RAMCHAND TILLUMAL Vs. KHUBCHAND DASWANI
LAWS(BOM)-1954-1-2
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Decided on January 25,1954

RAMCHAND TILLUMAL Appellant
VERSUS
KHUBCHAND DASWANI Respondents


Cited Judgements :-

CHIRANJIT LAL GAMBIR ADV VS. NARANG INDUSTRIES LTD [LAWS(ALL)-1963-4-27] [REFERRED TO]
BHIM SEN VS. SAVITRI DEVI [LAWS(ALL)-1965-4-7] [REFERRED TO]
M MATHRA DAS VS. HARI RAM [LAWS(APH)-1956-12-8] [REFERRED TO]
PARKASH TEXTILE MILLS LTD VS. MANI LAL [LAWS(P&H)-1954-10-9] [REFERRED TO]
GOPAL DASS VS. ROSHAN LAL KAPUR [LAWS(P&H)-1960-8-2] [REFERRED TO]
RAM LAL JAIN VS. CENTRAL BANK OF INDIA LTD [LAWS(P&H)-1960-12-13] [REFERRED TO]
CHHATARAM VS. KODUMAL [LAWS(RAJ)-1965-11-29] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Gajendragadkar, J. - (1.)This appeal raises a short question under the Displaced Persons (Debts Adjustment) Act, LXX of 1951. The appellant made an application before the tribunal appointed under this Act for the adjustment of his debts. His application has been rejected by the tribunal on the ground that it is not competent. It is common ground that both the applicant and the opponent are displaced persons within the meaning of the Act. It is also common ground that the applicant is a debtor of the opponent and that the debt was contracted subsequent to August 15, 1947. The applicant alleged that he was entitled to have this debt adjusted on the ground that it was a debt within the meaning of Section 2(6)(c) of the Act, whereas the opponent's contention was that before the applicant could apply for the adjustment of his debts, he must show that his debt falls within Section 2(6)(a) of the Act. It is conceded that the debt does not fall within Section 2(6)(b) of the Act. Therefore, the short question which falls to be considered in the present appeal is whether a displaced person is entitled to apply for the adjustment of his debts under Section 5 of the Act only if his debt satisfies the requirements of Section 2(6)(a) or (b) of the Act.
(2.)Mr. Nain for the appellant has presented his argument in a very attractive form. He argues that the word "debt" which has been used in this Act in several sections must be construed in the same or similar way and according to him it would be unfair to attribute to the word "debt" different meanings in different sections unless there is a clear indication in these sections to limit the denotation of the word "debt" in a particular way. It is no doubt a well known rule of construction that the same word should ordinarily convey the same meaning in different sections of the same Act. Section 2(6) defines the word "debt" in three different ways, and according to Mr. Nain if he can show that the debt sought to be adjusted by the applicant in the present case falls in either of the three categories mentioned in Section 2(6), he would be entitled to apply under Section 5 of the Act. Mr. Nain has put his argument in an alternative form. He says that Section 2(6)(c) deals with a debt due to a displaced person and Section 10 of the Act entitles such a creditor to apply for the recovery of his debts from his displaced debtor. When an application is made under Section 10 and notice is served on the debtor of the said application, the displaced debtor is given an opportunity under Section 11(2) to apply for the adjustment of his debts notwithstanding the fact that the limitation prescribed by Section 5 may by then have elapsed. Mr. Nain contends that if the opponent had applied to recover his debt from the applicant, the applicant would have been entitled to ask for adjustment of his debt under Section 11(2). If that be so, it would be illogical to hold that the amount due from the applicant to the opponent is a debt within the meaning of Section 11(2), but is not a debt within the meaning of Section 5. Before we consider these arguments on their merits, however, it would be necessary to bear in mind the scheme of the Act which undoubtedly contains provisions of a very unsual character.
(3.)It is well known that a large number of citizens from Sind which, after August 15, 1947, became a part of West Pakistan, had to leave or were displaced from their places of residence and had to come to India. Legislature felt that these persons needed special protection, and the provisions made in the present Act were intended to afford assistance to these persons in two different ways. These persons are described by the Act as "displaced persons". Those were divided broadly into two classes by Section 2(10). Those who had left or had been displaced from their places of residence in West Pakistan after March 1, 1947, on account of civil disturbances or on account of the fear of such disturbances & had come to reside in India formed one class of displaced persons. The other class included persons who resided in India but who were unable to manage their immovable property situated in West Pakistan. By this legislation protection is intended to be afforded to both the classes of these displaced persons. While considering the nature of the protection which should be given to these displaced persons; Legislature was aware that a large majority of these persons may be debtors and needed relief in the matter of the repayment of their debts, while a small number might be creditors who may need assistance in the matter of speedy recovery of their debts. The preamble to the Act, therefore, declares that the Act was passed to make certain provisions for the adjustment and settlement of debts due by displaced persons and for the recovery of certain debts due to them. Matters connected with these aspects and incidental thereto are also considered in this Act. In other words, in regard to displaced persons who are debtors special provisions are made in the Act for scaling down their debts and for providing liberal modes in which they are allowed to repay the debts. In regard to displaced creditors, they are allowed the use of the special and speedy machinery provided by the Act for the recovery of their debts. Therefore, in dealing with the provisions of this Act it would not be irrelevant to bear this two-fold object of the Act in mind.


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