Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.
1. This is another example of the disregard of principles of elementary justice which Debt Conciliation Boards of this Province are apt to show. The petitioner is a creditor of the first respondent for Rs. 2,871-14-9, due tinder a registered mortgage. The first respondent applied to the Debt Conciliation Board, Rajahmundry, on the 15th September, 1939, for a settlement of his debts. In the schedule of debts he set out the amount due to the petitioner under his mortgage. The petitioner was required to file on the 16th December, 1939 the statement contemplated by Section 10 (1) of the Debt Conciliation Act. At this time the petitioner was a defendant in a partition suit in the Court of the District Munsif, Rajahmundry, and he had been compelled to produce in the Court his account books. On the 16th December, 1939, the petitioner appeared before the Board and explained the situation. He then applied for fifteen days' time to enable him to withdraw his books from the Court. This request was granted and he was given time till the 6th January, 1940, to file the statement required by Section 10 (1). He was not able to withdraw the books by the 6th January, but on the 4th January, that is, two days before his statement was due to be filed, he presented to the Board a statement of his claim against the first respondent. This statement agreed with the statement made by the first respondent in his petition. In other words, there was no dispute between the debtor and the creditor as to the amount due. Except that the statement filed by the petitioner was not signed and verified in the manner prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure it complied with the requirements of Section 10 (1). The omission to sign and verify the statement was purely a technical defect and it had no consequence as the debtor and creditor were in agreement as to the amount.
2. On the 6th January, 1940, the petitioner asked for a further period of 25 days to enable him to withdraw the books from the Court. Time was granted until the 29th January. The petitioner had not obtained his books by that date and should have appeared before the Board and explained his position, but as he did not do so the Board passed an order declaring the debt due to him to be discharged under Sub-section (2) of Section 10.
3. It is perhaps possible to imagine a more arbitrary order than we have here, but it is difficult. The respondent had acknowledged the debt and a statement had been filed by the petitioner which agreed with the respondent's figure. For the Debt Conciliation Board to pass an order of cancellation under Section 10 (2) in these circumstances we regard as being monstrous. If the order is allowed to stand the unfortunate creditor will be deprived of all that is due to him. The petitioner is blameworthy in not having appeared before the Board on the 29th January, but his failure to do so gave no warrant to the Board to pass this order of cancellation.
4. The order of the Board will be quashed and the Board will be directed to pay the costs which we fix at Rs. 200.