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Sripathy Janakiramayya and anr. Vs. Life Insurance Corporation of India, Madras - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberA.A.O. No. 384 of 1958 C.M.P. No 1724 of 1961
Judge
Reported inAIR1962AP63
ActsLife Insurance (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1956 - Sections 9(2) and 11
AppellantSripathy Janakiramayya and anr.
RespondentLife Insurance Corporation of India, Madras
Appellant AdvocateC. Ramarao and ;C. Poorniah, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateK. Krishnamurthy, Adv. for V. Parthasarathy, Adv.
Excerpt:
insurance - special provisions - sections 9 (2) and 11 of life insurance (emergency provisions) act, 1956 - insurance company withdrew execution petition to file in proper court - judgment debtor challenged suit on ground of limitation - whether delay can be condoned by resorting to section 11 - held, after enactment of life insurance corporation act section 11 ceased to be operational and in such circumstances no delay can be condoned by relying on section 11. - .....the respondent, the south india cooperative insurance society, ltd. now represented by the life insurance corporation of india, south zone, united india life buildings, madras, obtained a decree on the foot of a mortgage executed in their favour on 7-2-1941 for a sum of rs. 7,500/-. this decree was passed under s. 51 of the madras co-operative societies act on 3-5-1954 on a reference to the arbitrator by the registrar. shortly thereafter, execution was levied before the deputy registrar of co-operative societies. this was dismissed on 15-1-1954 for reasons which need not be narrated here. subsequently an application is alleged to have been filed before the deputy registrar for transmission of the decree to the district munsif's court, rajahmundry in february, 1957. accordingly,.....
Judgment:

Chandra Reddy, C.J.

(1) This is an appeal against the Judgement of the Additional District Judge, East Godavari, directing execution of a decree to proceed.

(2) The respondent, the South India Cooperative Insurance Society, Ltd. now represented by the Life Insurance Corporation of India, South Zone, United India Life Buildings, Madras, obtained a decree on the foot of a mortgage executed in their favour on 7-2-1941 for a sum of Rs. 7,500/-. This decree was passed under S. 51 of the Madras Co-operative Societies Act on 3-5-1954 on a reference to the Arbitrator by the Registrar. Shortly thereafter, execution was levied before the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies. This was dismissed on 15-1-1954 for reasons which need not be narrated here. Subsequently an application is alleged to have been filed before the Deputy Registrar for transmission of the decree to the District Munsif's Court, RaJahmundry in February, 1957. Accordingly, the Deputy Registrar transferred it to that court for execution.

In the District Munsif's Court, RaJahmundry, E. P. No. 31 of 1957 was field. But it was dismissed by the Munsiff in the view that the Life Insurance Corporation had no locus standi to execute the decree as there no assignment of decree. The appeal carried to the District Court, RaJahmundry, against this order was allowed in the ground that it was competant for the Life insurance Corporation to execute the decree without an assignment. In that view the matter was remitted to the trial court for adJudication on the quetion of Jurisdiction of that court to entertain the execution petition.

(3) When it came back to the Munsif's court, the Judgement-debtors once again raised the obJection as to Jurisdiction of that court. The decree-holder thereupon field a petition to withdraw the execution petition for being presented in the proper Court. This was not obJected to by the appellant and the execution petition was taken return of on 5-7-1957 and immediately field in the District Judge's Court. it was numbered as E. P. No of 1958.

(4) The petition was resisted on the ground that it was barred by limitation. This was sought to be got over by the decree-holder by relying on the provision of the Life insurance (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1956 (IX of 1956). It is not clear whether the decree-holder called in aid Art. 182(5) and Section 14 of the Limitation Act, as we do not find any reference to them in the Judgement.

(5) The Additional District Judge overruled the contention of the Judgement-debtors in the view that Sec. 11 of the Life insurance (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1956 saved the suit from the bar of limatation. In the result, he directed execution to proceed. It is this order that is now under appeal.

