1. This petition raises an important question of law regarding the interpretation of consent terms filed in a suit instituted under the provisions of the Bombay Rents Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Bombay Rent Act'). The law relating to the nature of the consent terms is fairly well-settled as I will show a little later in this judgment. Nevertheless, some variations do arise from time and this petition provides one of such variations which has to be dealt with in the light of the well-settled law.
2. The petitioner filed suit, being Regular Suit No. 419 of 1968, against the respondent for possession of certain premises which were tenanted by the respondent. The ground urged in support of the prayer for possession was among others, that the respondent had committed default in the payment of arrears of rent, thus meriting a decree for eviction under Section 12(3) of the Bombay Rent Act.
3. On 8th July 1970 a decree in terms of the compromise signed by the parties was passed. It is necessary to refer to the relevant terms of the compromise on which the decree was passed in the said suit. Clause (1) of the consent terms states as follows :-
'The possession of the suit premises is to be given by the defendant to the plaintiff up to 10th of October 1970. If the defendant does not give possession, then the plaintiff to take possession by execution on the basis of this decree'
4. Clause (2) only provides for the payment of what has been described as the mesne profits of the suit premises and the rent of a godown at the rate of Rs. 9/- and also for the payment of the electricity and water charges by the defendant to the plaintiff. This amount was to be paid by the defendant to the plaintiff up to 10th of October 1970. If such payment was not made, then the plaintiff was at liberty to recover the said amount on the basis of 'this decree'.
5. The third and the fourth clauses are important and they may be reproduced.
'(3) The defendant is given concession that if he pays the entire amount mentioned in clause (2) and further mesne profits, electricity charges, water charges, etc. up to 10-10-1970, there will be no execution of the decree by the plaintiff.
(4) The standard rent of the suit premises is Rs. 30/- per month and the standard rent of the store room is Rs. 9/- per month and it should be fixed accordingly. This is agreeable to the plaintiff and the defendant. Apart form this amount the defendant is to pay the electricity charges as per the bill and water charges at Rs. 3/- per month.
6. It has been mentioned that up to 10th October 1070 as per the consent terms, the defendant was required to pay a sum of Rs. 3353.58. However, the defendant deposited on 9th October 1970 only a sum of Rs. 2040/-. The defendant has taken a contention that he was misled in depositing a smaller amount on account of a representation made by the plaintiff. If is not, however, necessary to decide the correctness of this contention.
7. Since according to the plaintiff, the defendant has failed to deposit the amount as per the consent terms which had been incorporated into the decree, he was entitled not only to recover the amount which was due but also to recover the possession of the suit premises. Accordingly, he filed regular Darkhast No. 304 of 1970 on 2nd November 1970. Rejecting the contention of the defendant that he was entitled to the relief against forfeiture, the executing Court by its judgment and order dated 28th January 1976 directed the issue of warrant of possession under Order 21 Rule 35 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The appeal preferred by the defendant, namely, Civil Appeal No. 29 of 1976 was allowed by the Assistant Judge of Ahmednagar, by his judgement and order 18th July 1977. The plaintiff thereafter preferred a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution, being Special Civil Application No. 157 of 1978, which was heard and decided by Masodkar J. on 31st August 1982. By an order passed on that date Masodkar J. set aside the order passed by the appeal Court below and remanded the case to the appeal Court for a fresh hearing and disposal in accordance with the observations made by him in the judgment. Masodkar J. has in particular mentioned that the appeal Court below should consider whether clause (3) of the consent terms was penal in nature and whether relief against forfeiture should be given on that account.
8. After remand the learned Assistant Judge of Ahmednagar heard the appeal in the light of the observations made by Masodkar J. and by his judgment and order dated 18th January 1983 again allowed the appeal setting aside the order passed by the trial Judge on 28th January 1976. This resulted in the dismissal of the Darkhast filed by the plaintiff.
9. The plaintiff has now approached this Court under Article 227 of the Constitution challenging the order passed by the Appeal Court below. Mr. M.A. Rane, the learned Advocate, appears for the plaintiff, while Mr. N.B. Shah appears for the defendant.
10. Mr. Rane has criticised the judgment of the Court below by contending that the appeal Court below was in error in holding that clause 3 was in the nature of a penalty or that the consent terms read as a whole continued the tenancy of the defendant.
