26 October 1964
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (civil) 55 of 1962






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 26/10/1964


CITATION:  1965 AIR 1216            1965 SCR  (1) 815  CITATOR INFO :  R          1989 SC 611  (6)  D          1989 SC1654  (15)  RF         1992 SC 224  (11)

ACT: Income Tax-Debtor and Creditor (Occupation Period) Ordinance (Malaya Ord.  No. XLII of 1948)-Scope of-Liability to tax on principle of estoppel.

HEADNOTE: The  Japanese  currency introduced into  Malaya  during  the Japanese occupation began to depreciate after January  1963, so  that  debts  paid  off and  received  in  that  currency resulted in loss to the creditors.  The Government of India, by  a  notification issued in 1947, propounded a  scheme  to give  relief  to Indian nationals carrying  on  business  in Malaya,  and  the Central Board of  Revenue  issued  further instructions  on  the scheme.  One of the  instructions  was that if any creditors opted to accept the scheme, a recovery subsequently  made by them, with respect to the debt due  to them  was to be taken as their income.  In 1948, the  Debtor and Creditor (Occupation Period) Ordinance No. XLII of 1948, of Malaya was passed by the Malaya Legislature.  Under  that Ordinance,  payments  made in Japanese currency were  to  be valued  and scaled down in accordance with its Schedule,  so that  a  payment  in  Japanese currency  would  be  a  valid discharge of a debt only to the extent of such  revaluation. A  creditor  could  enforce  his  debt  to  the  extent  not discharged  and  the  debtor  was  under  an  obligation  to discharge  it  to that extent.  On the questions as  to  (i) whether amounts, recovered by creditors who had accepted the scheme, from their debtors, in terms of the Ordinance,  were liable  to  income-tax; and (ii) whether the  debtors  could claim  the  payments made by them as  deductions,  the  High Court held, (i) that the assessees who had received payments would  not he liable to tax in respect of amounts  they  had received  towards principal, but they would be so liable  in respect of moneys which they had received towards  interest; and (ii) that those assessees who had made payments  towards the  debts, would be entitled to deduct from  their  income, and  claim exemption from tax only such amounts as they  had



paid on account of interest, but they would not be  entitled to  deduct  any payment made on account of  principal.   The High Court also gave directions that open payments should be appropriated  according  to  the  law  of  appropriation  of payments.   The Commissioner and a debtor-assessee  appealed to the Supreme Court.   HELD : The appeals should be dismissed.    (i)    The creditor-assessees were not’ precluded on  the principle  of "approbate and reprobate" from  pleading  that the income they derived subsequently, by realisation of  the revived  debts,  was not taxable income.  The  doctrine  was only  a species of estoppel and cannot operate  against  the statute.   If a particular income is not taxable  under  the Income-tax Act, it cannot be taxed on the basis of  estoppel or any other equitable doctrine. [822 F-H]    (ii)   Under  the Ordinance, the discharged debts  became enforceable  to the extent of the balance of the amount  due after the scaling down of the 816 payments,  and the contention of the Revenue that the  State provided  for  compensation  for the loss  incurred  by  the creditor-assessees could not be accepted. [825 B-E] (iii)     The  Income-tax Officer could only  impose  income tax  on  the income recovered by  the  assessees  thereafter towards  their  debts if such income was taxable  under  the provisions  of  the Act.  So too in regard to  the  payments made  by the Assessees towards such debts, they could  claim relief  by  way of deduction only if  such  deductions  were permissible under the Act. [825 F-G]

