1. This is a Notice of Motion taken out by the Insolvent asking for an order of annulment of his insolvency and in the alternative for an order that all the debts provable in insolvency except the debt of Canara Bank are discharged under the provisions of the Maharashtra Debt Relief Act, 1975, In his affidavit in support the Insolvent has stated that he was doing business in partnership till 1969. During the time that he was doing business in partnership, his income was never more than Rs. 500.00 per month. From 1969 the Insolvent was in financial difficulties and since 1970 the insolvent has not earned anything and he hag not done any work since 1970. An order of adjudication was passed against the Insolvent on 16-4-1975. The Insolvent has also stated that he has an undivided 1/4th share in an immoveable property at Khar, which share has been mortgaged for Rupees 25,000.00. He has further stated that the value of his undivided 1/4th share in the immoveable property as on 22-8-1975 will not be more than Rupees 20,000.00.
2. According to the Insolvent, he was a worker within the definition of a 'Worker' under Section 2 (o) of the Maharashtra Debt Relief Act and hence under Section 4 of the Maharashtra Debt Relief Act all his debts except the debt due to Canara Bank are discharged. Section 2 (o) of the Maharashtra Debt Relief Act is as follows :
' 'Worker' means a person who earns his livelihood through any profession, calling or trade and also a person who is working in any factory (including a badli worker therein)'.
Under Section 4 every debt of a worker whose immoveable property if any does not exceed Rs. 20,000.00 in market value shall be deemed to be wholly discharged, and the consequences set out in Section 4 will ensue with effect from the appointed day. The appointed day under Section 2 (b) of the Act means 'the 22nd day of August 1975'. Hence the Insolvent must show that he was a worker covered by the Act on the appointed day. Admittedly the Insolvent had not done any work at all since 1970. Hence it cannot be said that on the appointed day he was a person who earned his livelihood through any profession, calling or trade or that ha was a person who was working in any factory on that day. Mr. Keshavdas Dalpatrai, who appears for the Insolvent argued that the intention of the Act is to give protection to all persons whose income is less than Rs. 500.00 per month and that the definition of a 'worker' should be interpreted to mean a person who was a worker as defined under Section 2 (o) at the time when he Incurred the debt. There is nothing in the Act which warrants such an interpretation. If Mr. Dalpatrai's argument is to be accepted, a person who was a worker as defined under the Act at the time when ha incurred the debt would get relief even if on the appointed day he may have become a millionaire. This is not the intention of the Act at all, The intention of the Act is to give relief to certain types of persons who are defined in the Act. All persons who claim relief must come within the scope of Section 4 of the Act if their debts are to stand discharged as from the appointed day. It is, therefore, not possible to interpret the definition of a worker under Section 2 (o) to include not merely a person who earns his livelihood as stated therein but also a person who some time in the past earned his livelihood In the manner stated therein. Mr. Dalpatrai relied upon the observations of Krishna Iyer J. in : (1978)ILLJ349SC Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board v. A. Rajappa. These observations cannot be stretched to alter the definition of 'worker' which is provided under the Act itself. The person must be a worker on the appointed day under Section 4 in order to claim the benefit of that section. The Insolvent is not such a person. Hence the debts of the Insolvent (except his debt to the Canara Bank) do not stand discharged as claimed by the Insolvent Secondly, under the Maharashtra Debt Relief Act itself, the debt owed by the Insolvent to the Canara Bank cannot be wiped out nor can the claim which is made by the landlord of the shop premises in respect of the rent of those premises. There is no question, therefore of any order being made for the annulment of his insolvency.
Notice of Motion dismissed. No orderas to costs.
3. Order accordingly.