Harnam Singh, J.
1. In deciding Civil Suit No. 3/D
of 1952 the Tribunal has found that Clauses (b) and (c) of Section 2(6) of the Displaced Persons (Debts Adjustment) Act, 1951, hereinafter referred to as the Act, must be read conjunctively. In the opinion of the Tribunal to bring a case under Section 2(6)(c) of the Act, the pecuniary liability must have been incurred by tne debtor before he came to reside in any area now forming part of India.
2. From the order passed by the Tribunal, Shri B. S. Bali appeals under Section 40 of the Act.
3 In interpreting statute Judge should not infer an intention contrary to the literal meaning of the words of the statute, unless the context, or the consequences which would ensue from a literal interpretation, justify the inference that the Legislature has not expressed something which it intended to express, or unless such interpretation eads to any manifest absurdity or repugnance, with this superadded qualification that the ab-surdity or repugnance must be such as manifest-ed itself to the mind of the law-maker, and not such as may appear to be so to the Tribunal interpreting the statute. In this connection observations of Lord Field in -- 'Cox v. Hades', (1890) 15 AC 506 CA) may be seen.
(4) In order to bring the case within Section 2(6)(c) of the Act, the conditions specified here-under must be satisfied:
(1) that there is a 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 ;
(2) that the debtor is any person, whether a displaced person or not a displaced person; and
(3) that the liability is due to a displaced creditor.
5. In a case coining within Section 2(6)(b) of the Act, the debtor must be a displaced person while in a case coming within Section 2(6)(c) of the Act, the debtor may be a displaced person cr not. In cases coming within Section 2(6) (a) and (b) of the Act, the creditor may be a displaced person or not, but in a case falling under Section 2(6)(c) of the Act, the creditor must be a displaced person. In a case felling under Section 2(6)(b) of the Act, the debt must have been incurred by the displaced debtor before he came to reside In any area now forming part of India on the security of immovable property situate in the territories now forming part of India. From the words used in Section 2(6)(c) of the Act, it is plain that the debtor may be a displaced person or may not be a displaced person. Clearly, when a debtor is not a displaced person, no question can arise about the debt having been incurred before the debtor came to reside in any area now forming part of India.
6. In deciding the point the Tribunal seems to have been influenced by the fact that the Legislature did not contemplate to give a displaced creditor a remedy by which he could at any time enforce the pecuniary liability against the debtor, whether a displaced person or not. That this is not so is plain from the provisions of Section 53 of the Act which provides that subject to the other provisions contained in the Act, the Indian Lim'tation Act, 1908, shall apply to the Institution of any proceeding under the Act, and for the purpose of determining and computing the period of limitation prescribed by that Act in relation here-to, every application made under the Act shall be deemed to be a suit for the purpose of that Act, In any case, in interpreting statutes Judges are not called upon to apply their opinion of sound policy so as to modify plain meaning of statutory words.
7. For the foregoing reasons, I am of the opinion that Clauses (a), (b) and (c) of Section 2(6) of the Act must be read disjunctively. If so, the pecuniary liability which was the subject-matter of Civil Suit No. 3/D of 1952 was debt within Section 2(6)(c) of the Act.
8. Finding as I do, that the pecuniary liability in Civil Suit No. 3/D of 1952 was debt within Section 2(6)(c) of the Act, I allow P. A. P. O. No. 109 of 1952 and remand the case for trial on merits.
9. Parties are directed to appear before theTribunal on the 29th of July, 19(sic).