1. This appeal raises a question of law, and it is unfortunate that the respondent is not represented.
2. Briefly the facts are these: The appellant holds a decree for money against one Ram Pargash Singh. The final decree in the case was made on 16th March, 1922. The decree-holder Ram Badan Singh was the judgment-debtor in a decree held by two persons Ram Harakh and Mst. Rup Kali. The decree in favour of these two parsons was passed sometime in 1907. In 1922 Ram Harakh and Rup Kali sought the execution of that decree by the attachment of the decree held by Ram Badan against Ram Pargash. On an application being made by Ram Harakh and Rup Kali an order was passed for the attachment of the decree held by Ram Badan Singh. The application was, however, struck off for default of prosecution on the 23rd of December, 1922. The attachment was consequently automatically removed. On 16bh March, 1923, Earn Badan Singh sought the execution of his decree by the arrest of Ram Pargash. Ram Pargash was arrested and brought into Court. On that date a certificate of satisfaction of the decree held by Ram Harakh and Rup Kali was granted by the decree holders. The Court of the first instance held that the certificate of satisfaction was a collusive transaction and did not exonerate Ram Pargash from paying the money due by him to Ram Badan under the decree held by the latter. The lower Appellate Court however, held the contrary view with the result that Ram Badan's decree was found to be inexecutable.
3 In this Court it has been urged that assuming that Ram Pargash did really pay the decretal amount due to Ram Badan to Ram Haiakh and Rup Kali, this payment made out of Court was not valid at law and did not result in the satisfaction of the decree held by Ram Badan Singh.
4. I think this contention is right. The methods of payment of money under a decree are laid down in Rule 1, Order 21 of the Civil Procedure Code. It may be mentioned here that the decree in favour of Ram Badan was passed by a Subordinate Judge and that in favour of Ram Harakh was passed by a Munsiff. The methods of payment are:
(1) into the Court whose duty it is to execute the decree : or
(2) out of Court to the decree-holder ; or
(3) otherwise as the Court which made the decree directs.
5. It will be observed that none of these methods was adopted by Ram Pargaah. It was the duty of the Subordinate Judge to execute the decree under which Ram Pargaah had to make payment. If a payment into Court had to be made, that payment should have been made into the Court of the Subordinate Judge. It is, however, nobody's case that any payment into Court wa3 made. For the payment to the decree holder out of Court, the payment must be made to the holder of the decree in respect of which the payment has to be made, The definition of the term 'decree holder' is given in Section 2(3) of the Coda of Civil Procedure and does not include an attaching creditor of the decree holder. The payment, therefore, to the attaching creditor of the decree-holder is not a payment to the decree-holder within the meaning of Rule 1(b) of Order 21. The last clause does not apply. The payment therefore, to the attaching creditor Ram Harakh and Rup Kali was no such payment as could discharge Ram Pargash from the decree passed in favour of Ram Badan Singh.
6. That this conclusion is correct can be seen by examining the facts of the case. When a parson purporting to be a decree-holder seeks the attachment of another decree, it is open to the decree-holder, whoso decree is sought to be attached, to impugn the attachment. If without giving the decree-holder, whose decree has bean attached, an opportunity to impugn the attachment, his judgment-debtor should make a payment to the person who professes to be the attaching creditor, room for fraud would be opened. In this particular case the final decree in favour of Ram Harakh and Rup Kali was passed as long ago as in 1907. Their application of 1922 was on the face of it barred by twelve years' rule of limitation (Section 48, C.P.C.). Obviously it was never the intention of the legislature that a debtor liable under a decree which has been attached should obtain a discharge by payment to the person who professes to possess a right to attach the decree.
7. The appeal succeeds. I set aside the decree of the lower Appellate Court and dismiss the objection of Earn Pargash as to payment. Ram Pargash will pay the costs of the decree-holder Ram-Badan Singh in this Court and the Court below. The execution proceedings will proceed.