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Maruti Vithu Mule Vs. Ganpat Genu Dhamdhere - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revision Application No. 452 of 1947
Judge
Reported inAIR1949Bom170; (1949)51BOMLR165
AppellantMaruti Vithu Mule
RespondentGanpat Genu Dhamdhere
DispositionApplication dismissed
Excerpt:
.....in respect of transaction of 1884-whether dekkhan agriculturists' relief act governs such suit-suit whether could be continued under d.a.r. act-act whether applicable to suits filed before establishment of board-construction.;section 86 of the bombay agricultural debtors relief act, 1939, provides that the dekkhan agriculturists' relief act, 1879, will remain in force for a period of three years from the date on which a board is established for any local area for the purpose of institution of suits in respect of transactions about which no application can be made under section 17 and that it will continue in force until the suits instituted before the expiry of the period of three years from the aforesaid date and the proceedings arising in and out of the said suits terminate...........though appearing to be a sale was in fact a mortgage. the two suits were under section 15d of the dekkhan agriculturists' relief act. on may 1, 1945, a debt adjustment board was established for that taluka. on july 12, 1945, the plaintiff passed a purshis that he was a debtor and his debts were less than rs. 15,000 and prayed that the suits may be transferred to the debt adjustment board. the trial court, however, asked the plaintiff in each case to get a declaration by the board that he was a debtor and adjourned the hearing of the suit. the plaintiff realising that the bombay agricultural debtors relief act would not apply to a transaction of 1884, filed another purshis on july 25, 1945, stating that the suit may be proceeded with under the dekkhan agriculturists' relief act as the.....
Judgment:

Jahagirdar, J.

1. These two revision applications raise some interesting points under the Bombay Agricultural Debtors Relief Act. The facts leading to the suits out of which these applications arise are these.

2. The plaintiff filed two suits Nos. 9 and 10 of 1944 in the Court of the Civil Judge (Junior Division) at Ghodnadi in the Poona District for accounts alleging that the transaction of August 18, 1884, though appearing to be a sale was in fact a mortgage. The two suits were under Section 15D of the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act. On May 1, 1945, a Debt Adjustment Board was established for that taluka. On July 12, 1945, the plaintiff passed a purshis that he was a debtor and his debts were less than Rs. 15,000 and prayed that the suits may be transferred to the Debt Adjustment Board. The trial Court, however, asked the plaintiff in each case to get a declaration by the Board that he was a debtor and adjourned the hearing of the suit. The plaintiff realising that the Bombay Agricultural Debtors Relief Act would not apply to a transaction of 1884, filed another purshis on July 25, 1945, stating that the suit may be proceeded with under the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act as the Bombay Agricultural Debtors Relief Act did not apply to the particular transaction in question. On January 11, 1946, the suit came on for hearing. At that time the defendant applied stating that under Section 85(1) of the Bombay Agricultural Debtors Relief Act, the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act ceased to have any force in that area and consequently Section 10A of the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act would not apply to the hearing of such a suit. He, therefore, urged that the plaintiff should not be allowed to lead oral evidence to prove that the transaction of 1884 was a mortgage. The trial Court allowed the application and held, relying upon Section 85(1) of the Bombay Agricultural Debtors Relief Act, that the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act ceased to have any force in that area and that Section 10A would not apply. Against this order the plaintiffs went in revision to the District Court at Poona. The learned District Judge held that the suits were really governed by Section 86 of the Bombay Agricultural Debtors Relief Act and that they continue to be governed by the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act and remanded the suits to the trial Court to be heard and disposed of according to law. The defendant being aggrieved by the orders in the revision applications, has come in revision.

3. Mr. Chitale, the learned advocate for the defendant, contends that the learned District Judge had misread Sections 85 and 86 of the Bombay Agricultural Debtors Relief Act. It is the contention of Mr. Chitale that on the date, viz. May 1, 1945, when the Debt Adjustment Board was established, the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act would cease to have any force under Section 85 of the Bombay Agricultural Debtors Relief Act and consequently the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act would not govern such a suit. And secondly his contention is that Section 86 would not save such a suit because Section 86 provides that Dekkhan Agricultursts' Relief Act would remain in force only for the purpose of institution of suits for a period of three years from the aforesaid date and according to his contention the further procedure must be under the ordinary law, and lastly he says that as the present suit was not filed between May 1, 1945 and May 1, 1948, Sub-clause (6) of the second paragraph of Section 80 would not govern such a suit.

