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Smt. Shanti Devi Vs. Deputy Custodian General and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil;Property;Contract
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ No. 304 of 1962
Judge
Reported inAIR1966P& H226
ActsAdministration of Evacuee Property Act, 1950 - Sections 48
AppellantSmt. Shanti Devi
RespondentDeputy Custodian General and ors.
Appellant Advocate Roop Chand, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateJ.N. Kaushal. Adv.-General
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....is common ground that the books of the firm clearly show ed that a sum of rs. this finding of the assistant custodian was then confirmed on appeal by the deputy custodian general of india by his order dated 25th of april 1961. learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the deputy custodian general had not confirmed the finding of the assistant custodian to the effect that the petitioner had failed to prove that the sum of rs 12,060-13-0 belonged to the firm. the custodian general had clearly repelled all the contentions raised by the counsel for the petitioner before him and held that the assistant custodian had rightly found that rs. in any case, he bad nowhere held that rs. moreover, the petitioner was given several adjournments by the assistant custodian to prove her case, but..........for his acts. so far as bundu's money is concerned, it is admittedly with the firm and that money custodian can justly demand from the firm. the firm cannot take advantage of its own default in letting bundu keep the money in his own name. ' against this order, the present writ petition was filed on 10th november 1961.3. learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that though it was true that in the books of the firm a sum of rs. 13,616-11-9 was standing to the credit of bundu, but the firm had allowed him to keep rs. 12,060-13-0 in his personal account in the punjab national bank limited, karnal since bundu had got this money transferred to pakistan, the firm was responsible only to pay the balance to the custodian, who stepped into the shoes of bundu. it was also contended that.....
Judgment:
ORDER

P.C. Pandit, J.

1. This is a petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution filed by Smt. Shanti Devi challenging the action of the Managing Officer-cum-Assistant Custodian, Karnal, respondent No. 2 in recovering certain money from her

2. According to the allegations of the petitioner, she was the widow of Sant Ram alias Mohd. Sadiq, who was one of the Proprietors of firm Mohd. Sadiq-Ibrahim situate at Karnal. This firm dealt in limber business. Originally, the partners of this firm were Sant Ram alias Mohd. Sadiq. Mohd Ibrahim and one Bundu. Mohd. Ibrahim separated before the partition of this country and His firm was carried on by the remaining two partners. Bundu later on migrated to Pakistan and he, consequently, became an evacuee. Some of the amount belonging to the firm was given to Bundu, but he opened an account in his own name in the local Branch of the Punjab National Bank. At the lime of the partition of the country, a sum of Rs. 13,516-11-9 stood to the credit of Bundu in the profit account of this firm, whereas he had taken a sum of Rs. 12,060-13-0 belonging to the firm, which was lying to his credit in the Punjab National Bank at Karnal. On a complaint having been made to the Custodian Department, the matter was looked into by the District Rent and Managing Officer, cum Assistant Custodian, Karnal. On 8th November 1960 he came to the conclusion that the petitioner was liable for the payment of the entire amount of Rs. 13,516-11-9 to the Custodian, because she had failed to produce any evidence to show that Rs 12,060-13-0, which were lying to the credit of Bundu in the Punjab National Bank at Karnal, belonged to the firm. This sum of Rs. 12,060-13-0 had since been transferred to Pakistan al the instance of Bundu. The petitioner then filed an appeal before the Deputy Custodian General of India, New Delhi, respondent No 1, who dismissed the same on 25th of April 1961 remarking, 'if the firm permitted Bundu to keep the money of the firm in his own name and Bundu taking advantage of that fact ran away to Pakistan with the money, the Custodian cannot be made responsible for his acts. So far as Bundu's money is concerned, it is admittedly with the firm and that money Custodian can justly demand from the firm. The firm cannot take advantage of its own default in letting Bundu keep the money in his own name. ' Against this order, the present writ petition was filed on 10th November 1961.

3. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that though it was true that in the books of the firm a sum of Rs. 13,616-11-9 was standing to the credit of Bundu, but the firm had allowed him to keep Rs. 12,060-13-0 in his personal account in the Punjab National Bank Limited, Karnal Since Bundu had got this money transferred to Pakistan, the firm was responsible only to pay the balance to the Custodian, who stepped into the shoes of Bundu. It was also contended that the Custodian could not call upon another partner of the firm, namely the petitioner to pay the amount due to the evacuee partner to him. For that purpose, it was essential that he should bring a suit for dissolution of partnership and rendition of accounts and whatever was then found due to that evacuee should be recovered from the other partner, who remained in India. It was further argued that even Bundu could not demand this amount from the petitioner, unless all the accounts of the firm had been gone into in a regular suit for dissolution of partnership and rendition of accounts.

4. There is no merit in all these contentions. In the first place, these points were not specifically mentioned in the writ petition filed in this Court. Secondly, it is common ground that the books of the firm clearly show ed that a sum of Rs. 13,516-11-9 was due to Bundu evacuee. Section 18 of the Administration of Evacuee Properly Act (31 of 1950) runs thus:--

'Section 48(1). Any sum payable to the Government or to the Custodian in respect of any evacuee properly, under any agreement, express or implied, lease of other document or otherwise howsoever, may be recovered in the same manner as an arrear of land revenue.

(2) If any question arises whether a sum is payable to the Government or to the Custodian within the meaning of Sub-section (1) the Custodian shall, after making such inquiry as he may deem fit, and giving to the person by whom the sum is alleged 'to be payable an opportunity of being heard, decide the question; and the decision of the Custodian shall, subject to any appeal or revision under this Act, be final and shall not be called in question by any court or other authority.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a sum shall be deemed to be payable to the Custodian notwithstanding that its recovery is barred by the Indian Limitation Act, 1908, or any other law for the lime being in force relating to limitation of actions ' According to this section, the Custodian was authorised to determine, after making such enquiry as he deemed fit, whether any sum was payable to the Government or to the Custodian in respect of any evacuee properly. Before determining this question, he had of course to give an opportunity to the person by whom such sum was alleged to be payable and the decision of the Custodian on this point was to be final and not liable to be challenged by any court or other authority except by way of an appeal or revision as provided under Act 31 of 1950. In the present case, the Assistant Custodian found after enquiry that this amount was due to Bundu and further that the petitioner could not prove that the sum of Rs. 12,060-13-0 which was in the personal account of Bundu in the Punjab National Bank actually belonged to the firm This decision was made by him after evidence was recorded and several adjournments had been given to the petitioner to prove her case. This finding of the Assistant Custodian was then confirmed on appeal by the Deputy Custodian General of India by his order dated 25th of April 1961. Learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the Deputy Custodian General had not confirmed the finding of the Assistant Custodian to the effect that the petitioner had failed to prove that the sum of Rs 12,060-13-0 belonged to the firm. There is no merit in this submission. The Custodian General had clearly repelled all the contentions raised by the counsel for the petitioner before him and held that the Assistant Custodian had rightly found that Rs. 13,516-11-9 were recoverable from the petitioner. In any case, he bad nowhere held that Rs. 12,060-13-0 belonged to the firm. Moreover, the petitioner was given several adjournments by the Assistant Custodian to prove her case, but she had failed to do so. No injustice has, therefore, been done to her

5. As a result, this petition fails and is dismissed. In the circumstances of this case however, the c will be no order as to costs.

LI/SG/D.V.C.

Petition dismissed.


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