Norman Macleod, C.J.
1. The plaintiffs applied for execution of thier decree in Suit No. 240 of 1909 by sale of part of the mortgaged property. It was admitted that the defendant at the time the decree was passed was not an agriculturist, but on the allegation that he had since become an agriculturist, he claimed to be entitled to the benefit of Section 15B of the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act. Both the lower Courts have held that assuming that the defendant had become an agriculturist since the decree was passed, he was not entitled to the benefit of Section 15B.
2. In Balchand Chaturchand v. Chunilal Jagjivandas I.L.R. (1913) 37 Bom. 486; 15 Bom. L.R. 387 the question arose whether a defendant who was not an agriculturist at the time when a money decree was passed against him, but who had become one later, could at the time of execution ask the Court under Section 20 of the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act to grant instalments. Mr. Justice Heaton said:-
In this case the First Class Subordinate Judge of Nasik has applied Section 20 of the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act to the case of a judgment-debtor who was not an agriculturist when the decree was obtained, but who by discarding trade and limiting himself more exclusively to profits in laud had become an agriculturist at the time of the execution. We do not think that he was empowered to do this...It seems to us to be quite clear that Section 20 cannot apply to the case of a person who was not an agriculturist when the decree was obtained, whatever his status may bo thereafter when execution comes to be taken out against him.
3. It has been argued that Section 20 of the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act expressly refers to a decree passed against an agriculturist, whether before or after the Act came into force, while Section 15B only refers to decrees for redemption, foreclosure or sale in suits of the descriptions mentioned in Section 3, Clause (y) or Clause (z), and consequently the fact that a defendant or any of the defendants, who was not an agriculturist at the time the decree was passed, but became one thereafter, does not prevent his being a party to a suit of that description. But we think that considering the nature of the Act, the description of 'suit' in Section 3 is not confined to the relief claimed in the suit, but also includes the status of the parties. Otherwise the result would be that in all suits for redemption, foreclosure or sale, if subsequently the defendant brought himself within the definition of an agriculturist, he would be entitled to the benefit of Section 15B, and we do not think that was the intention of the Legislature, or that is what the law enacts. We think, therefore, that the decision of the Court below was correct and the appeal ought to be dismissed with costs. Appeal dismissed.