4. It is true that under Section 85 it is provided :-

On the date on which a Board is established under Section 4 for any local area... the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act, 1879, shall cease to have force in such area.' It must, therefore, be conceded that by virtue of Section 85 of the Bombay Agricultural Debtors Relief Act the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act would cease to have any operation from the date on which the Debt Adjustment Board was established. But an exception to that has been provided by Section 86. Section 86 reads as follows :

In respect of transactions entered into before the date on which a Board is established for any local area (hereinafter referred to in this section as the aforesaid date), by or with-

(a) debtors in respect of whose debts no application can be made under Section 17 of this Act, or

(b) persons who are not debtors, the Dekkhan Agricultursts' Relief Act, 1879, shall, notwithstanding anything contained in Section 85 of this Act, be deemed to remain in force in such area-

(a) for purposes of institution of suits for a period of three years from the aforesaid date,

(b) for purposes of any proceedings arising in or out of suits instituted before the expiry of the period of three years from the aforesaid date until such proceedings are terminated.

5. Now, according to the view of the District Court, the present suits would be governed by Section 86 because they were with regard to a transaction entered into before 1945 by a debtor in respect of whose debts no applications could have been made under Section 17 of the Act. Under Section 17, an application for adjustment of debts has got to be made within 18 months from the date on which a Board is established under Section 4. But under Section 45, this remedy can be availed of only in respect of a transaction entered into after January 1, 1927. Now, admittedly the transaction in suit was of 1884. Therefore, no application could have been made under Section 17. The present case clearly falls under Sub-clause (a) of para. (1) of Section 86, and it is for purposes of such transactions that this provision is made, viz. that the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act would be deemed to remain in force. Sub-clause (a) of the second paragraph does not really apply to the present case as the suits had been instituted before even the Debt Adjustment Board was established. But it is contended that the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act is deemed to be in force only for purposes of institution of suits and the further procedure would be under the ordinary law and that Section 10A of the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act would not apply. I find it difficult to accept this contention. In my opinion, Section 86 provides that the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act will remain in force for a period of three years from the date on which a Board is established for any local area for the purpose of institution of suits in respect of transactions about which no application can be made under Section 17 and that it will continue in force until the suits instituted before the expiry of the period of three years from the aforesaid date and the proceedings arising in and out of the said suits terminate. But if Mr. Chi tale's contention is accepted, then the whole purpose of this proviso would be nullified. Now, according to Mr. Chitale a suit for accounts can be filed under the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act within three years from the establishment of the Debt Adjustment Board. But that cannot be tried under the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act at all. In my view such a construction would be unreasonable. The words 'any proceedings' must be understood to mean the hearing and the procedure of the suit as well as proceedings arising in or out of the suits.

6. The last contention raised by Mr. Chitale is that the provisions of the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act may be availed of, if at all, by persons who file suits between the date of the establishment of the Debt Adjustment Board and three years there from, but the procedure laid down in the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act cannot be availed of for suits which are filed before the establishment of the Debt Adjustment Board. I am afraid I am not prepared to accept this contention either. The emphasis really is on the word 'before' and not on the word 'from.' The three years are to be calculated no doubt from the date of the establishment of the Debt Adjustment, Board, and the procedure laid down in the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act will be availed of for all suits which are filed before the expiry of three years from the date of the establishment of the Board, including suits which are filed before the establishment of the Board. If the contention of Mr. Chitale is accepted, it would mean that no provision has been made in this Act for the purposes of suits which are filed under the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act before the date of the establishment of the Debt Adjustment Board I, therefore, hold that the procedure laid down under the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act can be availed of by the plaintiff in both these suits.

7. The applications, therefore, fail and the rule is discharged with costs in each case.


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