1. The short point for decision in the present case is whether the petitioner's application under Section 13 of the Displaced Persons (Debts Adjustment) Act, 1951, is barred by time.
2. The facts of the case are simple and not in dispute. On 6-4-1945 and 25-10-1945 Shri Lahori Mal Puri petitioner sold certain goods to the Pioneer Medical Stores, Cawnpore, hereinafter referred to as the respondents. The country was split up into the Dominions of India and Pakistan on 15-8-1947 and in view of the communal disturbances which broke out in that year the petitioner was unable to bring an action against the respondents.
On 30-5-1952 the petitioner made an application under Section 13, Displaced Persons (Debts Adjustment) Act, 1951, & this application was dismissed by the trial Court on the ground that it was presented to the Court after the period of limitation had expired.
3. On 4-9-1948 the Central Legislature enacted a measure known as the Displaced Persons (Institution of Suits) Act (Act 47 of 1948).
Section 8 of this statute was in the following terms:
'8. Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 3 of the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 (9 of 1908), or any special or local law, any suit instituted in pursuance of Section 4 of this Act may be admitted after the period of limitation prescribed therefor, when the plaintiff satisfies the Court that he was unable to institute the suit within such period owing to causes connected with his being a displaced person.'
As this Act was to remain in force for a period of three years (vide Section 2) it was open to a person to institute a suit at any time up to 4-9-1951. On 8-12-1950, Parliament amended the Act of 1948 by Act No. 68 of 1950. By the Amending Act the parent Act was to continue in force up to 31-3-1952. The period of limitation was thus extended up to 31-3-1952.
On 7-11-1951, Parliament enacted the Displaced Persons (Debts Adjustment) Act, 1951 (70 of 1951). Section 36 of this Act declared that any suit or other legal proceeding in respect whereof the period of limitation was extended by Section 8, Displaced Persons (Institution of Suits) Act, 1948, may be instituted at any time within one year, from the commencement of this Act, that is, within one year from 10-12-1951. The period of limitation was thus extended to 10-12-1952.
4. It is common ground that the petitioner in this case is a displaced person and that the respondents are not. It is also admitted that the period of limitation in respect of the price of the goods supplied by the petitioner to the respondents expired on or after 14-8-1947. Act No. 47 of 1948 extended the period of limitation to 4-9-1951; Act No. 68 of 1950 to 31-3-1852 and Act 70 of 1951 to 10-12-1952.
5. These enactments make it quite clear that any suit which satisfies the conditions set out in Section 4 of the Displaced Persons (Institution of Suits) Act, 1948, could be instituted in Court at any time upto 10-12-1952. As the present application was presented in Court on 30-5-1952 it must be regarded as having been presented within the prescribed period and could not have been dismissed on the ground that it was barred by time.
6. For these reasons, I would accept the petition, set aside the order under revision and remand the case to the Court below for decision of the application in accordance with law. Theparties have been directed to appear before the Court below on 23-11-1953. Costs will abide the event.