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Ranbir Prasad Vs. Sheobaran Singh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subject Civil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1939All619
AppellantRanbir Prasad
RespondentSheobaran Singh
Excerpt:
.....until the transfer of land under section 6 has been completed or the decree has been wholly or partly satisfied under section 7, as the case may be. the order dated 22nd august 1935 clearly shows that no transfer of property had been made to ranbir prasad in praesenti but the collector had simply said that 'the property is offered to decree-holder in full satisfaction of the decree and will be transferred to him. the act itself does not say clearly, as it might well have done, that the landlord will be precluded from taking any steps under any other provision of law. on the whole we have come to the conclusion that no good grounds have been made out which would enable us to review our former decision......of what has been said by mr. gopi nath kunzru on behalf of the applicant. after the passing of the decree proceedings were taken under the u.p. regulation of sales act, 26 of 1934, and the value and the amount of the agricultural land was determined in accordance with section 3, and then under section 4 an option was given to the decree-holder to take some agricultural land and the decree-holder some to have exercised the option mentioned in clause (a) of section 4, and on 22nd august 1935 the assistant collector passed the following order:the property, viz. 6 biswas, 10 biswansis, 10 kachwansis and 11 unwansis is offered to decree-holder in full satisfaction of the decree and will be transferred to him.4. thereafter a regular sale deed was exe-outed by the collector on 18th march 1936,.....
Judgment:

Bajpai, J.

1. This is an application for review. The judgment which is sought to be reviewed was delivered by us on 25th March 1938 and is to be found in Sheo Baran Singh v. Ranbir Prasad : AIR1938All477 . It might be mentioned at the very outset that there is a clerical error at page 542 in the tenth line from the bottom where Sheo Baran Singh ought to be read for Ranbir Prasad, and to that extent the judgment will be corrected. The facts of the case are stated at length in our previous judgment. It might however be mentioned that Sheo Baran Singh had applied under Section 30, Clause 2, U.P. Agriculturists' Belief Act, for reduction in the amount of interest calculated in a decree which had been passed against him at the instance of Ranbir Prasad on 9th August 1932, and the Court below rejected that application on 6th February 1937. In revision we set aside the order of the Court below and disagreed with the views entertained by that Court. The Court below had held that the decree which was sought to be amended under Section 30, Agriculturists' Belief Act, had been satisfied and that Sheo Baran Singh's application was further incompetent by reason of Section 7, U.P. Encumbered Estates Act. A preliminary objection was taken to the hearing of this application because it was not in conformity with Section 114 and Order 47, Civil P.C. In the present application it is said that certain wrong information was given to the High Court by the counsel for Ch. Sheo Baran Singh and some important points of fact and law were not brought to our notice and therefore our decision is liable to be reviewed. After having beard counsel we are not satisfied that we were misled by any wrong information, and for the rest the utmost that can be said is that a different view on certain questions of law is possible, but that is hardly any ground for review. In Chajju Ram v. Neki (1922) 9 A.I.R. P.C. 112 their Lordships of the Privy Council said that

Order 47, Rule 1, Civil P.C., 1908, must be read as in itself definitive of the limits within which review of a decree or order is now permitted, and the words 'any other sufficient reason' mean a reason sufficient on grounds at least analogous to those specified immediately previously. A Court hearing an application for a review of a decree made on appeal has therefore no power to order a review upon the ground that the decision was wrong on the merits.

2. They emphasized the same view in Bisheshwar Partap Sahi v. Parath Nath . In Bala Prasad v. Balkrishan : AIR1933All274 a Bench of this Court of which one of us was member, held that

an application for review of judgment under Order 47, Rule 1, Civil P.C., does not lie on the ground of an error of law and in any event the error must be so patent that it could be said to be apparent on the face of the record.