JUDGMENT: CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeals Nos. 55, 888 and 889 of 1962 and 518 to 520, 722, 724, 725, 727 to 729 &  732 to 735 of 1963.    Appeals  from the judgment dated August 19, 1958, of  the Madras High Court in Referred Case No. 52, R. C. No. 90,  43 and  82,  33, 58 to 60, 64 and 65 of 1955 and 97,  98,  102, 112, 113 and 115 of 1956, respectively.     C.    K.   Daphtary,  Attorney-General,  S.  V.   Gupte, Solicitor-General,  Gopal  Singh,  R. H. Dhebar  and  R.  N. Sachtliey, for the appellant (in C. A. No. 55 of 1962).    C.     K.   Daphtary,  Attorney-General,  S.  V.   Gupte, Solicitor-General,  N. D. Karkhanis, R. H. Dhebar and R.  N. Sachthey, for the appellant (in C. As.  Nos. 888-889 of 1962 and  722, 724, 725, 728 to 729 and 732 to 735 of  1963)  and for the respondents (in C. As.  Nos. 415 of 1962, 518 to 520 of 1963).    R.     Ganapathy Iyer, for the appellants (in C. A.  Nos. 518 to 520 of  1963)  and  for the respondents  (in  C.  As. Nos. 55 of 1962, 888 to  889 of 1962 and 729, 732 and 735 of 1963).    K.     Srinivasan   and   R.  Gopalakrishnan,   for   the respondent (in C.A. Nos. 733 to 734 of 1963).    K.     R. Chaudhuri, for the respondent (in C.A. No.  724 of 1963).    A.     V.  Viswanatha Sastri, K. Parasaran,  K.  Rajendra Chaudhuri  and K. R. Chaudhuri, for the respondent (in  C.A. No. 722 of 1963).    S.     Swaminathan   and  M.  S.  Narasimhan,   for   the respondents ,(in C.A. Nos. 725 and 728 of 1963). 817 The Judgment of the Court was delivered by    Subba Rao J. These 16 appeals are filed against the Judg-



ment of the High Court of Judicature at Madras and raise the question   of  the  effect  of  the  Debtor   and   Creditor (Occupation  Period) Ordinance No. XLII of 1948  of  Malaya, hereinafter  called the Ordinance, on the liability  of  the assessee  to  pay income-tax in  respect  of  pre-occupation debts revived thereunder.    During the last World War Japan occupied Malaya.   During the  period of their occupancy i.e., from February  1942  to September  1945,  they  introduced  their  own  currency  in dollars.   During  that period both the currencies  were  in vogue  though  there  was  a  progressive  depreciation   of Japanese  currency in its relation to Malayan currency.   On September 5, 1945, the British Government re-occupied Malaya and introduced the Malayan currency as legal tender in place of  Japanese  currency.   The  Indian  nationals,  who  were carrying  on  business  in  Malaya  during  the;  period  of Japanese occupation, were hit adversely and suffered losses. The  Government  of  India  came  to  their  rescue  and  by Notification dated August 14, 1947, they propounded a scheme to  give them relief by allowing them to set off the  losses incurred  by  them  during  the  5  years  relevant  to  the assessment  years 1942-43 to 1946-47 against the profits  of the assessment years 1942-43 and 1941-42.  We shall consider the scheme in some detail at a later stage of the  judgment. On  December  16, 1948, the Malayan Legislature  passed  the Ordinance declaring that payments made in Japanese  currency by  debtors to their creditors in respect of debts  incurred prior  to  and  during the Japanese occupation  were  to  be valued  and  scaled  down in accordance  with  the  schedule appended to the Ordinance.  We shall deal with Ordinance  in some detail at the appropriate place but the broad effect of the  Ordinance  was that though a debt had  been  discharged fully  by  paying the amount due in Japanese  currency,  the debt  was  revived  in proportion  to  the  depreciation  of Japanese  currency  in relation to the Malayan  currency  as laid down by the schedule.  The creditor’s right to  recover the debt to the said extent and the liability of the  debtor to pay the same revived. As  the  question raised is one of law and does  not  depend upon the peculiar facts of each case, we think it is  enough if we 818 state  briefly the facts of two cases, one illustrating  the claim of an assessee against the imposition of income-tax in respect  of  the income he realized by the  revival  of  the debts  and the other illustrating that of an assessee to  an allowance  on the ground that he paid the scaled down  debts over again.    The respondent in Civil Appeal No. 722 to 735 of 1963  is a  firm carrying on business of money-lending in  Kampar  in Federated  Malaya  State.  It applied for relief  under  the special  scheme.   It incurred loss for the  aforesaid  four years of Rs. 1,33,125.  For the years 1941-42 and 1942-43 it had a profit of Rs. 53,010 and Rs. 35,753 respectively.  The said  profits were set off against the losses and the  taxes paid  by it for the years 1941-42 and 1942-43 were  refunded to  it.   After the Ordinance was passed, in terms  of  that Ordinance the respondent recovered 6,437 dollars during  the previous  year  ending April 12, 1952 corresponding  to  the assessment year 1952-53.   Civil  Appeals  Nos.  518 to 520 of  1963  deal  with  the converse  case.  The appellant therein is a Hindu  undivided family carrying on, inter alia, a money-lending business  in its own village in Kaula Kubbu Bharu and Parit Buntar in the Federated  Malaya States.  In the course of its business  it



