B.D. Gupta, J.
1. This is a decree-holder's second appeal against an appellate order whereby an appeal of the decree-holder against an order passed in execution by the executing Court was confirmed.
2. The facts, briefly stated, are that a preliminary decree for sale on the basis of a mortgage was passed in favour of the decree-holder on 23-1-1946, whereunder the house in dispute in the execution proceedings giving rise to this appeal was to be sold. In view of the findings of the Court below there is no controversy before me now that the house in dispute constituted the residential house of the judgment-debtor who, at all times, has been an agriculturist. Before the passing of the final decree Section 60 of the C. P. C. was amended by the U. P. Legislature by the Code of Civil Procedure (United Provinces Amendmment) Act No. XXXV of 1948 (hereinafter referred to as the U. P. Amending Act. This Act came into force on 28-8-1948. Thereafter, on 6-8-1949 a final decree directing sale of the house in dispute was passed. Applications for execution of the decree by sale of the house were made in 1952 and 1955 but these were dismissed and, ultimately, the application giving rise to the order under appeal, which was the third application for execution, was made on 24-10-1958.
It was in connection with this third application that the judgment-debtor-respondent, for the first time, raised an objection that the house in controversy was protected from sale by reason of the U. P. Amending Act. The executing Court accepted this objection and directed the house in suit to be treated as released from liability to sale in execution of the final decree. It was against this order that the decree-holder appealed, but the appellate Court confirmed the order of the executing Court, whereafter the decree-holder filed the present second appeal.
3. Learned counsel for the appellant has urged that the failure on the part of the judgment-debtor to raise any objection against the prayer of the decree-holder to sell the house in the first two applications for execution in the years 1952 and 1955 precluded the judgment-debtor, on the principles of constructive res judicata, from raising any Audi objection when the decree-holder made the third application for execution on 24-10-58. His contention is that, in the circumstances, it was not open to executing Court to entertain the objection that the house in controversy was not saleable. Learned counsel has cited two cases in support of his contention, viz., Shivraj Gopalji v. Ayissa Bi and Mohanlal Goenka v. Benoy Kishna Mukherjee : 4SCR377 . Learned counsel has also urged that failure on the part of the judgment-debtor to raise the plea of exemption at the time the final decree was passed after the U. P. Amending Act had come into force constitutes another good ground for the contention that the present objection of the judgment-debtor was barred by the principle of res judicata.
4. The relevant part of the U. P. Amending Act runs as follows:
'Explanation (1-A)--Particulars mentioned in Clause (c) are exempt from sale in execution of a decree, whether passed before or after the commencement of the C. P. C. (United Provinces Amendment) Act, 1948, for enforcement of a mortgage or charge thereon.'
Bearing in mind the language of the statute it appears to be perfectly clear that there is no force in the contention raised by learned counsel on any 'of the two grounds on which learned' counsel has sought to support it. The amendment clearly constitutes a declaration of the law as being to the effect that the particulars mentioned in Clause (c) of Section 60 of the C. P. C. shall be exempt from sale in execution of a decree for enforcement of a mortgage or charge thereon. Clause (c) of Section 60 of the C. P. C. runs as follows :
'Houses and other buildings (with the materials and! the sites thereof and the land immediately appurtenant thereto and necessary for their enjoyment) belonging to an agriculturist and occupied by him.'
There is no controversy now that the house in dispute belonged to the judgment-debtor who was and is an agriculturist, and is occupied by him.
5. What is important to notice in Explanation (1-A) of the U. P. Amending Act, as passed by the Legislature, is the use of the expression 'whether passed before or after the commencement of the C. P. C. (United Provinces Amendment) Act, 1948'. This expression makes it perfectly clear that the question as to whether any objection was or was not raised on behalf of the defendant at the time of the parsing of a final decree, even though the decree may have been passed after the U. P. Amending Act had come into force, is wholly irrelevant for the purpose of deciding whether particulars mentioned in Clause (c) were exempt from sale in execution of a decree for enforcement of a mortgage. A plain reading of the language of the statute makes it perfectly clear that property which fulfils the description of particulars mentioned in Clause (c) has been altogether exempted from liability to sale. Obviously, therefore, if the plea of res judicata is given effect to on the ground that no objection was raised by the defendant at the time of the final decree the exemption declared by the U. P. Amending Act would be rendered altogether meaningless.
6. The mere fact that the judgment-debtor did not raise any objection to execution by sale in connection with the first two applications for execution does not, substantially, for reasons given by me in the foregoing paragraph, prevent him from bringing to the notice of the Court, by way of objection, that the house in suit was exempt from liability to sale by reason of the U. P. Amending Act. Had such an objection been raised at any earlier stage, and had the same been decided against the judgment-debtor, it might have been open to be debated as to whether the same objection could be raised again in connection with the third application for execution. In the present case, however, I am not concerned with such a situation, and it is, therefore unnecessary for me to express any opinion on that point.
The mere fact that there was omission, at earlier stages to raise any such objection, appears to be of no consequence because, keeping in view the language of the statute, the law declared thereby exempts certain property from liability to sale i.e., property which fulfils the requirements of particulars mentioned in Clause (c) of Section 60 of the C. P. C. The effect of the U. P. Amending Act is to make such property sacrosanct against any process in execution for sale thereof in execution of any decree, whether it was passed before or after the commencement of the U. P. Amending Act, even though the decree itself was for sale of such property in enforcement of a mortgage or charge thereon. The result which automatically flows is that, by the U. P. Amending Act, the law prohibits the Court from selling such property. That being so, the argument of the learned counsel founded on the ground of the principles of res judicata appears to be irrelevant to the question in controversy.
7. As far the two decisions relied upon by the learned counsel for the appellant, I do not propose to deal with them in any detail because none of them has any bearing on the question that arises in this appeal. What was held in the case of Sha Shivraj Gopalji was that if a decree-holder omitted to raise a plea in an earlier execution proceeding that the judgment-debtor had some interest in property which could be attached under the decree the dismissal of his execution application on the earlier occasion due to his own default operated as res judicata in subsequent execution proceedings, and it was not open to the decree-holder in subsequent proceedings to renew the same claim which had been neglected by him. The facts of the present case are altogether different inasmuch as, in the present case, the objection against sale of the house in suit is not founded on any ground peculiar to the judgment-debtor of the present case, but on the ground that the house is exempt from sale by reason of the law itself. In the case of Mohanlal Goenka, : 4SCR377 the position was substantially similar to the position in the case of Sha Shivraj Gopalji. In none of those cases had their Lordships to consider any bar created by any law preventing a Court from proceeding to deal with certain class of property in execution by making that class of property exempt from liability to be proceeded against in execution In my opinion the decision in the two cases mentioned above has no bearing on the facts of the present case.
8. Even if the judgment-debtor raised no objection on the ground of the exemption declared by the U. P. Amending Act, it was the bounden duty of the Court itself, upon which the duty of executing the decree lay, to refrain, in obedience to the dictates of the law, from passing an order directing sale of the house in dispute.
9. The view taken by the Courts below is perfectly correct. I find no force in this appeal. It is accordingly dismissed with costs.