11. Mr. Shah has, on the other hand, urged that the consent terms will have to be read as a whole and looking to the nature of the recitals in the decree which incorporates the consent terms it is impossible to resist the conclusion that the consent terms necessarily continue the tenancy of the defendant. If the tenancy is continued by the consent between the parties, possession of the premises covered by that tenancy cannot be taken except in accordance with the law prescribed by the relevant rent law and in this case, the provisions of the Bombay Rent Act. During the course of this judgment, I shall be necessarily examining these contentions.
12. What a consent decree means has been commented upon by this Court as well as the Supreme Court in several decisions. By way of ready reference one may turn to Jacob David v. Baldev Phatak (1975) 77 Bom. L.R. 254, which states as follows :-
'It has been stated times out of number in judicial decision that a consent decree is a contract between the parties to which is super-added 'the command of the Judge' or the imprimatur of the Court'. A consent decree is therefore, as the very expression indicates, a cross-breed between a contract and a decree. It is neither purely a contract not purely a decree but has some of the characteristics and incident of both'.
In Narendra v. Jothalal : (1978)80BOMLR196 it was pointed out that a compromise decree between parties is something more than a contract. Although certain consequences which may result from a contract might also result from a consent decree, nevertheless a consent decree passed by a Court on the basis of a compromise between the parties cannot be equated with a contract but must be regarded as something more than a contract. The question whether a consent decree creates a tenancy or a license or whether it creates either of them has also been considered in Jacob David's case (supra). It has been recognised in that judgement that a consent decree may create a tenancy or a fresh license cannot be granted by a consent decree. The question whether a consent decree creates a new tenancy or grants fresh licence is not matter of authority but is a question which might be decided on interpretation of the terms of the particular consent decree. Similarly the question whether a consent decree continues a tenancy must also be decided on the language of the consent terms.
13. Though it is thus we settled that whether a consent decree creates a new tenancy or continues the old tenancy has to be decided on the language of the consent decree itself, nevertheless it will be appropriate to refer to some decisions in the filed as a guide to interpretation of the consent terms before me.
14. One of the earliest decisions which has been referred to and commented upon in a number of later decisions is to be found in Krishna Bai v. Hari : (1906)8BOMLR813 . In that case, it was held that when a plaintiff is seeking to enforce by original suit a right to forfeiture contained in a consent decree whereby the status of landlord and tenant is established between the plaintiff and the defendant, the Court in the exercise of its equitable jurisdiction is not precluded from granting such relief against forfeiture as it might have granted had the status arisen from contract or custom. The facts of that case in which a consent decree was passed on 25th September 1888 show that the decree provided that the defendant should pay to the plaintiff for the land in suit about a rupee every year as rent and make Vahiwat of the same in mirasi right in perpetuity from father to son in hereditary succession. The consent decree had also mentioned that the plaintiff had given to the defendant her mirasi right over the land in the suit by taking a certain sum. As provided by the consent decree, the defendant paid rent up to July 1883 and thereafter defaulted. The question arose as to whether in view of the fact that tenancy had been created by the consent decree, the Court could relieve against forfeiture. It was held that the Court could. It must be stated that the consent decree in Krishna Bai's case did specifically create mirasi rights in favour of the defendant.
15. In Waman Vishwanath v. Yeshwant Tukaram, 50 Bom. L.R. 688 : AIR 1949 Bom 97 (FB), the question whether relief against forfeiture could be given it there was a breach of the terms contained in a decree was considered. However, in that case, there was no question of the relationship between the landlord and tenant. That judgement lays down that where a decree, passed either by consent or invitum, permits payment of the decretal amount in instalments and provides that on failure in payment of one or more instalments the whole amount of the decree would become payable at once, Courts are bound, in the event of such failure, to execute the decree in accordance with its terms, and are not at liberty to relieve against the consequences of failure on equitable considerations.
