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Mata Badal Pandey and anr. Vs. the Board of Revenue and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Appeal No. 622 of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1976All420
ActsUttar Pradesh Encumbered Estates Act, 1934 - Sections 14(7), 19, 22, 23, 23A, 23B, 23B(1) and 23B(2); Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Order 21, Rules 51 and 52; Uttar Pradesh Zamindars' Debt Reduction Act, 1953 - Sections 9; Uttar Pradesh Encumbered Estates (Amendment) Act, 1954; Uttar Pradesh Jamindars' Debt Reduction Act, 1952 - Sections 8
AppellantMata Badal Pandey and anr.
RespondentThe Board of Revenue and ors.
Appellant AdvocateG.P. Bhargava, ;A.N. Bhargava, ;K.N. Tripathi and ;V.K.S. Chaudhary, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateV.B. Singh, ;L.B. Singh, ;T.P. Singh, ;R.R. Singh and ;Rajeshwari Pd., Advs. and ;Standing Counsel
Excerpt:
(i) civil - execution of decree - sections 22,23 and 23 b of u.p. encumbered estates act, 1934 - collector executes the decree passed by the special judge and has all the trappings of a court - pass liquidation award - it is the money notionally in the shape of bonds which is paid to the creditor in discharge of the debt - no sale takes place of any property in execution of the decree - when decree is executed against the compensation and rehabilitation grant bonds. (ii) unsecured debt - section 9 of u.p. zamindars debt reduction act, 1953 and section 23 b of u.p. encumbered estates act, 1934 - measures to improve the lot of landlords and affording them equitable relief against their debts - secured or unsecured debts were realized against the value of the compensation and rehabilitation.....k.b. asthana, c.j. 1. one drig vijai bahadur singh, a zamindar took a loan on the foot of a promissory note executed by him in favour of mata badal pandey and krishna murari. the promissory note remained unpaid when the executant thereof applied for liquidation of his debts under the u. p. encumbered estates act, hereinafter referred to as the 'act'. a special judge i grade on 20-4-1937 passed a decree under section 14 of the said act, which decree was eventually modified by the chief court at luc-know on 14-2-1942 and a sum of rs. 3,380 plus costs, rs. 64 and rs. 110/3/- as interest were found due. the decree was to carry future interest at the rate of 4 1/4% per annum upto the date of realisation. the said decree was transmitted to the collector for execution under section 19 of the.....
Judgment:

K.B. Asthana, C.J.

1. One Drig Vijai Bahadur Singh, a Zamindar took a loan on the foot of a promissory note executed by him in favour of Mata Badal Pandey and Krishna Murari. The promissory note remained unpaid when the executant thereof applied for liquidation of his debts under the U. P. Encumbered Estates Act, hereinafter referred to as the 'Act'. A Special Judge I Grade on 20-4-1937 passed a decree under Section 14 of the said Act, which decree was eventually modified by the Chief Court at Luc-know on 14-2-1942 and a sum of Rs. 3,380 plus costs, Rs. 64 and Rs. 110/3/- as interest were found due. The decree was to carry future interest at the rate of 4 1/4% per annum upto the date of realisation. The said decree was transmitted to the Collector for execution under Section 19 of the said Act, During the pendency of the execution proceedings U. P. Zamin-dari Abolition and Land Reforms Act came into force. All the landed properties of the Zamindar respondent were acquired and he was awarded compensation and rehabilitation grant bonds.

Drig Vijai Bahadur Singh died and was succeeded by his son Ran Vijai Bahadur Singh, who was substituted for his father in the execution proceedings. The compensation bonds payable to Ran Vijai Bahadur Singh were sent by the Compensation Officer on 28-12-56 to the Collector under Section 23-A of the Act. There were certain secured debts also against the Zamindar respondent and they were first ordered to be paid off under Sec-tion 23-B (1) of the Act realisable from the compensation bonds on their facevalue. The Collector then proceeded to liquidate the unsecured debts under Section 23-B of the Act from the balance of compensation bonds. There arose some dispute as to the calculation of the interest at the decretal rate. The Collector further reduced the debt under Section 9 of the U. P. Zemindars' Debt Reduction Act of 1952 despite the objection raised by the decree-holder that the debt in ques-tion being an unsecured debt could not be reduced by the Collector. The creditors then went up in appeal before the Commissioner but it was substantially dismissed with a slight modification as regards the interests payable.