(6) It is argued by Sri Rama Rao, learned counsel for the appellants that in spite of Sec. 11, the execution petition is barred as that section afforded protection only up to the date of the passing of the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956 (XXXI of 1956). On the other hand, It was urged by Sri Krishnamurthy, learned counsel for the respondent, that Sec. 11 of Act IX of 1956 excluded the time during the life of the Act and since the Act is still in full force ,there is no question of the execution petition being barred by limitation.

(7) To appreciate the relative contentions of the parties, it is useful to refer to the title and the preamble of Act IX of 1956. It is entitled 'The Life Insurance(Emergency Provisions) Act, 1956.' The obJect of the Act is for the taking over, in the public interest, of the management of life insurance business pending nationalisation thereof.

(8) It is immediately plain that Act IX of 1956 was to be in operation only till nationalisaion of life insurance business was effected. We may now turn to Sec. 11 of that Act which is in these words:

'In computing the period of limitation prescibed by any law for the time being in force for any suit or application against any person by an insurer in respect of any matter arising out of his controlled business, the time during which the Life Insurance (Emergency Provisions) Ordinance, 1956 and the Act have been in force shall be excluded.'

(9) It is clear that the time for computing the period of limitation was to be excluded so long as the Life Insurance (Emergency Provision) Ordinance, 1956 and the Act IX of 1956 had life. If really that Act is still alive the petition is not barred by limitation. The Life Insurance (Emergency Provisions) Ordinance, 1956, was passed on 11-1-1956 and the Act came into force on 21-3-1956 and the first execution petition was dismissed in September 1954. As such the intervening period is less than three years.

(10) Therefore, the principal question for consideration is whether Act IX of 1956 still survives. It is in this connection that the obJect of this Act has relevancy. As we have already stated, the purpose of this Act was only to takeover the management till the nationalisation of life insurance business was effected. This obJect was achieved by the passing of the Life Insurance Corporation Act, (XXXI of 1956). Its preamble is in these words:

'An Act to provide for the nationalisation of life insurance business in India by transfering all such business to a corporation established for the purpose and to provide for the regulation and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto'.

In this connection, it is useful to read Sec. 9(2) of Act XXXI of 1956 which is as follows:

'If on the appointed day any suit, appeal or other legal proceeding of whatever nature is pending by or against an insurer, then, in so far as it relates to his controlled business it shall not abale, be discontinued or be in any way preJudicially affected by reason of the transfer to the Corporation of the business of the insurer or of anything done under this Act, but the suit, appeal or other proceeding may be continued, prosecuted and enforced by or against the Corporation.'

(11) Under this section the Corporation was entitled to carry on all proceedings relating to the controlled business in Courts. A reference to the controlled business in Courts. A reference to the provisions of the Life Insurance(Emergency Provisions) Act, 1956 would establish that no such power was given either to the Central Government or the Custodian in whom thelife insurance business provisionally vested. It is because the Custodian or the Central Government werenot authorised to take proceedings in relation to the controlled business or to continue or prosecute proceedings in any civil court that Sec. 11 was enacted, so that the claims of the Life Insurance Corporation may not be barred. After the passing of the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956 (XXXI of 1956) Sec. 11 ceased to be in operation. In fact, we feel that the Emergency Ordinance itself stood repealed. Therefore, Sec. 11 will be of no avail to the decree-holder. Consequently, the opinion of the Additional District Judge that Sec. 11 comes to the rescue of the decree-holder is unsustainable and the order has to be set aside.

(12) But this does not conclude the matter. The further question whether the application said to have been filed by the decree-holder before the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies for transmission of the decree to the civil Court for execution constitutes a step-in-aid to execution and consequently falls within the ambit of Art. 182(5) of theLimitation Act is applicableto this case.

(13) These matters have not been considered by the trail court. We have no material on which we could come to any decision on this controversy. We are, therefore, obliged to send it back to the Additional District Judge, East Godavari for going into these questions. The District Judge will also decide whether there is any correspondence between the parties which would serve an acknowledgement within the purview of Sec. 11 of the Limitation Act. The parties are at liberty to adduc such evidence as they may choose. There will be no order as to costs.

C. M. P. No. 1724 is dismissed.

C. M. P. Nos. 8257 and 8258 of 1960 are also sent to the lower court for disposal according to law.

FE/LB. Order accordingly.


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