had  taken  moneys as deposits from various  persons  before April  12,  1942.   During  the  period  of  occupation   it discharged its liability to various creditors but after  the publication  of  the  Ordinance  it  had  to  pay  again  to creditors 6,214.58 dollars in the previous year ending April 12, 1950; 28,586 dollars for the previous year ending  April 12,  1951; and 11,547 dollars for the previous  year  ending April  12, 1952.  The aforesaid amounts were claimed by  the appellant  as  deductions respectively  for  the  assessment years 1950-51, 1951-52 and 1952-53.    The  following tabular form at a glance gives the  claims of the assessees as creditors or debtors, as the case may be 819 1. civil Appeal No. 2. R.C. No. 3. appellant 4. Respondent 5. Assessment year 6. Claim 7. Issue for determination 1. 722 t0 735 of 1963 & 55 of 1962 2. 33 of 1955 3. Comm. of I.T., Madras 4. O. RM SP. SV. Firm. 5. 1951-52 6. $ 57395-69 7.  Creditor  claims  that the receipt is  capital  and  not revenue. 1. Nil 2. 52 of 1955 3. do 4. V. MR. Firm Muar 5. 1951-52 6. $39,851 7. do 1. Nil 2. 58 of 1955 3. do 4. VP.AL. CT. Chidambaram chettiar 5. 1951-52 6. $9889 7. do 1. Nil 2. 59 of 1955 3. do 4. RM. P. Alagappa Chettiar 5. 1951-52 6. $355000 7. do 1. Nil 2. 60 of 1955 3. do 4. M. RM. SP. V. Venkatachalam Chettiar 5. 1951-52 6. $9006 7. do 1. Nil 2. 64 of 1955 3 do 4. RM. P. Alagappa Chettiar. 5. 1951-52 6. $$35500 7. do 1. Nil 2. 65 of 1955



3. do 4. M. RM. SP. SM. Swaminathan Chettiar 5. 1951-52 6. $ 9006 7. do 1. Nil 2. 97 of 1956 3. do 4. M/s A.L.A. Firm 5. 1951-52 6. $8388 7. do 1. nil 2. 98 of 1956 3. do 4. AR. M. M. Firm 5. 1951-52 6. 6770 7. do 1. Nil 2. 102 of 1956 3. do 4. S.M. RM. Meyyappa Chettiar & sons 5. 1950-51, 1951-52 6. $1119, $3214 7. do 1. Nil 2. 112 of 1956 3. do 4. AR. M. M. Firm (Penang)  AR. M. M. Arunachalam 5. 1953-54 6. $2445 7 do 1.  Nil 2. 113 of 1956 3. do 4. P. S. R. M. Annamalai Subramaniam Chettiar 5. 1951-52 6. $ 12004 7. do 1. Nil 2. 115 of 1956 3. do 4. M/s L. AR. Firm 5. 1951-52 6. $1979.62 7. do 1. 518 to 520 of 1963 2. 115 of 1956 3. O. V. R. SV. AP. Arunachalam Chettiar 4. Commissioner of Income-tax, madras 5. 1951-52, 1952-53 6. $ 28, 586  $11, 574 7. Debtor claims deduction , On account of this payment 1. 888 & 889 of 1962 2. 90 of 1955 3. Commissioner of Income Tax, madras 4. O. R. M. O. M. A. M. Chidambaram Chettiar 5. 1951-52 & 1952-53 6. $ 6, 746 $664 7.  Creditor  claims  that the receipt is  capital  and  not revenue. Supp/64-9 820    The  Income-tax Officers held that during the  period  of