The creditors then filed a revision before the Board of Revenue on the ground that the Collector had no jurisdiction to reduce the debt in question. The Board of Revenue held that the Collector had jurisdiction to reduce the debt but set aside that part of the order of the Commissioner by which interest upto the date of award was granted in terms of the decree and restored the order of the Collector for grant of interest upto 30-6-1952. The judgment of the Board of Revenue after concurrence of another member was finally delivered on 31-3-1962. A review application filed by the creditors against the judgment of the Board of Revenue was also dismissed on 23-10-1962. The creditors Mata Badal Pandey and Krishna Murari then filed a writ petition in this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution impugning the order of the Board of Revenue and all the proceedings leading to the revision before the Board of Revenue. Ran Vijai Bahadur Singh was im-pleaded as respondent No. 4 to the writ petition, the Board of Revenue, the Additional Commissioner and the Collector, being respondents Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively.

The writ petition was contested by Ran Vijai Bahadur Singh. The main question which arose in the writ petition revolved round the controversy whether Section 9 of the U. P. Zamindars' Debt Reduction Act applied and the Collector in liquidating the unsecured debts under the Encumbered Estates Act had jurisdiction to reduce such debts. A subsidiary question of award of interest was also raised. The learned Single Judge by his judgment dated 27-10-65 dismissed the writ petition holding that Section 9 of the Zamindars' Debt Reduction Act was applicable to the execution of a decree for unsecured debts under Chapter V of the U. P. Encumbered Estates Act whenrealised against compensation and rehabilitation grant bonds. The learned Judge also upheld the view that interest could be calculated upto 1952 determined by the Board of Revenue, The petitioner-creditors being .aggrieved then filed a Special Appeal from, the aforesaid decision of the learned Single Judge. On hearing the learned counsel for the parties, the Division Bench felt that the matter was not free from difficulty and referred the following two questions to a Full Bench :--

'1. Whether benefit of Section 9 of the U. P. Zamindars' Debt Reduction Act, 1952 should be available to a judgment-debtor in the proceedings under Chapter V of the U. P. Encumbered Estates Act?

2. Will it make any difference if the bonds are suo motu sent by the Compensation Officer to the Collector instead of being requisitioned by the Collector?''

2. No question was referred by the Division Bench as regards the award of interest. This is how the matter has come before the Full Bench.

3. When the case was heard bythe Full Bench, a controversy arose as to whether the English translation of U. P. Zamindars' Debt Reduction Act will prevail over the Hindi text of the Act. An argument was made on behalf of the creditor-appellants that under Section 9 of the Zamindars' Debt Reduction Act only when decree is executed by attachment and sale, the decretal amount is to be reduced. Hindi text of the said Act was pressed into service by the other side to show that while provisions of Section 9 of the Act in English contemplates both attachment and sale of the bonds, the Hindi text warrants that it can be either and since the compensation bonds which were the substitute of the Zamindari property, were attached in execution of the decree, the debt could be reduced. On the basis af five Judges' decision in Smt. Rarn Rati v. Gram Samaj Jehwa, 1974 All WR 163 = (AIR 1974 All 106) (FB) it was argued that the authorised text in English language will prevail aver the original Hindi text of the Act and this Court administering the law ought to resolve the controversy on the basis of the English text by applying the general principles of interpretation ef English Statutes and by finding the meaning thereof from English dictionaries.

The other side relied upon a Division Bench decision in the ease of Haji Lal Mohammad Biri Works, Allahabad v.Sales Tax Officer, Allahabad (AIR 1959, AH 208) in which a view was taken that any apparent ambiguity in the English translation of an Act enacted in Hindi can be resolved by making use of the Hindi text of the Act and this view of the High Court was approved expressly by the Supreme Court in the case of J. K. Jute Mills Co. Ltd. v. State of U. P. (AIR 1961 SC 1534). We found that in the case of Smt. Ram Rati v. Gram Samaj (supra) neither of the said decisions has been noticed. The five Judges' Full Bench seems to have been much influenced by earlier decision of three Judges' Full Bench in J. S. Mills Ltd. v. Presiding Officer, I.-T-(III), U. P., Allahabad (AIR 1962 All 240) (FB) wherein it was held that in case of diversion of two versions, that is in Hindi and English, the English version would prevail and would be supreme. In this state of law, the Full Bench referred the following question of law to a larger Bench of seven Judges :--

'Whether it will be a sound rule of interpretation or construction of statutes that if there appears to be some doubt or ambiguity in the authorised text in English language of an Act enacted in Hindi by the Legislature of Uttar Pradesh, then for resolving the ambiguity or doubt and for ascertaining the correct meaning thereof, reference can be made to the corresponding Hindi text and reliance placed thereon?'

4. The seven Judges' Full Bench by majority answered the above question in the following manner :--

'We are, therefore, of opinion that where there is some doubt or ambiguity in any provision in the authoritative English text, it is permissible to look into the Hindi text to remove the doubt or ambiguity.'