16. The difference between this judgement and the judgement in Krishna Bai's case : (1906)8BOMLR813 was pointed out by a Division Bench of the Court in Gajanan Govind v. Panduran Keshav : AIR1951Bom290 . It was noted in Gajanan Govind's case that on principle there can be no doubt that as between the landlord and the tenant, the tenant would be entitled to relief against forfeiture resulting from the non-payment of rent. It was further noted that the principles underlying section 114 of the Transfer of Property Act have been applied on equitable grounds even apart from the provisions of the said section. In England, it had always been recognised that a forfeiture clause for non-payment of rent amounts merely to a security for the rent and so relief was always given to the defaulting tenant. The principle was that if the tenant pays the lessor the rent in arrear together with interest thereon and his full costs of the suit, the lessor is deemed to have recovered full compensation. The Division Bench recognised that the same view has been taken by all Indian High Courts in dealing with claims for possession made by the landlords against their tenants on the ground of defaults in the payment of rent. To this extent, the law did down in Waman Vishwananths's case was shown to be different because the latter case related to a money decree and not a decree governing the relationship between the landlord and the tenant as was the case in Gajanan Govind's case.
17. In Gajanan Govind's case, in a suit filed by the plaintiff to recover possession of the premises let to him on the ground of arrears of rent, a compromise decree was passed on 22nd August 1947 according to which the defendant had to pay certain amounts by a particular date. The consent decree itself stated that it was agreed that if the defendant paid to the plaintiff the amount as mentioned above, he was to stay in the suit premises as tenant on previous terms. If the defendant failed to pay the amount as provided in the decree, the plaintiff was authorised to take possession of the suit property through the Court. The fact that it had been agreed between the plaintiff and the defendant that if the amount as provided was paid by the defendant, the defendant should continue as tenant on previous terms, was noted specifically and it was held that the said consent decree provided for the continuance of the tenancy of the defendant. If, therefore, the defendant failed to make payment as per the consent decree, the Court held, the defendant could be relived against forfeiture by the Court on his making payment and subject to the usual terms.
18. Of the above three decisions which I have referred to, two are relevant, namely Krishna Bai v. Hari : (1906)8BOMLR813 and Gajanan Govind v. Pandurang Keshav, : AIR1951Bom290 . Waman Vishwanth's case 50 Bom. L.R. 688 : AIR 1949 Bom. 97 (FB) is not at all relevant to the question arising in a suit between the landlord and the tenant. Both Krishnan Bai's case and Gajana's case lay down that where the relationship of landlord and tenant is either created or continued subject to the terms of payment of certain amounts, relief against forfeiture can be given to the tenant on the usual terms.
19. It may be that certain decrees do not at all create a new tenancy or continue the old tenancy. Take an example where the compromise decree enables the decree-holder to execute the decree on a decree on a particular date without giving any option to the tenant to remain in possession after that date. It has been held that such a decree does not create or continue the tenancy, but the time given to the tenant by the postponement of the date of the execution of the decree is merely a concession. Such were the facts in Ramamurth Subudhi v. Gopinath. : 2SCR559 . In that case a compromise decree was passed. That decree enabled the decree-holder by its terms to execute the decree if the judgment-debtor failed to vacate the suit house on or before 1st July 1960. Though a period of five years had been granted under the decree to the judgment-debtor for continuation of possession, the Supreme Court held that the period so granted did not create a fresh tenancy. It was not provided that if the defendant paid the amounts, he was entitled to remain in possession of the premises thereafter. What was done was only making the provision that the defendant should vacate the suit house within five years, failing which the plaintiff was entitled to execute the decree and recover possession. In the meantime, the defendant was to pay the rent regularly and in this if he made three consecutive defaults, the execution of the decree was accelerated.
20. A, similar situation had arisen in Bai Chanchal v.S. Jalaluddin : 2SCR171 . On the face of the consent decree which fell for interpretation before the Supreme Court it was noticed that it did not envisage the creation of a new tenancy or the continuation of the existing one. It had been provided therein that the judgment-debtor, through liable to immediate eviction, could continue in possession for a period of five years from the date of the decree in view of the consent granted by the landlord. Mesne profits at higher rate were also required to be paid by the judgement-debtor. One clause in the decree provided that in case of default of mesne profits, the judgment-debtors could be called upon to deliver possession forthwith. Here again, there was no provision that if the judgement-debtor paid the amount, he could continue in possession after the specified date. The time given to the judgement-debtor, therefore, was held to be a mere concession.
