1. This is a plaintiff's appeal against the order of a learned single Judge of this Court in proceedings which were instituted under Section 33, Agriculturists Relief Act of 1934. The plaintiff filed a suit for an accounting. The defence to the suit was that the plaintiff is not an agriculturist. The learned Munsif sustained the defence and dismissed the suit. The plaintiff appealed and the learned Civil Judge in the lower Appellate Court held that inasmuch as the plaintiff was an agriculturist at the time of the institution of the suit the suit should not have been dismissed. He accordingly remanded the case to the trial Court for decision on the merits. The defendant appealed and the learned single Judge of this Court set aside the order of remand and dismissed the suit. The short question for consideration is as to whether a person who was not an agriculturist at the time when he contracted the loan is entitled to the benefits of Section 33, Agriculturists Relief Act. Upon a consideration of the term of the Section itself and of the general scheme and objects of the Act, the earned single Judge had held that Section 33 does not apply to a person who was not an agriculturist at the time when he took the loan, in respect of which he sues for an accounting. We are of the opinion that the decision of the learned single Judge is sound. Section 33(1) of the Act is as follows:
An agriculturist debtor may sue for an account of money lent or advanced to or paid for him by any person, or due by him to any person as the price of goods or on a written or unwritten engagement for the payment of money, and of money paid by him to such person.
2. The important word in this Section, in our view, is the word 'lent.' Now 'loan' as defined in Section 2 of the Act is
an advance to an agriculturist whether of money or in kind, and shall include any transaction which is in substance a loan.
3. As defined clearly 'loan' includes the transactions referred to in Section 33 as follows:
advanced to, or paid for him by any person, or due by him to any person as the price of goods or on a written or unwritten engagement for the payment of money, and of money paid by him to such person.
4. It is further to be observed that in Sub-section (3) of Section 33 there is reference to Sections 30(2) and 31(2). Now Sections 30(2) and 31(2), clearly refer to 'loans.' The word 'loan' is used in Section 30 and Section 31 and can mean only 'loan' as defined by Section 2 of the Act. It is clear from the terms therefore of Section 33 itself that that Section was intended to cover only those transactions contemplated in Sections 31 and 32. Furthermore, it is to be observed that in Section 2(10) which defines 'loan' there is a reference to Section 33(1). Section 2(10)(a)(ii) provides that
small loans which are not included as loans within the definition shall be included so far as Section 33(1) is concerned.
5. The definition of a creditor in Section 2 of the Act further lends support to the view that Section 33, as indeed every Section of Ch. 5 of the Act, refers to debtors who were agriculturists at the date when the loan was contracted. 'Creditor' is defined in Section 2(7) as follows:
'Creditor' in Ch. 5 means a person who, in the regular cause of business, advances a loan as defined in this Act, and includes the legal representatives and the successors-in-interest, whether by inheritance, assignment or otherwise, of a creditor.
6. Now the suits contemplated by Section 33 of the Act are suits against 'creditors,' that is against persons who have advanced 'loans' as defined in the Act. 'Loan' as already observed is defined as 'an advance to an agriculturist,' that is a person who was an agriculturist at the time when the advance is made. Upon a consideration of the provisions of Section 33 and of the other Sections in the Act above referred to, we are satisfied that the plaintiff in the suit out of which this appeal arises was not entitled to prefer a claim under Section 33(1). His suit was therefore rightly dismissed by the learned single Judge. In the result the appeal is dismissed with costs.