1. The learned District Judge of Meerut had before him a reference under Section 19 read with Section 15, Cantonments (House Accommodation) Act (vi of 1923) relating to the rent of bungalow No. 17, R.A. Lines, Meerut. He dismissed the reference on 30th May 1940. Chheda Lal Jain, the person aggrieved by the order of the learned District Judge, has filed the present first appeal from order against the decision of the Court below. It is conceded that the appeal has been filed more than thirty days after the decision of the learned District; Judge and is prima facie barred by time by reason of the provisions of Section 29, Sub-section (2) of the Act which say that no appeal under this section shall be admitted unless it is made within thirty days from the date of the decision against which it is preferred.
2. We have before us the appeal itself and an application under Section 5, Limitation Act. On behalf of the respondent it is contended that Section 5, Limitation Act, is not applicable to the present proceedings. There can be no doubt that the Cantonments (House Accommodation) Act is a special Act. The Preamble says:
Whereas it is expedient further to amend and to consolidate the law relating to the provision of house accommodation for military officers in cantonments, it is hereby enacted as follows.
3. It is also not disputed before us that the Act is not a special Act. That being so, the question naturally arises whether a. 5, Limitation Act, is applicable to the special Act. Now Section 29, Limitation Act, as it stood before its amendment in 1922 was as follows:
(2) Nothing in this Act shall - (a) affect the Contract Act, 1872, Section 25; (b) affect or alter any period of limitation specially prescribed for any suit, appeal or application by any special or local law now or hereafter in force in British India.
(2) Nothing in this Act shall apply to suits under the Indian Divorce Act.
(3) Sections 26 and 27 and the definition of 'easement' in Section 2 shall not apply to cases arising in territories to which the Indian Basements Act, 1882, may for the time being extend.
4. In view of the amendment effected in Section 29, Limitation Act, 1908, by the Act of 1922, the situation stands slightly altered, because as the section originally stood it laid down that the provisions of the Act did not affect or alter any rule of limitation prescribed in any special or local Act. Sub-section (2) to Section 29 now says that the periods of limitation prescribed by special or local laws shall be regarded as prescribed by that Act for the purpose of Section 3 and that section and other sections, namely Section 4, Sections 9 to 18 and Section 22 shall apply unless they are expressly excluded by the special or local Act and that 'the remaining provisions of this Act, shall not apply.' The last phrase can only mean that the remaining provisions of the Act shall not apply unless they are expressly made applicable by the special or local Act. Under the old Section 29 none of the provisions of the Limitation Act was applicable unless they were expressly included by the special or local Act. The amendment to Section 29, Limitation Act in 1922 has extended and not restricted the scope.
5. Under the new Section 29, some of the provisions of the Limitation Act are made applicable without being expressly included unless they are expressly excluded by the special or local Act. The rest of the provisions remain as before applicable only when they are expressly included. The expression 'the remaining provisions of this Act shall not apply' in the amended Section 29 simply means that they are not to apply proprio vigore, that is, merely by virtue of the Limitation Act itself, and that if they are to apply, the grounds for applying them must be found in the special or local Act itself. This was the view taken by a Bench of the Patna High Court in Hasan Imam v. Brahmdeo Singh ('30) 17 A.I.R. 1930 Pat. 301 and this is the view which commends itself to us. We are further fortified by the decision of the Calcutta High Court in Neelratan Ganguli v. Emperor : AIR1933Cal124 . Their Lordships were dealing with the Emergency Powers Ordinance, 2 of 1932, which was a special law within the meaning of Section 29, Limitation Act. It was held that Section 5, Limitation Act had no application to an appeal under Section 39 of the Ordinance. Rankin C.J. at p. 374 observed:
Accordingly, while the provision of the Ordinance is that the appeal shall be brought within a certain time, prima facie that attracts the operation of Section 3, Limitation Act, which contains a provision against the Court entertaining 'the appeal'. It is necessary, however, in this case, to pursue the provisions of Section 29 of the Act somewhat further. That section goes on to provide that, for the purpose of determining the period of limitation, certain provisions of the Limitation Act shall apply only in so far as and to the extent to which they are not expressly excluded by the special law, and further that 'the remaining provisions of this Act shall not apply.' Now, Section 5, Limitation Act, is not one of the provisions which are to apply in the absence of something to the contrary. It is one of the sections to which the concluding clause is applicable, namely the remaining provisions of this Act shall not apply'.... this is not a provision prohibiting any special law making the sections applicable or any special law according to the intention of which such a section as Section 5 can be deemed to be applicable. It means that, so far as the Limitation Act is concerned, the section is not to be deemed to be one which is to be applied to the special law.
6. Whatever, therefore, may be the merits of the present application under Section 5, which is supported by an affidavit not contradicted by the opposite party, it is clear that we have no jurisdiction to entertain the application. We accordingly dismiss the application under Section 5, Limitation Act.