Japanese  occupation the debts were discharged and that  the receipt  of  additional amounts under the Ordinance  was  in fact assessable to tax.  They also held that in the case  of an assessee who was a debtor no deduction was permissible on the ground that the amounts paid represented only  repayment of  capital  and not business expenditure.   On  appeal  the Appellate  Assistant Commissioner held that the receipts  by the  assessee  in  respect of the revived  debts  were  only realization  of  the original amounts lent  and,  therefore, could  not be regarded as income.  In the case of the  claim for  deduction,  he agreed with the view of  the  Income-tax Officer.  On further appeal to the Tribunal, in the case  of receipts  it  held that the assessee  by  claiming  benefits under  the  scheme and in including all its  cash  and  Bank balances  in  the  Malayan business as part  of  the  losses incurred  therein in effect indirectly wrote off  the  debts due to them and, therefore, the recoveries under the  Ordin- ance  were only a subsequent realization of the written  off bad  debts  and, therefore, assessable  to  income-tax.   In those appeals relating to deductions, the Tribunal confirmed the orders of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner. The  High  Court answered the questions referred  to  it  as follows:               (1)   Where    an   assessee   has    received               repayments,  he will not be liable to  tax  in               respect  of  amounts  he has  received  as  or               towards principal, but he will be so liable in               respect of moneys which he has received as  or               towards interest.. Where only part of the debt               has  been  recovered, the assesse will  be  at               liberty,  subject  to  the  law  relating   to               appropriation of payments, to appropriate  the               money he has received either towards principal               or  interest.   The assessment in  respect  of               such receipts will proceed on this basis, that               is  to say, if the payment has  been  lawfully               appropriated towards interest, will be  liable               to  pay tax thereon.  But if he  has  lawfully               appropriated it towards principal, he will not               be liable to pay tax on it.               (2)   Where an assessee has made payments,  he               will  be  entitled  to deduct  them  from  his               income  and claim exemption from tax for  only               such  amounts  as he has paid  on  account  of               interest.   He will not be entitled to  deduct               any payments on account of principal. 821 The  Tribunal was directed to review the assessment  in  the light of the said directions.  The main reason given by  the High  Court for giving the said answers was that the  result of  the  Ordinance  was  to revive the  old  debts  and  the question  of the exigibility of the said income to  tax  can only be decided on the provisions of the Income-tax Act  and not by the terms of the scheme of the Ordinance.  Hence  the appeals.    The learned Solicitor-General, appearing for the Revenue, raised before us the following three points: (1) Sub-s.  (2) of s. 4 of the Ordinance on which reliance was placed by the High Court applies only to pre-occupation capital debts  and the debts with which the appeals are concerned are not  pre- occupation  capital  debts  and,  therefore,  they  are  not revived  thereunder. (2) The assessees having taken  benefit under the scheme propounded by the Government of India which contained  a condition that if any  recoveries  subsequently made would be taken as income,, they are now precluded  from



contending  that the, amounts realized towards  the  revived debts  are  not taxable on the principle  of  approbate  and reprobate.   And  (3) on a reasonable  construction  of  the relevant  sections of the Ordinance it should be  held  that there  was no revival of the debts but only that  the  State had provided for compensation for the losses incurred during the occupation period by the assessees. The  first question had not been raised at any stage of  the proceedings  before  the Tribunal and the High  Court.   Nor does  it find a place in the statement of case.  We  cannot, therefore,  allow  the learned Counsel to raise it  for  the first time before us. Nor has the second question been raised in the High Court in the  form  in which it is presented before us.   The  scheme propounded by the Government of India, inter alia,  contains the following provisions :               (i)   No assessee was under any obligation  to               accept  the scheme.  If he desired to opt  for               the scheme be was required to give option with               one month after he was informed of the scheme.               (ii)  An assessee was permitted to include  in               his  expenses  certain items  which  would  be               inadmissible under the Indian Income-tax Act.               (iii) The  losses  suffered  by  an   assessee               during   the  five  years  relevant   to   the               assessment years 1942-43 to 1946-47 were to be               aggregated.               822               (iv)  An  assessee was permitted to carry  the               aggregated  loss  backward  and  set  it   off               against  his profits for the  assessment  year               1942-43.               (v)   Any  loss  still  unabsorbed  could   be               carried backward to  the year 1941-42.               (vi)  Any  excess tax found to have been  paid               after recomputing the income of an assessee by               carrying  his loss backward could be  refunded               to him.               (vii) The loss could not be carried forward. The Central Board of Revenue issued further instructions  on the above scheme by its letter dated December 1, 1947.   One of  the instructions was that debts due to the  assessee  if paid  in  Japanese  currency would be  taken  to  have  been satisfied to that extent and excluded from the asset side in the  balance  sheet,  provided  that  if  any  recovery  was subsequently  made, it was to be taken as  income.   Briefly stated, under the scheme the losses suffered by an  assessee during the assessment years 1942-43 to 1946-47 were set  off against  his  profits for the assessment years  1942-43  and 1941-42  and  any  unabsorbed  loss  could  not  be  carried forward.   The  debts discharged in Japanese  currency  were excluded  from the assets side in the balance sheet but  the authority  reserved  for  itself  the  right  to  treat  any recoveries  subsequently made as income.  The contention  is that  the  assessees  having opted  to  accept  the  scheme, derived  benefit  thereunder,  and  agreed  to  have   their discharged debts excluded from the asset side in the balance sheet subject to the condition that subsequent recoveries by them would be taxable income, they are now precluded, on the principle  of "approbate and reprobate", from pleading  that the  income they derived subsequently by realization of  the revived  debts  is  not taxable  income.   The  doctrine  of "approbate and reprobate" is only a species of estoppel;  it applies  only to the conduct of parties.  As in the case  of estoppel,  it  cannot operate against the  provisions  of  a



