Mushtaq Ahmad, J.
1. This is a defendant's application in revision against an order of the learned Civil Judge of Banda affirming an order of a learned Munsif of that place, by which the latter had refused to stay a suit pending before him under Section 39(1) (v), Arbitration Act. After the plaintiff-respondent had filed the suit in the Court of the learned Munsif, the applicant, the U.P. Government, made an application on 25th August 1945, asking for time to file a written statement. Sometime later, the applicant applied to the Court under Section 34 of the said Act alleging that there had been an agreement between the parties to refer the matters in dispute to arbitration and that the proceedings should be stayed. This application was dismissed by the learned Munsif, and his order was affirmed in appeal by the learned Civil Judge. The present application in revision is against the latter order.
2. The ground on which the Courts below disallowed the application under Section 34 of the Act was that the application which the U.P. Government had made on 25th August 1915, for time to file a written statement amounted to a 'step in the proceedings' within the meaning of those words in the said section of the Act, and that, as, according to that section an application for staying the proceedings could be made only before such a step had been taken and not later, the U.P. Government was not entitled to apply for the proceedings to be stayed. The lower appellate Court relied on a Bench decision of this Court in Roop Kishore v. U.P. Government, Lucknow : AIR1945All24 , in which it had been held that an application for adjournment to file a written statement wag a 'step in the proceedings' within the meaning of Section 34, Arbitration Act. Mr. Jagdish Swarup, learned Counsel for the applicant, has contended that the rule laid down in that case was not intended to be applied generally to all cases in which an application for adjournment is made. No classification is suggested of the cases in which the rule would apply and those in which it would not apply. At least nothing has been urged by the learned Counsel to show that the rule would not apply in the present case except that the defendant was the U.P. Government. We do not consider that this circumstance can be taken as a ground for departing from the rule laid down in the ruling mentioned above. The same view appears to have been taken by the Bombay High Court in the case of Edward Radbone v. Juggilal Kamlapat A.I.R. (30) 1943 Bom. 228 and the Calcutta High Court in The Karnani Industrial Bank v. Satya Niranjan Shaw : AIR1924Cal789 . It is true that in Messrs. Prem Nath Pran Nath v. Amba Parshad A.I.R. (28) 1941 Lah. 64, the Lahore High Court appears to have been reluctant to accept this view and seems to have indicated that an , application for extension of time to file a written statement is not such a 'step in proceedings' as contemplated by those words of Section 34, Arbitration Act. In the first place that case is, in our opinion, distinguishable from the present one, inasmuch as, there the defendants had not received a copy of the plaint filed in Court. That being so, he was not in a position to know anything about the nature of the suit filed, so as to realise that the suit related to a matter about which there had been an agreement for arbitration between the parties. In any case, we feel that the preponderance of authority is in favour of the view taken by this Court in Roop Kishore v. U.P. Government, Lucknow : AIR1945All24 referred to above.
3. We, therefore, see no ground to interfere with the judgment of the lower appellate Court, and we accordingly dismiss this application with costs.
4. The stay order is discharged. The record may be returned to the Court below at once.