21. In Nai Bahu v. Lala Ramnarayan : 1SCR723 , a similar question arose and similarly answered. The compromise terms on which the decree was based provided that the defendant should put the plaintiff in vacant and peaceful possession of some part of the suit premises on the date of the decree itself and the defendant should vacate the other part of the suit premises and give possession was given were provided for in the decree. The question arose whether in respect of that part of the suit premises possession of which was to be given by 15th July 1965. Mesne profits from the date of the decree till possession was given were provided for in the decree. The question arose whether in respect of the part of the suit premises possession of which was to be given by 15th July 1965, a new tenancy had been created. The answer had to be necessarily in the negative because time given to the defendant was by way of concession. Here again, it should be noted, there was no provision in the consent decree for the defendant to continue if he paid the amounts as mentioned in the decree. The decree passed in all these three cases to which I have made reference were executable and were not made unexecutable on the fulfilment of certain conditions by the defendant.
22. It should be noted at this stage that Nai Bahu's case reiterated the well-settled law that where the rent control and restrictions laws are in operation, a landlord cannot obtain eviction of the tenant unless he can satisfy the requirements of the provisions in those laws. Underlying the observations of these three judgement is also the recognition of the fact that if the consent terms on a proper constructions create a new tenancy or continue the existing tenancy, as it happened in Gajana's case : AIR1951Bom290 , then the defendant cannot be evicted from the suit premises merely because the defendant had not complied with the terms of the consent decree. It a tenancy is created or continued by the consent decree, that tenancy can be terminated and possession of tenanted premises can be taken only in accordance with the provisions of the relevant rent law.
23. In one of the cases dealt with by a Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court in Hussein Dadu v. Bai Kunverbai, (1971) G.L.R. 610, a similar question arose. In that case, under the decree certain amounts were made payable by the defendant by 30th April 1962. It was agreed that if the defendant failed to pay the whole amount due by the date, the plaintiff would be entitled to execute the decree and realise the amount from the personal property of the defendant. Thereafter the relevant clause (4) provided that if the defendant paid the dues mentioned in paragraph 3 before 30th April 1982, 'the defendant would be allowed to retain possession of the suit premises as a tenant as before'. On these facts, the Gujarat High Court had no difficulty in arriving at the conclusion that the continuance of the tenancy of the defendant could not be brought to an end by the mere failure of the defendant to make the payment as per the consent terms.
24. It is not necessary to multiply the authorities because ultimately, as I have already indicated in the beginning of this judgement, the question as to whether a consent decree creates a new tenancy or continues as existing one will depend upon the language of that decree itself. I have already reproduced above the relevant provisions of the consent decree involved in this petition. I have noted that the said consent decree provides for the payment of certain amounts by the defendant to the plaintiff by a particular date. It further provides that if the defendant makes that payment, the plaintiff shall not obtain possession from him. In other words, the consent decree does not conclusively and finally bring to an end the relationship of the landlord and tenant between the parties. Mr. Rane, however, quarrels with this interpretation because, according to him, clause (1) specifically provides that the defendant has to give possession of the premises to the plaintiff by 10th October 1970. If the plaintiff has stated that thereafter he would not obtain possession on the defendant making all the payments, it is only a concession or at the most, it is a contingent contract created by the terms of the compromise between the parties.
25. I am not in agreement with this submission of Mr. Rane. What has been done by clause (1) of the consent terms is the continuance of the tenancy of the defendant from the date of the decree up to a particular date, namely 10th October 1970. This is so despite the use of the words 'mesne profits' for the payment to be made for occupation after the passing of the decree. What is crucial is not the language used by the parties but what they intended to do. The intention is clear from the provision made for what was to be done on 10th October 1970. A dichotomy of action is envisaged on that day. If, according to the consent terms, the payments is made by the defendant on that day, the defendant is to continue and the possession of the premises was not to be taken by the plaintiff. When it is provided that the possession of the defendant is to continue up to a particular date and thereafter it can still continue if the defendant complies with certain requirements mentioned in the consent decree. I do not see how it can be said that the relationship of the landlord and tenant has been brought to a final end by anything that is contained in this consent decree. If merely time had been given to the defendant to vacate the premises by a particular date and after that date there was no option to the tenant but to vacate, one can legitimately say that the time given to the tenant amounted to a concession and not creation of a tenancy or continuance of the tenancy. In the instant case, it is not merely that the time has been given to the tenant but on the day on which action is to be taken, an option has been given to the tenant to pay the amount and to continue in the premises as a tenant. What is continued from 10th October 1970 is the possession of the premises of the tenant from the date of the decree till 10th October 1970. If payment is, therefore, made by the defendant on 10th October 1970, the possession of the tenant is continued from the date of the decree till it is brought to an end in accordance with law.