statute.   If a particular income is not taxable  under  the Income-tax Act, it cannot be taxed on the basis of  estoppel or any other equitable doctrine.  Equity is out of place  in tax law; a particular income is either exigible to tax under the  taxing statute or it is not.  If it is not the  Income- tax Officer has no power to impose tax on the said income. The  decision  in Amarendra Narayan Roy v.  Commissioner  of Income-tax,  West Bengal(1) has no bearing on  the  question raised (1)  A.I.R. 1954 Cal. 271. 823 before  us.   There  the  concessional  scheme  tempted  the assessee  to disclose voluntarily all his  concealed  income and he agreed to pay the proper tax upon it.  The  agreement there related to the quantification of taxable income but in the  present  case  what is, sought to be  taxed  is  not  a taxable  income.  The assessee in such a case can  certainly raise the plea that his income is not taxable under the Act. We, therefore, reject this plea.   To appreciate the third argument it is necessary to notice the  relevant  terms of the Ordinance.   The  Ordinance  was issued   by   the  Malayan  Government   to   regulate   the relationship  between the debtor and creditor in respect  of debts  incurred prior to and during the period of the  enemy occupation  of the territories comprising the federation  of Malaya.  The relevant sections of the Ordinance read:               Section 4. Discharge during occupation  period               of preoccupation debts :               (1)   Subject to the provisions of sub-s.  (2)               of  this section, where any payment  was  made               during   the  occupation  period  in   Malayan               currency or occupation currency by a debtor or               by  his  agent  or  by  the  Custodian  or   a               liquidation  officer  purporting  to  act   on               behalf  of such debtor, to a creditor,  or  to               his agent or to the Custodian or a Liquidation               Officer  purporting to act on behalf  of  such               creditor,  and such payment shall be  a  valid               discharge  of such pre-occupation debt to  the               extent of the face value of such payment.               (2)   In any case-               (a)   where the acceptance of such payment in               occupation  currency was caused by  duress  or               coercion; or               (b)   where  such payment was made  after  the               thirtyfirst   day   of   December   1943,   in               occupation  currency  in  respect  of  a  pre-               occupation capital debt, exceeding two hundred               and fifty dollars in amount, which-               (i)   was not due at the time of such payment;               or               (ii)  if due, was not demanded by the creditor               or  by  his agent on his behalf  and  was  not               payable  within the occupation period under  a               time essence contract;               824               (iii) if due and demanded as aforesaid was not               paid  within three months of demand or  within               such  extended period as was  mutually  agreed               between  the  creditor or his  agent  and  the               debtor or his agent; or               (c)......... such payment shall be revalued in               accordance  with  the  scale set  out  in  the               Schedule  to  this Ordinance and  shall  be  a               valid  discharge  of  such debt  only  to  the



