Amberson Marten, Kt., C.J.
1. The first point in this suit is whether the document, Exhibit 71, requires registration. The Subordinate Judge decided that it did not inasmuch as it was an award. The appellate Court decided that it was not an award but an agreement. The actual result, however, was the same in both Courts, because the lower appellate Court found on an alternative point in favour of the present respondents. This alternative point at any rate as regards a part of it did not form the basis of the judgment in the trial Court.
2. On a careful consideration of the document in question, and the evidence to which the lower appellate Court has drawn our attention, we think that Exhibit 71 was an award. It is so described, in the heading, viz., an award made by the Panchas. It then proceeds to give specific directions as to what is to be done, viz., that certain lands are to go to the two daughters and certain other lands are to go to the daughters-in-law. In this respect we have looked at the full document because the extract given by the lower appellate Court is not sufficient.
3. It is quite true that this award goes on to state that it is agreed to by the parties affected, and that they and others have added their signatures in token of that consent. But we do not think that this necessarily vitiates the award, and turns it into a mere agreement. For instance, the exempting words under Section 17 (2) (vi) of the Indian Registration Act are: 'any decree or order of a Court and any award'. Take, then, for instance, the case of a consent decree or order of the Court. Can it be said that because it was by consent that therefore it would only bo an agreement and would not be within the words 'any decree or order of a Court?' In our opinion that contention would be clearly erroneous, and this is borne out by Pranal Anni v. Lakshmi Anni I.L.R. (1890) Mad. 508 and Rani Hemanta Kumari Debi v. Midnapur Zamindari Co. Ld. (1919) 22 Bom. L.R. 488 both of which are decisions of their Lordships of the Privy Council, Then why should we limit the words 'any award' to an award otherwise than by or with the consent of the parties The evidence referred to by the learned District Judge, if indeed it is permissible to resort to oral evidence affecting a written document, shows that the Panchas took an active part in arriving at this particular decision. In effect then the situation is this that the Panchas thought this decision was the correct one, and they got all parties to agree to it. Under these circumstances, with great deference to the learned District Judge, we think that the document did not require registration. Consequently on that view of the case it is conceded that the appeal must fail.
4. The appeal is consequently dismissed with costs.