1. The first question is that of what Act governs this case, and we think it is Act XV of 1877. Acts of limitation, like other laws relating to procedure, apply immediately to all steps taken after they have come into force, except when some provision is made to the contrary. The reason of this is that every one seeking the aid of a Court seeks it on the terms from time to time imposed by the Legislature. He has not the privilege of making any application he likes in any way, and at any time he likes. Other interests than his are at stake, and the Courts are not to exercise their coercive power at his request over another person, except under such regulations as shall make their action compatible with the general welfare. They, accordingly, are commanded to act only in defined ways on applications which satisfy specified conditions. It has been contended that the judgment of the Privy Council in Mangal Prasad's case L.R., 8 IndAp, 123 involves the principle that when a suit has been instituted under a particular law of limitation, the execution of the decree therein is to be carried out under the same law. This, we think, an erroneous view of the decision. Where there is an express exemption of a particular class of suits from the operation of an Act, the exception may be comprehensive enough to include the consequent proceedings in execution, but such a result does not involve a sub-version of the general principle See Reg. v. The Inhabitants of Denton 21 L.J. M.C.208 per Lord Campbell, C.J.; Ex p. Cotton, L.R. 11 Q.B.D., 301 where no enactment affects it. Their Lordships of the Judicial Committee refer to, and rely on, the wording of the first section of Act IX of 1871, that certain parts of the Act shall not apply to suits instituted before a certain date in order to establish the conclusion that the execution of decrees in such suits shall, not be affected by the same parts of the Act. Without this exception they must have thought the suits would be governed by the provisions in question, and so, too, would the proceedings in execution. Now, in Act XV of 1877, there is no provision exempting suits filed before a particular date from the operation of the Act. When it comes into force at all, it comes into force wholly and without exception, at any rate without any exception of this nature. It applies, therefore, at once to any suit instituted, and to any application made after it had come into force. Moreover, it says that 'suit' shall not include appeal or application. Prima facie, suit would not include what the Act expressed by different words, and the intention must have been that the proceedings under each designation should be regarded as distinct from the others. Thus the command of the Legislature is left to operate unqualified on all applications made after the date prescribed.
2. In the case quoted--Behary Lall v. Goberdhun Lall I.L.R. 9 Cal. 446 'proceedings' are identified with 'suit'; but we think that where a decree has been obtained, the application for execution initiates a new set of proceedings--see Andrews v. Marris 1 Q.B. 3 and that, therefore, the rule of the General Clauses Act (I of 1868) is not to be held to govern all the remotest ministerial consequences of a suit arising on applications made years afterwards according to the procedure in force at its institution, but only to bring under the same law such series of proceedings as group themselves naturally together, as, e.g., those on a particular application for execution. Where a right has been fully acquired, and the Court has not to be invited to a fresh exercise of its authority, the case is different--Megasham Bhavanrav v. Vithalrav Bhavanrav Sp. Ap. No. 148 of 1871: the established right continues to operate according to its nature. But a fresh application must, unless the Legislature has excepted it--Delhi and London Bank, Limited, v. Melmoth A.D. Orchard L.R. 4 IndAp 127 be governed by the law in force when it is made--Kimbray v. Draper L.R. 3 Q.B. 160; Papasastrial v. Anuntarama Sastrial I.L.R. 3 Mad. 98.
3. Testing the application made on 10th March, 1879, by this rule and by Article 179, sch. II of Act XV of 1877, we do not think it was one made according to law from which a new period of limitation could be computed. It did not ask the Court to take any steps towards executing the decree, only to keep the decree alive: an application not provided for, or contemplated in the Code of Civil Procedure. The present application, then, was barred, and we confirm the District Judge's order, with costs.