1. Counsel moves that the record of the Deputy Custodian-General in -- Des Raj v. The Additional Custodian, Punjab', be Drought to this Court and the order of the Deputy Custodian-General dated the 2nd June 1953 quashed.
2. The facts of tne case are given in the petition which has been made in this Court. On the 3rd July 1947 the petitioner made an entry in his books tnat a sum of Rs. 3,341/9/9 was due on account of ground-nuts received from Messrs. Monammad Ramzan Nur Monammad of Narowal in Pakistan. Tne Deputy Cuminissioner held an enquiry and a statement of Des Raj was recorded by the Assistant Custodian on the 22nd December 1949 where Des Raj admitted that this sum was due from him and he asued for two years' time in which to pay. On the 21st February 1950 the Narowal firm was declared to be an evacuee firm and the Assistant Custodian, Ludniana, was directed to realise an amount of Rs. 3,216/7/-which was the sum ultimately found to be due from Pes Raj. He was caned upon to pay this money, otherwise the amount would be realized as arrears of land revenue under Section 48 of the Administration of Evacuee Property Act. He went up in appeal to tne Additional Custodian and from there to the Custodian-General who dismissed his petition on the 2nd June 1953 and it was admitted by a Bench of this Court on the 3rd August 1953.
3. The question that arises for determination in this case is to what is the effect of Section 43 of the Administration of Evacuee Property Act read with Section 13 of that Act. The property, which is in dispute, has been declared to be evacuee property. That is not a matter which is under dispute or can be disputed. Under section 13 of the Act payments have to be made to the Custodian if a valid discharge is to be obtained. This section provides-
'13(1) An amount due to any evacuee in respect of any property which has vested in the Custodian or in respect of any transaction entered into by the evacuea, shall be paid to the Custodian by the persons liable to pay the same.'
Section 48 reads-
'48. Any due to the State Government or to the Custodian under the provisions of this Act may be recovered as if it were an arrear of land revenue.'
The question is what is the meaning of the word 'due'. In -- 'Firm Sahib Dayal Bakhshi Ram v. Assistant Custodian of Evacuees' Property, Amritsar', AIR 1952 Punj 389 at p. 392 (A), Weston C. J, said-
'Section 48 no doubt gives a summary remedy for recovery of sums due to the State Government or to the Custodian, but I have no hesitation in accepting that the powers given by this section must be restricted to sums otherwise legally recoverable.'
4. In another Judgment which was delivered by a Bench of this court in -- 'Firm Fariteshah Sadashiv v. Assistant Custodian of Evacuee Property, Amritsar'. AIR 1953 Punj 21 (B), the word 'debt' was defined as that which law or justice requires to be paid. The question which arose in the two judgments which I have quoted above was whether the Custodian had the right to determine whether the amount which was being claimed was barred by time or not. It was reallyin connection with that that those two cases were decided. Harnam Singh J. in his judgment that I have quoted, made tnis question very clear by remarking that tnere was no provision in the Act which gives to the Custodian the power to determine disputed questions, particularly of time barred debts.
5. In the present case there is no question ofthe debt being barred by time or otherwise. DesRaj had admitted before the Custodian that theamount was due and he even promised to payand asked for two years' time. Tnerefore it can-not be said that the amount is not due, i. e., thedebt was not immediately payable or to put it in a narrower sense was hot payable as was held bythe Madrid High Court in -- 'Nijamudin v.Mahammadali', 4 Mad H C R 385 (C). I Km ofthe opinion that this matter is covered by the word'due' as used in section 48 and therefore it couldbe recovered. In view of this I am constrainedto dismiss this petition and discharge the rule.There will be no order as to costs in this Court.