3. This application for review was argued before us for more than a day, and this time could not have been occupied if the error of law was apparent on the face of the record. We therefore feel inclined to agree with the preliminary objection, but we have thought fit to discuss briefly the merits also of the application. We had held that the decree that was sought to be am. ended under the Agriculturists' Belief Act had not been satisfied, and we still maintain the same view in spite of what has been said by Mr. Gopi Nath Kunzru on behalf of the applicant. After the passing of the decree proceedings were taken under the U.P. Regulation of Sales Act, 26 of 1934, and the value and the amount of the agricultural land was determined in accordance with Section 3, and then under Section 4 an option was given to the decree-holder to take some agricultural land and the decree-holder some to have exercised the option mentioned in Clause (a) of Section 4, and on 22nd August 1935 the Assistant Collector passed the following order:

The property, viz. 6 biswas, 10 biswansis, 10 kachwansis and 11 unwansis is offered to decree-holder in full satisfaction of the decree and will be transferred to him.

4. Thereafter a regular sale deed was exe-outed by the Collector on 18th March 1936, under Rule 8(a) of the rules framed by the local Government in accordance with Section 11 of the Act. On 21st March 1936, formal possession was delivered to Ranbir Prasad decree-holder under Rule 8(b). The matter was however taken to the Board of Revenue and the learned members materially interfered with the proceedings of the Collector. It appears that on the day on which the Collector passed the order specified above, namely 22nd August 1935, Sheo Baran Singh applied under Section 4, U.P. Encumbered Estates Act, and on 2nd September 1935 the Collector passed an order under Section 6 of the Act. The Board of Revenue was of the opinion that no further proceedings could be taken in the matter of the decree in view of Section 7, U.P. Encumbered Estates Act, and the execution of the sale deed in favour of Ranbir Prasad and the delivery of possession to him were without jurisdiction. These two proceedings were therefore set aside, but as the order under Section 5 was passed prior to the granting of the certificate by the Collector under Section 6, U.P. Encumbered Estates Act, it was allowed to stand. We were therefore of the opinion that under the circumstances enumerated above it was impossible to hold that the decree had been satisfied, and we hold the same view even now. It has been argued that the order of the Collector is tantamount to the transfer of the agricultural land in full satisfaction of the decree and that Act 26 of 1934 (U.P. Regulation of Sales Act) ceased to have effect from 1st November 1936 as enjoined by Section 9 of the Act and the only proviso that remained was:

That in all oases in which the Collector has given the option mentioned in Section 4 and the decree-holder has not elected under Clause (b) of the said Section to have the sale postponed the provisions of Sections 5 and 7 of the Act shall continue to have effect until the transfer of land under Section 6 has been completed or the decree has been wholly or partly satisfied under Section 7, as the case may be.

5. It is said that when the Board of Revenue gave its judgment on 27th and 28th November 1936, the U.P. Regulation of Sales Act had ceased to function and the Collector's order under Section 5 operated as a regular transfer of the property and amounted to satisfaction of the decree, but it is clear from the proviso mentioned above that Sections 5 and 7 of the Act continued to have effect until the transfer of land had been completed, and this obviously means until a regular document had been executed. The contention on behalf of the present applicant is that because of Section 2(d), T.P. Act, it was not necessary that a regularly stamped and registered document should be executed and that from and after 22nd August 1935 Ranbir Prasad became the owner of the property. The order dated 22nd August 1935 clearly shows that no transfer of property had been made to Ranbir Prasad in praesenti but the Collector had simply said that 'the property is offered to decree-holder in full satisfaction of the decree and will be transferred to him.' The Board of Revenue maintained this order and said that

it will be the duty of the Collector to give effect to that order of 22nd August 1935 as soon as lie recover the case back from the Special Judge under Section 19, Encumbered Estates Act, subject of course to any orders that may be passed in the interim by the Special Judge.

6. The Special Judge had to determine under Section 11, Encumbered Estates Act, whether the property specified in the claim or any part thereof was liable to attachment, sale or mortgage in satisfaction of the debta of the applicant, and under Section 19 lie has to send the decrees granted under Sub-section (7) of Section 17 to the Collector for execution in accordance with the provisions of Ch. 5 of the Act. The Collector's order wan therefore subject to modification. The landlord Sheo Baran Singh was claiming the property as his own in spite of the Collector's order and the creditor was claiming it as his because of the Collector's order, and it would be within the province of the special Judge to determine these rival claims.