26. Much comment has been made by Mr. Rane on the nature of the occupation of the tenant in this case between the date of the decree and 10th October 1970. According to him, this is only the possession of the tenant which is based upon the concession given by the landlord. Apparently it is so, but in view of the fact that on 10th October 1970 no obligation is cast upon the tenant to deliver possession of the premises and no unqualified right is given to the landlord to obtain the possession of the suit premises, it cannot be said that the possession of the defendant as tenant of the suit premises was unequivocally brought to an end on the date of the decree or on 10th October 1970 in accordance with the law.
27. If this is the correct interpretation of the terms of the consent decree before me, naturally the plaintiff could not evict the defendant only because the defendant had not paid the amount as per the terms of the consent embodied in the decree. If no payment is made by the tenant, the provisions of the relevant rent law, and in this case the provisions of the Bombay Rent Act, have to be invoked. The plaintiff is not entitled in law to obtain possession of the premises in execution of the said decree. The facts of the case before me are analogous to the facts which were found in Gajanan Govind's case : AIR1951Bom290 and on a parity of reasoning, I have no hesitation in holding that in execution of the decree obtained by the plaintiff, he cannot obtain possession of the premises. At best he is entitled to the recovery of the amount mentioned in the said decree.
28. One must necessarily refer to two judgements on which great reliance has been placed by Mr. Rane in support of his contention. In Doshi Kantilal v. Modiya Chandulal : AIR1973Guj80 , a single Judge of the Gujarat High Court has, with great respect, subjected the several authorities in the field to an exhaustive review. The authorities which was reviewed by the learned single Judge included the judgement of this Court of Gajanan Govind's case : AIR1951Bom290 and in Krishna Bai's case : (1906)8BOMLR813 . Before noticing the discussion of the law made in this judgement, it will be appropriate to refer to the facts which were before the Gujarat High Court. On 24th December 1968 a consent decree had been passed for possession on the ground of arrears of rent. Paragraph 1 of the consent decree stated that the defendants were to hand over possession of the suit property subject to certain condition on 23rd April 1969. If the defendants made default in that behalf, the plaintiff was entitled to take possession of the suit property by executing the decree from the defendants. Paragraph 4 of the consent terms provided as follows :-
'In case the defendants pay regularly all the aforesaid sums to the plaintiff, the plaintiff is not entitled to recover possession of the suit property from the defendants and in that event, it is to be deemed that there is no condition of taking possession as stated in para 1 above.'
Mr. Rane is justified in referring to and relying upon this judgement because the consent terms in this case are analogous to the consent terms which are before me.
29. The learned single Judge after a review of the different judgements in the field noted that there were two judicial pronouncements on the question. One, where a decree passed either by consent or in invitum permits payment of the decretal amount in instalments and provides that on failure of payment of one or more instalments the whole amount of the decree would become payable at one. Courts are bound in the event of such failure to execute the decree in accordance with its terms. The learned Judge was necessarily referring to the Full Bench judgement of this Court in Waman Vishwanath's case 50 Bom. L.R. 688 : AIR 1949 Bom. 97. The learned Judge also was of the opinion that the judgements in the field enabled a Court of equity to grant relief against a condition which was in the nature of penalty. It was also noticed as another opinion emerging from the decisions in the field that the Court can grant relief against forfeiture if under the consent decree the status of a landlord and tenant had arisen from contract or custom. Interpreting the terms which were before him the learned Judge held that in paragraph 4 (reproduced above), a concession had been given and that concession was that in case the tenant paid all the aforesaid sums regularly, the plaintiff was not to take possession of the suit property from the defendant. In that event, it was to be deemed that the condition of taking possession mentioned in paragraph 1 had not been existing. The learned Judge arrived at the conclusion that it was a clear case of concession. This conclusion is to be found towards the end of paragraph 17 of the judgement. For reasons which I have given in details earlier, I am unable to agree with this conclusion. If, as in some of the decisions to which I have made reference earlier, at the end of a particular period an unconditional right is given by a consent decree to the landlord to obtain possession, then the time given from the date of the consent decree till that specified day can be regarded as time given by concession. This is the clear effect of the judgement of the Supreme Court in the case of Ramamurthy Subudhi : 2SCR559 Bai Chanchal : 2SCR171 and Nai Bahu : 1SCR723 . But when an option of continuing in possession of the premises is given to the tenant, the relationship of landlord and tenant has not been brought to an end at all. If this is so, it must be held that the tenancy is continued by such a consent decree.