             extent of such revaluation.                                THE SCHEDULE               1.    (a)  :  Where  any such  payment  as  it               mentioned  in sub-section (2) of section 4  of               this Ordinance was made in occupation currency               during  any month or on any day  mentioned  in               the  first  column  of the scale  set  out  in               paragraph  3  of this Schedule,  such  payment               shall  be  revalued by taking  the  number  of               dollars   in  occupation  currency   set   out               opposite  such  month  or day  in  the  second               column of the said scale as equivalent to  one               hundred  dollars Malayan currency, and  so  in               proportion  for  any portion of  such  payment               amounting  when  revalued, to  less  than  one               hundred dollars Malayan currency.               (b)   Where  any  such  payment  was  made  in               occupation currency on or after the thirteenth               day of August 1945, the value of such  payment               shall be taken to be nil.               2.    (a)  :  In the case  of  an  unsatisfied               occupation debt or part thereof which falls to               be revalued under section 6 of this  Ordinance               such debt or part thereof shall be revalued at               the  appropriate date as provided in the  said               section or sub-section by taking the number of               dollars   in  occupation  currency   mentioned               opposite  such  month  or day  in  the  second               column of the scale set out in paragraph 3  of               this  Schedule  as equivalent to  one  hundred               dollars Malayan currency, and so in proportion               for  any portion of such debt amounting,  when               revalued to less     than one hundred  dollars               Malayan currency.               (b)When  any such debt or part of a debt  fell               due for payment on or after the thirteenth day               of August 1945,its value shall be taken to  be               nil.               3.    Sliding scale of the value of occupation               currency 1942-45. We  have not allowed the Solicitor-General to  contend  that sub-s.  (2) of S. 4 of the Ordinance does not apply  to  the debts in  825 question  as throughout the proceedings of this case it  was assumed  that  it  applies to the said  debts.   During  the Japanese  Occupation  both  the Japanese  currency  and  the Malayan  currency  were  in  vogue.   In  January  1943  the Japanese  currency  began to depreciate and  by  August  13, 1945, it ceased to be of any value.  During that process  of devaluation  debts  were paid off and received  in  Japanese currency  which  resulted  in loss  to  the  creditors.   To regulate  the  relationship between creditors  and  debtors. during  that  period the said Ordinance was  passed  by  the Malayan  Legislature on December 16, 1948.  Under  the  said Ordinance  payments in Japanese currency were to  be  valued and scaled down in accordance with the Schedule appended  to the Ordinance.  If a debtor had paid his debt in depreciated Japanese  currency,  he  was required to pay  over  again  a certain  amount to be ascertained by the application of  the provisions  of the Schedule.  In terms sub-s. (2) says  that the payment in Japanese currency shall be a valid  discharge of  such debt only to the extent of such revaluation.   When the payments made towards debts were scaled down, the  debts were  revived in regard to the balance of the  debt.   After



the making of the Ordinance, the creditor could enforce  his debt  to  the extent not discharged and the debtor  had  the obligation  to discharge the same.  On the express terms  of the Ordinance it is impossible to accept the contention that the State provided for compensation for the losses  incurred bY  the  assessees.  indeed  the  State  did  not  pay   any compensation at all.  The legal relationship of the creditor and  debtor  was  not created by the Ordinance  but  it  was regulated  on  the basis of the  pre-existing  relationship. We,  therefore,  hold, agreeing with the  High  Court,  that under the Ordinance the discharged debts became  enforceable to  the  extent of the balance of the amount due  after  the scaling down of the payments.  If so, the Income-tax Officer could  only  impose  tax  on the  income  recovered  by  the assessees thereafter towards their debts if such income  was taxable under the provisions of the Act.    So  too, in regard to the payment made by  the  assessees towards  such  debts  they  could claim  relief  by  way  of deductions  only if such deductions were  permissible  under the Act.    The  High Court held that the assessees who had  received repayments would not be liable to tax in respect of  amounts they  had  received towards principal but they would  be  so liable in respect of moneys which they had received  towards interest.  It further held that those assessees who had made payments towards the 826 debts  would  be entitled to deduct from  their  income  and claim exemption from tax only such amounts as they had  paid on  account  of interest but they would not be  entitled  to deduct  any payment made on account of principal.  The  High Court  also  gave  a  direction that in  the  case  of  open payments  the respective amounts paid towards  principal  or interest should be ascertained in accordance with the law of appropriation  of payments.  Neither the learned  Solicitor- General,  who  appeared  for the Revenue,  nor  the  learned counsel,  who  appeared for the  assessees,  questioned  the correctness  of the said directions if the  construction  we placed  on the Ordinance was correct.  The directions  given by the High Court will, therefore, stand.  In our view,  the High Court gave correct answers to the questions referred to it. In  the  result the appeals are dismissed with  costs.   One hearing fee.                                 Appeals dismissed 827