Decided on January 14,1954



G.L. Chopra, J. - (1.) This is an appeal against the order of the Tribunal Jullundur, dismissing an application under Section 5 of the Displaced Persons (Debts Adjustment) Act (No. LXX of 1951), hereinafter to be referred as the Act.
(2.) Sampuran Singh appellant is a displaced person. He applied for adjustment of his debts amounting to more than a couple of lacs and due to the sixteen respondents. Section 5 of the Act requires the application of the displaced debtor for adjustment of his debts to be accompanied by the following schedules : -- (i) a schedule containing full particulars of all his debts, whether owned jointly or individually with the names and addresses of his creditors and joint debtors, if any, so far as they are known to, or can by the exercise of reasonable care and diligence be ascertained by him; (ii) a schedule of all his properties, both movable and immovable (including claims due to him) which are, not liable to attachment either under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act V of 1908), as amended by Section 31 of this Act or under any other law for the time being in force, a specification of the values thereof and of the places where the same may be found; (iii) a schedule of all his properties, both movable and immovable (including claims due to him) which are not included in the schedule under item (ii) of this clause; and (iv) a schedule of all his properties in respect of which a claim has been submitted to the registering officer under the Displaced Persons (Claims) Act, 1950 (XLIV of 1950), and, where any order has been passed in relation to the verification and valuation of the claim under that Act, with a certified copy of the order. Section 6 lays down that where an application does not comply with any of the requirements of Section 5, the Tribunal may either reject it, or grant the applicant such further time as it thinks fit to comply with such requirements. If the application is not so rejected, the Tribunal under Section 7 causes the respondents to be served with a notice of the date for hearing of the application. Section 8 provides for written statement showing cause against the application to be filed by the respondents. Section 13 says - "(1) Any creditor of a displaced debtor may make an application to the Tribunal stating that the displaced debtor, who has made an application under Section 5 or Sub-section (2) of Section 11, has concealed any part of his assets, and the Tribunal shall, after giving due notice thereof to the displaced debtor, determine the matter. (2) If the Tribunal finds that the displaced debtor has wilfully and fraudulently omitted to include such assets in his application, the Tribunal may dismiss the application, or refuse to allow to the displaced debtor any of the reliefs under this Act to which he would otherwise have been entitled or pass such other order in relation thereto as it thinks fit." (3) Application of section Sampuran Singh was found defective, inasmuch as the schedules attached to it did not contain clear and definite description of some of the debts and omitted to mention some of the properties owned by the applicant. The Tribunal did not notice the defects in the First instance. No action under Section 6 of the Act was, therefore, taken. Respondents Nos. 3 and 8 to the application laid , stress on these defects in their written-statements. The following preliminary issues were then framed: -- "1. Whether the application complies with the requirements of Section 5 of Act LXX of 1951? 2. If not, whether the application is maintainable?" At the time of arguments it was urged that since the applicant had willingly and fraudulently omitted to include part of his assets in the schedules, the application was liable to be dismissed under Section 12(2) of the Act. The Tribunal then framed the following additional issue and called upon the parties to adduce evidence thereon : -- "Whether the applicant omitted to include all the assets in his application intentionally and fraudulently? If so, what is its effect? The Tribunal was of the opinion that the stage at which the provisions of Section 6 could be invoked had already passed, that some of the assets were not included in the schedule and that the omission was intentional and fraudulent. Consequently, the Tribunal acting under Sub-section (2) of Section 12 dismissed the application. The present appeal is directed against, this order of the Tribunal.
(3.) Mr. H.S. Gujral, learned counsel for the appellant, in the first place contends that the application could not be dismissed under Section 12(2), because the sub-section requires that there should be an application of a creditor stating that the displaced debtor had concealed some of his assets, and notice thereof should be given to the applicant. Before the penalty imposed by the section could be enforced the conditions necessary for taking action under it ought to have been fully and strictly satisfied, and not merely in their spirit. Averment of the omissions in the schedule in the written-statements amounted to no more than a substantial compliance with the mandatory provisions of the section, which did not entail the penalty prescribed by the section. It is further submitted that it was nowhere specifically alleged that the omission was intentional and fraudulent and, therefore, no issues on the point could be framed and that no amount of evidence could be regarded as sufficient in proof of a fact which was not specifically alleged. I do not see force in the contention and have no hesitation to reject it.;

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