CATHOLIC BANK OF INDIA Vs. GEORGE JACOB
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
CATHOLIC BANK OF INDIA LTD.
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(1.) The main controversy in this case relates to the extent of the benefit to which the respondent is entitled under the Kerala Agriculturists Debt Relief Act, 1958. The provisions of the Act to which our attention has been drawn are clause (c)(xi) of S.2, sub-sections (2) and (3) of S.4, and sub-s.(1) of S.5.
(2.) The Act was passed in order to give relief to indebted agriculturists. The expression "agriculturist" is defined in S.2(a) of the Act. It is not disputed that the respondent comes within the ambit of that definition.
(3.) S.2(c) of the Act defines the expression "debt". The definition makes it clear that certain types of debts are not included within the ambit of that expression. One type of debt that is not included is specified in S.2(c)(xi). That provision including its proviso reads as follows :-
"Any debt exceeding one thousand five hundred rupees borrowed under a single transaction and due before the commencement of this Act to any banking company as defined in the Banking Companies Act, 1949:
Provided that in the case of any debt exceeding one thousand five hundred rupees borrowed under a single transaction and due before the commencement of this Act to any banking company as defined in the Banking Companies Act, 1949, any agriculturist debtor shall be entitled to repay such debt in eight equal half yearly instalments as provided in sub-s.(3) of S.4, but the provisions of S.5 shall not apply to such debt.";
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