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Lakshmana Perumal Naicker Vs. Narayanaswami Naicker - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1985)2MLJ64
AppellantLakshmana Perumal Naicker
RespondentNarayanaswami Naicker
Excerpt:
- - 1. an interesting question arises in this civil revision petition. 392.95, that is, half towards principal and interest, and by passing the receipt exhibit b-1 the claim was settled on 14th november, 1978 and the claim was satisfied. i am unable to accept this argument, because the object of tamil nadu act 40 of 1978 as well as tamil nadu act 40 of 1979 is to give relief to the debtors and that is the very reason why both the acts are titled as tamil nadu debt relief acts. (2) nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to invalidate any proceeding in which the order passed has been executed or satisfied in full before the date of the publication of this act in the tamil nadu government gazette......necessary for me to refer to some of the provisions of tamil nadu act 40 of 1979, called the tamil nadu debt relief act, 1979. this act repeals the earlier act of the same title, namely the tamil nadu debt relief act, 1978. by a reading of section 31 of act 40 of 1979, it is seen that 'the tamil nadu debt relief act, 1978 (tamil nadu act 40/78) except section 40 thereof (hereinafter referred to as the said act) is hereby repealed'. by this act, namely, tamil nadu act 40 of 1979, the liability of the debtor in relation to scaling, down has been provided for under section 7 and sub-section (1) runs as follows:notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force or any contract or instrument having force by virtue of any such law and save as otherwise expressly provided.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S. Mohan, J.

1. An interesting question arises in this civil revision petition. The facts are as follows: The petitioner as plaintiff preferred S.C.S.No. 23 of 1980 for the recovery of a sum of Rs. 463.25. The defendant (respondent-herein), admittedly, had borrowed a sum of Rs. 600 from the plaintiff and executed a promissory note in his favour on 27th January, 1975, agreeing to Day the principal together with interest at 12% p.a. In view of the publication of Ordinance 5 of 1978, S.C.S.No. 154 of 1978 on the file of the District Munsif's Court, Kovilpatti the suit was filed for recovery of Rs. 392.95, that is, half towards principal and interest, and by passing the receipt Exhibit B-1 the claim was settled on 14th November, 1978 and the claim was satisfied. Thereafter, Tamil Nadu Act 40 of 1979 came into force. As per the provisions of the said Act, the plaintiff is entitled to recover the full amount as recited in the promissory note. Giving credit to the amount received under Ex.B-1, for the remaining amount, namely, Rs. 463.25 the suit S.C.S.No. 23 of 1980 came to be filed. In defence it was contended that the suit was not maintainable in law, in so far as Exhibit B-1 in full and final settlement of the claim due under the promissory note had been passed and since the claim was made in accordance with the provisions of Tamil Nadu Act 40 of 1978, a further suit will not He merely because the Tamil Nadu Act 40 of 1979 contains different provisions.

2. The learned District Munsif who tried the suit was of the view that, though as per the provisions of Tamil Nadu Act 40 of 1978, a creditor was entitled to claim only half of the amount and that right could be enforced only in respect of half of the amount of the debt payable by the debtor, inasmuch as Ex.B-1 had been passed on 14th November, 1978, the present suit would not lie. This is because Section 33(2) of Tamil Nadu Act 40 of 1979 states that the earlier proceedings would not in any way be invalidated. What was claimed in S.C.S.No. 154 of 1978 having been paid fully and full satisfaction having been rendered, the present suit would not lie. It is to revise this order the plaintiff has come forward with this revision.

3. Mr. N. Varadarajan, learned Counsel for the petitioner strenuously urged that the embargo or the disability under the provisions of Tamil Nadu Act 40 of 1978 having been removed by the provisions of Tamil Nadu Act 40 of 1979 on and from 14th July, 1978, the view of the court below cannot be held to be tenable. The construction placed on Section 33(2) of Tamil Nadu Act 40 of 1979 is again wrong. In opposition to this, learned Counsel for the respondent would state that the effect of passing of Ex.B-1, the full satisfaction memo would be that the present suit is barred. This is squarely covered by Sub-section (2) of Section 33 of Tamil Nadu Act 40 of 1979. The court below is right in its conclusion and no interference is warranted.

4. Having regard to these respective contentions it is necessary for me to refer to some of the provisions of Tamil Nadu Act 40 of 1979, called the Tamil Nadu Debt Relief Act, 1979. This Act repeals the earlier Act of the same title, namely the Tamil Nadu Debt Relief Act, 1978. By a reading of Section 31 of Act 40 of 1979, it is seen that 'the Tamil Nadu Debt Relief Act, 1978 (Tamil Nadu Act 40/78) except Section 40 thereof (hereinafter referred to as the said Act) is hereby repealed'. By this Act, namely, Tamil Nadu Act 40 of 1979, the liability of the debtor in relation to scaling, down has been provided for under Section 7 and Sub-section (1) runs as follows:

Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force or any contract or instrument having force by virtue of any such law and save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, all debts payable by any debtor on the 14th day of July, 1978 shall be scaled down in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.' (proviso omitted as unnecessary.

On this basis what is contended is that, inasmuch as Ex.B-1 was passed only on 14th November, 1978 and the defendant was a debtor on 14th July, 1978 for the remaining amount calculated on the basis of the promissory note, the present suit would lie. I am unable to accept this argument, because the object of Tamil Nadu Act 40 of 1978 as well as Tamil Nadu Act 40 of 1979 is to give relief to the debtors and that is the very reason why both the Acts are titled as Tamil Nadu Debt Relief Acts. It is at this stage Section 33 of Act 40 of 1979 becomes very relevant and has a great bearing on the issue on hand. Section 33 runs thus:

Removal of doubts: (1) any liability incurred or arising under any debt due from a debtor shall be deemed never to have been discharged under the said Act, as if the said Act was not passed and every open debt shall be scaled down in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(2) Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to invalidate any proceeding in which the order passed has been executed or satisfied in full before the date of the publication of this Act in the Tamil Nadu Government Gazette.

A careful reading of Sub-section (2) above shows that the provisions of Act 40 of 1979 do not in any way affect the earlier proceedings. In this case Exhibit B-1 was passed on 14th November, 1978. That reads as follows:

(Sd.) A.V. Lakshmanan,

Advocate for plaintiff 14.11.1978.

The effect of this, as correctly understood by the Court below is that full satisfaction has been entered into in relation to the debt evidenced by the promissory note executed by the defendant on 27th January, 1975. Under these circumstances, it is not again possible for the creditor to recover the balance. The acceptance of the argument of the learned Counsel for the petitioner would mean not affording relief to the debtor but virtual harassment as the debtor is being obliged to face successive suits as and when legislations are passed. That could not be the intendment, nor the object of these reliefs Acts. Therefore I see no reason to differ from the Court below. The Civil Revision Petition fails and is hereby dismissed without costs.


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