3. Powers of the Court
to limit interest recoverable in certain cases.
4. Deposit in Court.
5. Immunity from
6. Exemption from the
provisions of Order XXI, Rule 2(3) of the Civil Procedure Code.
7. Exemption of houses
etc., from attachment or sale.
8. Exemption of milch
animals, etc., from attachment or sale.
9. Agreement for
waiving exemption void.
10. Powers of Court to
order payment of amount due on mortgage by instalments.
11. Powers of Court to
direct payment of amount decreed by instalment.
12. Interest after the
commencement of this Ordinance.
13. Power to make rules.
RELIEF OF INDEBTEDNESS ORDINANCE, 1960
(W.P. Ordinance XV of
An Ordinance to amend and consolidate
the law relating to the relief of indebtedness in the province of
WHEREAS it is expedient to amend and consolidate the law relating to the
relief of indebtedness in the province of [the
Now, THEREFORE, in pursuance of the
Presidential Proclamation of the seventh day of October, 1958, and having
received the previous instructions of the President, the Governor of West
Pakistan is pleased, in exercise of all powers enabling him in that behalf,
to make and promulgate the following Ordinance:-
1. Short title and extent.—
(1) This Ordinance may be called the
Relief of Indebtedness Ordinance, 1960.
[(2) It extends to the
whole of the province of [the
Punjab], except the tribal areas.]
2. Definitions.— In this Ordinance,
unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions shall have
the meanings hereby respectively assigned to them, that is to say—
“Court” or “Civil
includes a Court of insolvency, a receiver appointed under the
Provincial Insolvency Act, 1920,
and an arbitrator appointed with the consent of the parties or by an order
of a Court;
(b) “debt” includes all
liabilities of a debtor in cash or in kind, secured or unsecured, payable
under a decree or order of a Civil Court or otherwise, whether mature or
not, but shall not include debts incurred for the purposes of trade, arrears
of wages, land-revenue or anything recoverable as arrears of land-revenue,
or taxes or rates payable to Government or any local authority, or any debt
which is barred by the law of limitation or a debt due to a co-operative
bank, co-operative society or any banking company registered under the
Companies Act, 1913,
or any bank which is a “Scheduled bank” as defined in the State Bank of
Pakistan Act, 1956;
(c) “debtor” means a person who
owes a debt; and—
(i) who both earns his
livelihood mainly by agriculture and is either a land-owner or tenant of
agricultural land; or
(ii) who earns his
livelihood as a village artisan paid in cash or kind for work connected with
(iii) whose total assets
do not exceed five thousand rupees;
Explanation— A debtor shall not
lose his status as such—
(i) through involuntary
unemployment or on account of incapacity, temporary or permanent, by bodily
infirmity, or, if he is or has been in the Armed Forces of Pakistan, only on
account of his pay and allowances or pension exceeding his income from
(ii) by reason of the fact
that he derives income by using his plough cattle for purposes of transport;
(iii) only because he does not
cultivate with his own hands;
(d) “interest” means rate of
interest and includes the return to be made over and above what was actually
lent whether the same is charged or sought to be recovered specifically by
way of interest or otherwise.
3. Powers of the Court to limit interest
recoverable in certain cases.— Notwithstanding anything contained in any
agreement or any law for the time being in force, no Court shall pass or
execute a decree or give effect to an award in respect of a debt for a
larger sum than twice the amount of the sum found by the Court to have been
actually advanced less any amount already received by the creditor.
4. Deposit in Court.— (1) Any person
who owes money may at any time deposit in Court a sum of money in full or
part payment to his creditor.
(2) The Court, on receipt of such
deposit, shall give notice thereof to the creditor and shall, on his
application, pay the sum to him.
(3) From the date of such deposit,
interest shall cease to run on the sum so deposited.
5. Immunity from arrest.— No debtor
shall be arrested or imprisoned in execution of a decree for money, whether
passed before or after the commencement of this Ordinance.
6. Exemption from the provisions of
Order XXI, Rule 2(3) of the Civil Procedure Code.—
Nothing in Order XXI, Rule 2, sub-rule(3) of the Code of Civil Procedure,
shall apply to an adjustment or payment made by a debtor.