30. The next decision on which Mr. Rane, not without justification, placed heavy reliance is Dattatraya Vishnu v. Padmakar : (1961)63BOMLR148 . This is a judgement of a single judge of this Court. The facts of this case disclose that a decree in invitum had been passed by the Court and it had been provided therein that by 31st May 1955 the defendant was to make the payments. In case no payments were made, the plaintiff was entitled to recover possession. Payments in fact were not made before the specified date. It was argued before the specified date. It was argued before the learned single Judge that relief against forfeiture could be give. Considerable discussion on this aspect took place before the learned single Judge. I am not quite sure whether the question legitimately arose at all on the facts of that case because that was not a decree which was passed upon consent, but it was a decree in invitum. On page 149 of the report it is mentioned that the decree did not specifically stated that in case the defendant paid the amount as directed before 31st May 1955, the plaintiff's claim for possession was to be disallowed. Obviously, therefore, there was no dichotomy of action involved on 31st May, 1955. It was a decree in invitum which was to be executed strictly in accordance with its terms. Moreover, the case was analogous to Waman Vishwanath's case. That indeed is the view by the learned single Judge himself, as can be found at the bottom of pate 151 of the report. Therefore the judgment in Dattatraya's case is of no assistance to Mr. Rane.
31. I am of the opinion, therefore, that on a proper construction of the decree before me, the tenancy of the defendant was continued. Though it was provided that if the tenant did not pay the amount by 10th October, 1970, the plaintiff was to obtain possession, which cannot be done. This cannot be done because of the provisions of the Rent Act, apart from the question of giving relief against forfeiture is given because the clause of eviction in default of payment of money is enlarged into a claim for possession of immovable property in case of default of payment of money. However, I am inclined to think that in those cases covered by Rents laws protection is afforded without any action by the Court. The Court will only refuse to order eviction except in accordance with the provisions of law.
I may now summarise the propositions which emerge from the discussion of law made by me :
(1) If by a consent decree the status of a landlord and tenant is established between the plaintiff and the defendant, the Court in exercise of its equitable jurisdiction is not precluded from granting relief against forfeiture of a term contained in the consent decree. (See Krishna Bai's case : (1906)8BOMLR813 .
(2) Where the question is not one of the creation of a tenancy or the continuation of a tenancy and where a decree passed either by consent or in invitum permits payment of the decretal amount in instalments and provides that the decretal amount becomes payable at once in the event of failure in the payment of one or more instalments, there is no question of granting relief. The Courts are bound to execute the decree in accordance with its terms. See Waman Vishwanath's case, 50 Bom L.R 628 : AIR 1949 Bom 97.
(3) Where, however, the relationship of landlord and tenant is continued between the parties by a compromise decree, the judgement-debtor who is a tenant, would be entitled to relief against forfeiture resulting from his failure to pay the rent on the stipulated date. See Gajanan Govind's case, 53 Bom. LR 100.
(4) Where the consent decree provides for the continuance of the possession of the tenant up to a particular date beyond which he has no right to remain in possession at all and on which date the landlord is entitled to execute the decree for possession, the time given from the date of the decree till the other date is by way of concession and in such case, there is no creation of new tenancy or continuation of the existing tenancy. (See Ramamurthy Subudhi : 2SCR559 ; Bai Chanchal : 2SCR171 ; Nai Bahu : 1SCR723
(5) It the consent decree provides for the continuation of the possession of the tenant on certain terms up to a particular date and also provides for the continuation of the tenant's possession after that date if he complies with certain conditions, then such a decree provides for the continuance of the possession of the tenant from the date of the consent decree itself. In such a case, it cannot be said that the plaintiff's allowing the defendant to continue up to and beyond that specified date is by way of concession.
33. In the result, it must be held that the refusal of Appeal Court below to execute the present decree is legal and there is no failure on the part of the Court below to exercise jurisdiction vested in it by law. Rule, therefore, in this petition is discharged with no order as to costs. The judgement and order passed by the learned Assistant Judge of Ahmednagar in Civil Appeal No. 29 of 1976 are confirmed.
34. Petition dismissed.