7. The next point which we decided was that proceedings, attachments, processes and suits mentioned in Clause (a) and (b) of Section 7, Encumbered Estates Act, are proceedings, attachments, processes and suits against the landlord in respect of debts and the landlord himself is not necessarily under any disability for taking proceedings which he may be entitled to take under the law for the protection of his interest. It is said that this view of law is not sustainable in view of the language of Section 7 and that the application by Sheo Baran Singh under Section 30, Agriculturists' Belief Act, was incompetent because he was prohibited from starting any fresh proceeding in respect of the decree which had been passed against him in view of Section 7(b) of the Act. We wish to point out that if we were in error then an application for review is hardly the remedy for correcting that error. After a full discussion we deliberately came to the conclusion that the Legislated prohibited proceedings against the landlord and that the landlord himself was not under any such disability.

8. We might however mention that about the year 1935 a number of Acts were passed by the local Legislature and their object was to relieve indebtedness and to regulate the sale of lands in execution of decrees, Acts for the benefit of debtors, landlords and agriculturists. It may be conceded that Section 7 does not in terms say that the suits or proceedings mentioned there should be against landlords, but it is obvious that attachments and execution processes in Clause (a) and processes for ejectment for arrears of rent needs must be against the landlord. One of the modes of construction relating to a statute is to examine the intent of the Legislature. 'The dominant purpose in construing a statute,' says Turner L.J. in Hawkins v. Gathercole (1855) 6 De. G.M. & G. 1 at p. 22, citing Stradling v. Morgan (1560) 1 Plow 199 at page 204, is to ascertain the intent of the Legislature, to be collected from the clause and necessity of the Act being made, from a comparison of its several parts and from foreign (meaning extraneous) circumstances so far as they can justly be considered to throw light upon the subject.

9. (Craies on Statute Law, Edn. 4, page 119). Bearing the above canon in view, we find that the intention of the Legislature was not to put the landlord under a disability but to provide for the relief of his encumbered estate, and when on an application by him the Collector has passed an order under Section 6 of the Act the consequences that should flow from such order should be consequences to the benefit of the landlord and not to his detriment. The Act itself does not say clearly, as it might well have done, that the landlord will be precluded from taking any steps under any other provision of law. The U.P. Agriculturists' Belief Act and the U.P. Encumbered Estates Act came into force on the same day, namely 30th April 1935, and it was quite easy for the Legislature to say that if a landlord had chosen to take the benefit of the U.P. Encumbered Estates Act he could not take the benefit of the Agriculturists' Belief Act; on the contrary, it is provided by Section 4(3), Encumbered Estates Act that if within three months after the date on which Ch. 3 of this Act comes into force a landlord has applied for amendment of a decree under the provisions of the United Provinces Agriculturists' Relief Act, 1934, the period from the date of his application to the date of the final disposal thereof shall be excluded from the period within which he may make an application under Sub-sections (1) and (2) of this Section.

10. It is clear from the above that an agriculturist landlord may apply under the Agriculturists' Belief Act, first for the amendment of a decree under Section 30 of the Act and he may then apply for relief under the Encumbered Estates Act. If it was thought that he should be precluded from applying under Section 30, Agriculturists' Belief Act, after he had applied under the Encumbered Estates Act, one would have expected the Legislature to say so in unambiguous language somewhere. Our attention was drawn to Section 14(4)(c) of the Encumbered Estates Act which says that the provisions of the United Provinces Agriculturists' Relief Act of 1934 shall not be applicable to proceedings under this Act, but this is for the special Judge and means that the special Judge will not, while disposing of a matter under the Encumbered Estates Act, apply the provisions of the Agriculturists' Belief Act, and this does not prohibit the agriculturist landlord himself from taking independent proceedings under the Agriculturists' Relief Act. One extraneous circumstance, to which reference may be made now, is that the Legislature intends by means of an amendment to enact that the provisions of the U.P. Agriculturists' Belief Act shall be applicable to proceedings under the U.P. Encumbered Estates Act. On the whole we have come to the conclusion that no good grounds have been made out which would enable us to review our former decision. We therefore dismiss this application with costs.


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