Thom and Harries, JJ.
1. This is a first appeal from the order of the learned civil Judge of Meerut in an application under Sections 5 and 30, Agriculturists' Belief Act. The decree-holder had obtained final decree for sale on the footing of his mortgage. The applicant thereafter presented an application under the Agriculturists' Relief Act praying that the rate of interest be reduced to 51/2 per cent, from 1st January 1930, onwards and for the conversion of the decree into an instalment decree extending over a period of 15 years. The learned civil Judge has reduced the rate of interest to 301/2 per cent, per annum simple until such date as this rate is superseded by new rate under the orders of the Local Government and directed that amount due under the decree be paid in ten annual instalments. The judgment-debtor has appealed against the order of the civil Judge. Learned Counsel for the respondents took the preliminary objection that so far as the order of the Court below related to the payment of the debt by instalments, it was not appealable to this Court. Learned Counsel maintained that this was plain from the terms of Section 5(2) of the Act. Sub-section 2 is in the following terms:
If, on the application of the judgment-debtor, the Court refuses to grant instalments, or grants a number or period of instalments which the judgment-debtor considers inadequate, its order shall be appealable to the Court to which the Court passing the order is immediately subordinate, and the decision of the appellate Court shall be final.
2. Learned Counsel for the respondents contended that, the' Court of the civil Judge of Meerut, was immediately subordinate to the Court of the District Judge and that therefore if the judgment-debtor desired to challenge the order of the civil Judge his remedy was by way of an appeal in the Court of the District Judge. It was contended for the judgment-debtor on the other hand that in virtue of the fact that the valuation of the suit was over a lakh of rupees, an appeal against the order of the civil Judge was competent in this Court. This question was considered in Bireshwar Das v. Umakant Pande by a Bench of this Court. In the decision of that appeal it was held that the appeal from the order of the Court of the civil Judge lay in the Court of the District Judge and not in the High Court. We find ourselves in agreement with this conclusion. It appears to us to be plain from the provisions of the section that the Legislature intended that all appeals challenging the decision of the civil Judge under Section 5 should be in the Court of the District Judge alone. It is true, as learned Counsel for the appellant contended, that in suits where the valuation is above Rs. 5,000 the Court of the civil Judge is subordinate to the High Court, but the words of the section are 'immediately subordinate' and we are of the opinion that the intention of the Legislature was to confine the appeal to the Court of the District Judge in every case, no matter what the valuation of the original suit was. We are supported in our decision on this point by the terms of Section 3, Civil P.C. We therefore hold that so far as the order of the learned civil Judge relates to the payment of the decree by instalments, no appeal lies in this Court.
3. The appellant in these proceedings appeals also against the order of the learned civil Judge so far as it relates to the question of interest. It was conceded during the hearing by learned Counsel for the appellant that no appeal lies in this Court against the decision of the learned civil Judge upon the question of interest. Learned Counsel, however, invited us to treat his appeal against the Judge's order in relation to the question of interest as a revision. He maintained that under the provisions of Section 30 of the Act the Court below had no jurisdiction to award interest from 1st January 1930, upon the accumulated sum due on that date. Learned Counsel maintained that the intention of the Legislature was that interest from 1st January 1930, in oases where the rate of interest is reduced under the provisions of Section 30 should be calculated upon the amount originally advanced on loan.
4. The question raised in this argument is one which is not unattended with difficulty. The difficulty is due to a large extent to faulty draftsmanship. The point was considered in Kailash Kuar v. Amar Nath A.I.R. 1936 Oudh 334. It was held in that case that the reduced rate of interest under Section 30, Agriculturists' relief Act, was intended by the Legislature to be calculated on the accumulated amount due by the debtor as at 31st of December 1929. The terms of Section 30 were also considered in a single Judge decision of this Court Ramman Lal v. Kamala Dat It is not clear from the report in that case whether the contractual rate of interest was simple or compound. The decision, however, was that the reduced rate of interest under Section 30 should be calculated on the original amount of loan and not on the accumulated amount due on 31st of December 1929.
5. The question is one of general importance and the decision of the Court will affect the rights of the parties in a large number of cases. We are accordingly of the opinion that the point in issue should be authoritatively decided by a Full Bench of this Court. Learned Counsel for the respondents contended further that no revision lay against the order of the learned civil Judge upon the question of interest. His argument was that the learned Judge had jurisdiction to interpret Section 30, Agriculturists' Relief Act, and even if his interpretation be wrong it cannot be said that he acted without jurisdiction or with material irregularity. We consider that this is a point which also might appropriately be decided by the Pull Bench. In the result we direct that the record be laid before the learned Chief Justice for the constitution of a Full Bench, to decide these questions:
(1) Whether the rate of interest to be fixed by the Court in an application under Section 30, Agriculturists' Relief Act, is to be calculated on the accumulated amount due under the loan as at 31st of December 1929, or upon the original amount advanced on loan?
(2) Is an application, in civil revision against an order of the civil Judge directing that future interest shall be calculated on the accumulated amount due under a loan as at 31st December 1929, in an application under Section 30, Agriculturists' Relief Act, maintainable?