SETH KHIARAM KUSHIRAM Vs. L. BALAJI SINGH
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Seth Khiaram Kushiram
L. Balaji Singh
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N. Paul Vasantha Kumar, J. -
(1.) This is a revision petition preferred against the order of the learned IX Assistant Judge, City Civil Court, Madras, allowing a petition filed by the respondent who is the defendant in the suit O.S. No. 4682 of 1976, praying for stay of the suit under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Act 16 of 1976. The learned Assistant Judge has found that the petitioner was an indebted person and that the allegation of the respondent -plaintiff that the petitioner was assessed to sales tax has not been substantiated. The learned Assistant Judge repelled the contention of the respondent -plaintiff that the debt was incurred after the Tamil Nadu Indebted Persons (Temporary Relief) Act of 1976, came into force and as such defendant cannot avail himself of protection under the Act.
(2.) The Tamil Nadu Indebted Persons (Temporary Relief) Act of 1976, came into force in July 1975. The debt in respect of which the revision petitioner -plaintiff filed the suit was incurred in April 1976. The question is whether the Act would apply even to the case of persons who became indebted after the Act came into force. The definition of debt as contained in S.2(1) of the Act runs as follows:
'debt' means any liability in cash or kind, whether secured or unsecured, due from an indebted person...
The definition of an indebted person as contained in S.2(2) of the Act is as follows:
'indebted person' means any person from whom any debt is due
S.5 of the Act says that all further proceedings in suits and applications for recovery of a debt in which relief is claimed against indebted person......shall stand stayed until the expiry of one year from the date of commencement of the Act. The Act was enacted for the purpose of providing temporary relief to certain indebted persons in the State of Tamil Nadu. Therefore to get the protection under the Act, the person against whom proceedings are instituted for recovery of the debt should have been an indebted person within the meaning of the Act on the date when the Act came into force. In other words, the debt should have been due from the indebted person on the date when the Act came into force. Therefore, since the debt in this case was incurred after the Act had come into force, I do not think that protection could be afforded by the Act to persons who became indebted persons after the Act came into force. Hence this revision petition is allowed and the order of the learned Assistant Judge is set aside.;
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