THE DISPLACED PERSONS (DEBTS ADJUSTMENT) ACT, 1951
[Act, No. LXX of 1951]
[7th November, 1951]
An Act to make certain provisions for the adjustment and settlement of debts due by displaced persons, for the recovery of certain debts due to them and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
BE it enacted by Parliament as follows:--
Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement
(1) This Act may be called the Displaced Persons (Debts Adjustment) Act, 1951.
(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint, and different dates may be appointed for different States or for different parts thereof.
Section 2. Definitions
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires.--
(1) "company" means a company as defined in the Indian Companies Act, 1913 (VII of 1913), and includes a company deemed to be registered under that Act by reason of any of the provisions contained in this Act;
(2) "Companies Act" means the Indian Companies Act, 1913 (VII of 1913);
(3) "compensation" means any compensation paid, whether in cash or in kind, in respect of any immovable property in West Pakistan belonging to a displaced person under any general scheme arrived at in this behalf between the Government of India and the Government of Pakistan or framed by the Government of India;
(4) "co-operative society" means a co-operative society registered under the Co-operative Societies Act, 1912 (II of 1912), or under any other law for the time being in force in any State for the registration of co-operative societies;
(5) "Co-operative Societies Act" means the Co-operative Societies Act, 1912 (II of 1912), and includes any other law for the time being in force in any State relating to co-operative societies;
(6) "debt" means any pecuniary liability, whether payable presently or in future, or under a decree or order of a civil or revenue court or otherwise, or whether ascertained or to be ascertained.which--
(a) in the case of a displaced person who has left or been displaced from his place of residence in any area now forming part of West Pakistan, was incurred before he came to reside in any area now forming part of India;
(b) in the case of a displaced person who, before an after the 15th day of August, 1947, has been residing in any area now forming part of India was incurred before the said date on the security of any immovable property situate in the territories now forming part of West Pakistan:
Provided that where any such liability was incurred on the security of immovable properties situate both in India and in West Pakistan, the liability shall be so apportioned between the said properties bears the same proportion to the total amount of the debts as the value of each of the properties as at the date of the transaction bears to the total value of the properties furnished as security, and the liability, for the purposes of this clause, shall be the liability which is relatable to the property in West Pakistan;
(c) is due to a displaced person from any other person (whether a displaced person or not) ordinarily residing in the territories to which this Act extends;
and includes any pecuniary liability incurred before the commencement of this Act by any such person as is referred to in this clause which is based on, and is solely by way of renewal of, any such liability as is referred to in sub-clause (a) or sub-clause (b) or sub-clause (c):
Provided that in the case of a loan, whether in cash or in kind, the amount originally advanced not the amount for which the liability has been renewed shall be deemed to be the extent of the liability;
but does not include any pecuniary liability due under a decree passed after the 15th day of August, 1947, by any court situate in West Pakistan or any pecuniary liability the proof of which depends merely on an oral agreement;
(7) "displaced bank" means a banking company which, before the 15th day of August, 1947, carried on the business of banking, whether wholly or partially, in any area now forming part of West Pakistan and is declared to be a displaced bank within the meaning of this Act by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette;
(8) "displaced creditor" means a displaced person to whom a debt is due from any other person, whether a displaced person or not;
(9) "displaced debtor" means a displaced person from whom a debt is due or is being claimed;
(10) "displaced person" means any person who, on account of the setting up of the Dominions of India and Pakistan, or on account of civil disturbances or the fear of such disturbances in any area now forming part of West Pakistan, has, after the 1st day of March, 1947, left, or been displaced from, his place of residence in such area and who has been subsequently residing in India, and includes any person who is resident in any place now forming part of India and who for that reason is unable or has been rendered unable to manage, supervise or control any immovable property belonging to him in West Pakistan, but does not include a banking company;
(11) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(12) "Tribunal" means any civil court specified under section 4 as having authority to exercise jurisdiction under this Act;
(13) "verified claim" means any claim registered under the Displaced Persons (Claims) Act, 1950 (XLIV of 1950) in respect of which a final order has been passed under that Act relating to its verification and valuation;
(14) "West Pakistan" means the territories of Pakistan excluding the Province of East Bengal.
