1. This is a debtor's application in revision under Section 75, Provincial Insolvency Act. The opposite party applied to have the applicant adjudged insolvent. The applicant contended that he was an agriculturist and was protected by the provisions of Section 3 of Act 10 of 1937. The question before the Court was whether the applicant was an 'agriculturist' at the date of the passing of the Act within the meaning of Section 3(1). The Bill was passed by the Legislature in October 1937. It was assented to by the Governor on 20th December 1937 and it came into force on 1st January 1938. Admittedly, in October 1937, the applicant was not an agriculturist within the meaning of the Act and admittedly he was an agriculturist within the meaning of the Act by 20th December 1937. The insolvency Judge was of opinion that the words 'the date of the passing of this Act' mean the date on which it was passed by the Legislature, which, as I have already said, was some date in October 1937 when the applicant was not an agriculturist. The applicant's objection was accordingly disallowed. He appealed, but the learned District Judge has dismissed the appeal. Hence this revision.
2. I do not think that the Insolvency Judge was right in holding that the Act was 'passed' in October 1937. Section 60(1)(a), Government of India Act, 1935, provides that in the United Provinces there shall be a Provincial Legislature which shall consist of His Majesty represented by the: Governor and two Chambers. Thus the Chambers by themselves do not constitute the Legislature; it is constituted by the Chambers plus His Majesty's representative, and therefore it cannot be said that any local Act is 'passed' until it receives the assent of the Governor. In Halsbury's Laws of England, Edn. 2, p. 510, para. 661, we read : 'The expression 'passing of the Act' refers to the date at which the Eoyal Assent is given' In Ex parte Rashleigh; In re Dalzell (1875) 2 Ch D 9 at p. 12 James, L. J., observed:
I am of opinion that in the Act of 1869 the words. 'the date of the passing of the Bankruptcy Act, 1861' mean what they say. They are English words, common words and words which have a fixed meaning in our language and law. They mean the time when the Royal Assent is given to a Bill which has passsd both Houses of Parliament. That is the the plain meaning of the words....
3. In my opinion the Act was passed on 20th, December 1937 when it received the assent of the Governor. I do not however propose] to interfere in the exercise of my revisional. powers. It appears that the applicant deliberately divested himself of his property between October and December 1937 and he therefore deserves little sympathy from this Court. Morever, Act 10 of 1937 is admittedly no longer in force. I dismiss this application, but I make no order as to costs. The interim stay order is discharged.