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P.L.Pr.Pr. Periakaruppan Chettiar and anr. Vs. Rajamanickavasagam - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1956)2MLJ233
AppellantP.L.Pr.Pr. Periakaruppan Chettiar and anr.
RespondentRajamanickavasagam
Cases ReferredIn Venkatapathi Raju v. Venkatarathnam
Excerpt:
- - he should remain satisfied that his debt has been discharged and that nothing more could be claimed by him......the court for a declaration as to what exactly is the amount due to him from the agriculturist-debtor. while the relief that can be sought by the debtor and the creditor under this section are the same in so far as the declaration of what exactly the amount of debt is, one further relief is given to the agriculturist-debtor as pointed above, namely, that he could also ask the court to declare that his debt to the creditor has become discharged. but this relief is not made available to the creditor. if the creditor is to apply to the court that under certain circumstances, which may be alleged by him, the debt due from the agriculturist-debtor has become discharged and that there is nothing due from the debtor to the creditor by reason of any circumstances, such an application is not.....
Judgment:

Basheer Ahmed Sayeed, J.

1. The point that arises for consideration in this Civil Revision Petition is whether a creditor's right to proceed under Section 19-A of the Madras Agriculturists' Relief Act (IV of 1938) is co-extensive with the rights given to an agriculturist-debtor under the same section. A reading of Section 19-A of the said Act makes it clear that while an agriculturist-debtor could apply not merely for a declaration of the debt due by him to his creditors but also for a declaration that the debt that was due by him had already become discharged; so far as the creditor is concerned, the only right that seems to be given to him under the section is to approach the Court for a declaration as to what exactly is the amount due to him from the agriculturist-debtor. While the relief that can be sought by the debtor and the creditor under this section are the same in so far as the declaration of what exactly the amount of debt is, one further relief is given to the agriculturist-debtor as pointed above, namely, that he could also ask the Court to declare that his debt to the creditor has become discharged. But this relief is not made available to the creditor. If the creditor is to apply to the Court that under certain circumstances, which may be alleged by him, the debt due from the agriculturist-debtor has become discharged and that there is nothing due from the debtor to the creditor by reason of any circumstances, such an application is not maintainable. The reason underlying this seems to be that ordinarily a creditor is. not called upon to do anything further, nor need he take any action when his debt is-discharged. There is not much scope for him to take any initiative when once his debt is discharged. He keeps quiet after his debt is discharged and no serious consequences would ensue to him from such silence on his part. But under extraordinary circumstances, however, the creditor will have to resort to other proceedings in order to get a relief of this kind, viz., a declaration that a debt due to him had become discharged by reason of some supervening or intervening circumstances or by reason of any other agreement or understanding that might have been existing between the creditor and the debtor. To read anything more into this section will not be warranted by the language of the section for the first sub-clause of the section appears to be providing for a relief common to both the creditor and the debtor, while under Sub-clause (2) of the section the relief is restricted only to a person who claims to be an agriculturist. In Venkatapathi Raju v. Venkatarathnam (1915) 2 M.L.J. 629, a Bench of this Court while interpreting the scope of Section 19-A of the Madras Agriculturists' Relief Act (IV of 1938) has held that for the maintainability of the application under Section 19-A the pre-requisites necessary are that the debtor must say that either there should be a declaration that the whole debt is wiped off or that a sum of money is due from him to the creditor, but that where the creditor admits that no-sum is due there is no scope for the applicability of Section 19-A. He should remain satisfied that his debt has been discharged and that nothing more could be claimed by him.

2. In this case, the contention of the creditor is that no money is due on the mortgage executed by the petitioner, that the debt has already been discharged and that the property which was the subject-matter of the mortgage had already become vested in him in his own right. This being the case, he cannot approach the Court for a relief under Section 19-A. As already pointed out the section does not give him such a relief. He can only have the restricted relief viz., a declaration of the amount of debt due to him by the debtor and not a declaration that the debt due to him has already become discharged and that the property had become vested in him as his own property.

3. In this view, the order of the learned District Munsif holding to the contrary is, therefore, not correct, and the order is accordingly set aside. This petition is allowed. No order as to costs.


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