Section 3. Over-riding effect of Act, rules and orders
Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, the provisions of this Act and of the rules and orders made thereunder shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force, or in any decree or order of a court, or in any contract between the parties.
Section 4. Tribunals competent to exercise jurisdiction under this Act
The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify any civil court or class of civil courts as the Tribunal or Tribunals having authority to exercise jurisdiction under this Act and may define the areas in which and the extent to which such jurisdiction may be exercised.
Section 5. Application by displaced debtors for adjustment of debts
(1) At any time within one year after the date on which this Act comes into force in any local area, a displaced debtor may make an application for the adjustment of his debts to the Tribunal within the local limits of whose jurisdiction he actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business or personally works for gain.
(2) Every application by a displaced debtor shall contain the following particulars, namely:--0
(a) the place where he resides;
(b) the trade, calling, profession or other employment in which he is now engaged and in which he was engaged in West Pakistan before he became a displaced person;
(c) his average annual income in India during the three years immediately preceding the application;
(d) the income-tax and super-tax, if any, to which he has been assessed for the three years immediately preceding the application;
(e) such other particulars as may be prescribed;
and shall be accompanied by the following schedules, namely:--
(i) a schedule containing full particulars of all his debts, whether owed 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.
(3) All persons whose names are shown in any schedule as having claims against the displaced debtor and all persons whose names are shown as joint-debtors shall be deemed to be the respondents to the application and there shall be filed along with the application, or with the permission of the Tribunal at any later state of the proceedings, as many copies of the application and as many envelops and notices in the prescribed form duly addressed to the respondents as there are respondents.
Section 6. Rejection of application in certain cases
Where an application made under section 5 does not comply with any of the requirements of that section, the Tribunal may either reject it, or grant to the applicant such further time as it thinks fit to comply with such requirements.
Section 7. Issue of notice
If the application is not rejected under section 6, the Tribunal shall, after causing the date for the hearing of the application to be entered in the notices referred to in section 5, cause them to be served on the respondents.
Section 8. Objection by respondents
In response to a notice under section 7, the respondent may show cause against the application by filing a written statement containing his objections to the application:
Provided that where he does not appear in person or through any authorised agent, the written statement may be sent by registered post, acknowledgement due, to the Tribunal after having been signed in the presence of a civil judicial officer or a magistrate or any other prescribed office and duly attested by such officer or magistrate.
Section 9. Proceeding after service of notice on respondents
(1) If there is a dispute as to whether the applicant is a displaced person or not or the assets of any displaced debtor, the Tribunal shall decide the matter after taking such evidence as may be adduced by all the parties concerned and shall pass such decree in relation thereto as it thinks fit.
(2) If there is no such dispute or if the respondents do not appear or have o objection tot he application being granted, the Tribunal may, after considering the evidence placed before it, pass such decree in relation thereto as it thinks fit.
Section 10. Claims by creditors against displaced debtors
Any displaced person having a claim against a displaced debtor may make an application, in such form as may be prescribed, for the determination thereof to the Tribunal within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the displaced debtor actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, together with a statement of the debts owed to the creditor with full particulars thereof.
Section 11. Procedure on creditors petition
(1) Where an application under section 10 has been made the Tribunal shall cause notice thereof to be served on the displaced debtor calling upon him either to show cause, if any, against the application or to make an application on his own behalf under section 5.
(2) If, in response to a notice under sub-section (1), the displaced debtor makes an application in accordance with the provisions of section 5, the Tribunal shall proceed further in the matter as if it had commenced with an application by the displaced debtor under section 5, and all the other provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly; but, if the displaced debtor does not choose to make any such application, the Tribunal shall, after considering such evidence, if any, as may be produced before it, determine the claim and pass such decree in relation thereto as it thinks fit.
(3) The period of limitation specified in sub-section (1) of section 5 in respect of an application by a displaced debtor shall not apply to an application made under sub-section (2).
Section 12. Objection by creditor to schedule of assets
(1) Any creditor of a disposed 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.