Panel of Judges: Sarwata, S.H. (Presiding Judge);H. Zakir, S.H.;Ketut Suraputra;   The Parties: PT Suryatata Internusa (Petitioner),represented by their Attorneys: Denny Kailimang, S.H.;Harry Ponto, S.H., LL.M;Benny Ponto, S.H.; VS PT Abdi Persada Nusantara (Respondent);   PT Bank Negara Indonesia (PERSERO) Tbk., Represented by their Attorney, Wimboyono Seno Adji, S.H., Suratini, S.H., Indriyanto Seno Adji, S.H. MH. from Oemar Seno Adji Law Office.   PT BNI Multi Finance (Other Creditors) Represented by their Attorney, Handra Deddy Hasan, S.H., Rahmad Irwan, S.H., Affandi M., S.H. from Handra, Darwinm Rahmad, and Partners.   Serikat Pekerja Tingkat Perusahaan (SPTP) Taman Festival Bali (Other Creditors)      
  7. Supreme Court (Review Decision) No. 027.K/N/1999, dated 14 September 1999   The legal Definition “Debt” stated in Article 1 paragraph (1) of Law No. 4 of 1998 concerning Bankruptcy, the interpretation of its meaning cannot be separated from “general understanding” and the provisions in Article 237 paragraph 2 of the same law, so that the definition of “Debt” referred to in Article 1 paragraph (1) of Law 4/1998 is every legal subject obligation to make payments in the form of money to other parties:arising or originating from Loan Agreement; orarising from all forms of the legal obligation to pay a sum of money. (i.e., construction money arising from construction contract)   Panel of Judges: M. Yahya Harahap, S.H. (Presiding Judge);S.O Nainggolan, S.H.; and Ny. Hj. Marnis Kahar, S.H.   The Parties: Ssangyong Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. (Petitioner),represented by their Attorneys: Hidayat Achyar, S.H., Maheswara Prabandono, S.H., dan Teddy Turangga, S.H. LL.M. VS PT Citra Jimbaran Indah Hotel (Respondent),represented by their Attorneys: Indra Sahnun Lubis, S.H.    

Hope it is useful,

FREDRIK J PINAKUNARY Law Offices

This article is also available in Bahasa Indonesia: Makna Utang Dalam Putusan Mahkamah Agung


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