7. Exemption of houses etc., from
attachment or sale.— Notwithstanding anything
contained in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908,
the houses and other buildings (with the materials and the sites thereof and
the land immediately appurtenant thereto and necessary for their enjoyment)
belonging to a debtor, shall not be liable to attachment or sale in
execution of any decree, if such houses and other buildings are not proved
by the decree holder to have been let out on rent or lent to persons other
than the debtor’s father, mother, wife, son, daughter, daughter-in-law,
brother, sister or other dependent or left vacant for a period of a year or
Provided that the protection afforded by this section shall not extend to
any property specifically charged with the debt sought to be recovered.
8. Exemption of milch animals,
etc., from attachment or sale.— Notwithstanding
anything contained in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908,
milch animals, whether in milk or in calf, kids, calves, animals used for
the purpose of transport or draught, carts and open spaces or enclosures
required by the debtor in case of need for tying cattle, parking carts or
stacking fodder or manure shall not, if they belong to a debtor, be liable
to attachment or sale in execution of any decree:
[Provided that the
protection afforded by this section shall be available to the debtor only if
it is necessary for his own maintenance or that of his family.]
Agreement for waiving exemption void.—
Notwithstanding any other law for the time being in force any agreement by
which a debtor agrees to waive any benefit of any exemption under 7 or 8
shall be void.
Powers of Court to order payment of amount due on mortgage by instalments.—
Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force or
in any contract, a Court may, at the time of passing a decree in any suit
relating to a mortgage by which any loan is secured, order that payment of
any amount decreed in such suit shall be made in such number of instalments
and on such dates and subject to such conditions as, having regard to the
circumstances of the debtor and the amount of the decree, it considers fit.
11. Powers of Court to direct payment of
amount decreed by instalment.— Notwithstanding anything contained in any
law for the time being in force or in any contract, a Court may, at any
time, on the application of a judgment debtor, after notice to the decree
holder, direct that the amount of any decree, whether passed before or after
the commencement of this Ordinance, in respect of a debt, including any
decree in a suit relating to a mortgage by which any loan is secured, shall
be paid in such number of instalments and on such dates and subject to such
conditions as, having regard to the circumstances of the judgement debtor
and the amount of the decree, it considers fit.
12. Interest after the commencement of
this Ordinance.— Government may, by notification in the official
Gazette, direct that in any specified area no debtor shall be charged
interest on any debt incurred by him after the date of the notification at a
rate higher than that specified in the notification.
13. Power to make rules.—
(1) Government may, after previous publication, make rules
for carrying into effect the provisions of this Ordinance.
(2) In particular and without prejudice
to the generality of the foregoing powers such rules may provide—
(a) for determining the
Court into which moneys may be deposited under the provisions of section 4;
(b) for the procedure for
keeping accounts of such deposits and the manner in which notices are to be
served on creditors and payments made to them.
14. Repeal.— The enactments
specified in the Schedule are hereby repealed to the extent mentioned in the
fourth column thereof.
(See SECTION 14)
Relief of Indebtedness Act, 1934.
Sections 30 to
Punjab Relief of Indebtedness Act, 1934, in its application to the
former Bahawalpur State.
Sections 30 to
Frontier Province Petty Zamindars Relief Act, 1936.
Frontier Province Agriculturists Debtors’ Relief Act, 1939.
Agriculturists Relief Act, 1940
Ordinance was promulgated by the Governor of West Pakistan on 17th
March, 1960; published in the West Pakistan Gazette (Extraordinary),
dated 27th April, 1960; pages 1759-93; saved and given permanent effect
by Article 225 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
by the Punjab Laws (Adaptation) Order, 1974 (Pb. A.O. 1 of 1974), for
by the West Pakistan Laws (Extension to Karachi) Ordinance, 1964 (VII of
by the Punjab Laws (Adaptation) Order, 1974 (Pb. A.O. 1 of 1974), for
by the Punjab Relief of Indebtedness (Amendment) Ordinance, 1985 (XVI of
the West Pakistan Relief of Indebtedness Rules, 1961, see Gazette
of West Pakistan, 1961, Part I, p. 281.
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