5. With the above answer of the larger Full Bench the parties addressed before us their arguments. For the sake of convenience, we, hereinafter, describe the U. P. Encumbered Estates Act, 1934, as 'the 1934 Act' and the U. P. Zamindars' Debt Reduction Act, 1952 as 'the 1952 Act'.

6. On behalf of the creditor-appellants their learned counsel submitted that the debts secured against the proprietary rights in Zamindari properties are to be liquidated under Section 23-B (1) of the 1934 Act to which specifically the benefit of Section 8 of the 1952 Act has been extended but the benefit of Section 9 of 1952 Act, which in its terms applies tounsecured debts has not been expressly extended to liquidation of debt under Sub-section (2) of Section 23-B of 1934 Act dealing with liquidation of unsecured debts, hence the Collector will have no power to reduce the amount decreed in respect of an unsecured debt. It was strenuously urged that a comparison of the two sub-sections of Section 23-B of 1934 Act make it abundantly clear that the Legislature has consciously denied the benefit of the 1952 Act in respect of unsecured debts while extending its benefit to secured debts.

The submission was that the reason underlying this distinction is that the 'debts secured on proprietary rights in Zamindari property can only be liquidated by sale of proprietary rights in Zamindari properties, hence the benefit of Section 8 of the 1952 Act was extended purposely for reducing the burden on the Zamindar but an unsecured debt would not entail any such burden on the Zamindar so as to deserve reduction. Our attention was drawn to the definition of secured debt under the 1952 Act, which means a debt secured against Zamindari property, i. e., the proprietary interest or against Zamindari property along with other immovable property. It was suggested that as a consequence of the abolition of Zamindari and vesting thereof in the State the security available to a secured creditor against which he could enforce his security was no longer available and its value in compensation bonds stood reduced, hence it would have been highly inequitable if there was no corresponding reduction in the Zamindar'F liability in respect of the property which formed security for the debt. Therefore, the amendment of 1934 Act was made for giving relief to the Zamindars to meet the disadvantage and inequity directly flowing from the abolition of Zamindari.

7. It was then argued, alternatively, on behalf of the creditor-appellants that even assuming that the provisions of Section 9 of the 1952 Act apply to liquidation of unsecured debts under Section 23-B of 1934 Act, on the facts of the instant case the ingredients of Section 9 of 1952 Act were not fulfilled. The argument was developed somewhat in the following manner :--

A decree granted under Sub-section (7) of Section 14 of the 1934 Act has to be executed only in accordance with the provisions of the 1934 Act and in no other way. Under Section 19 of the 1934 Act aSpecial Judge is bound to send the decrees granted. under Section 14 (7) to the Collector for execution in accordance with the provisions of Chapter V of the 1934 Act which deals with the execution of decrees and liquidation of debts. Chapter V of 1934 Act in its scheme makes a clear distinction between the liquidation of debt and execution of decrees. Reference was made to Sections 22, 23-A and 23-B of 1934 Act as dealing with the liquidation of debts and Section 24 of 1952 Act as dealing with the execution wherein the Collector for realising the value of the debtor's property may exercise all the powers of the Civil Court for the execution of a decree. The English text of Section 9 of 1952 Act was then referred to.

It was pointed out that its provision will apply only (i) when the decree relates to an unsecured debt passed in a suit to which the said Act applied, (ii) the decree is executable by a court, and (iii) the execution is by attachment and sale of the bonds granted to the judgment-debtor. It was contended that while the first ingredient is fulfilled in the instant case, the second and third ingredients of 1952 Act were not fulfilled inasmuch as under Section 23-B the Collector only liquidates a debt as Administrator of the Estate of the debtor and does not execute the decree as a court by attachment and sale of any property. It was urged that there is a clear distinction between the liquidation of a debt through realisation of bonds under Section 23-B and execution of the decree for realising the value of the debtor's property through proceedings under Section 24.

8. The above were then the basic arguments advanced on behalf of the creditor-appellants, as regards the first question referred.

9. In respect of question No. 2, it was submitted that the Collector did not requisition from the Compensation Officer the compensation bonds and the rehabilitation grant bonds but the Compensation Officer of his own placed the said bonds at the disposal of the Collector, thus it could not be said that the Collector attached the said bonds; that the Collector received those bonds as a liquidator of the debts and the effect, therefore, of the sending of the bonds by the Compensation Officer suo motu would be that the bonds were neither attached nor sold hence Section 9 of the 1952 Act would not be attracted as it applies only when anattachment and sale of the property takesplace.

10. In reply, the learned counsel for the respondent first cleared the ground by placing undisputed facts. He drew our attention to the affidavits exchanged between the parties and some annexures thereto. He showed that the award dated 6-6-1959 made by the Collector did not say that the debts will be paid out of the properties other than the Zamindari Abolition Compensation bonds and rehabilitation grant payable to the respondent. It was further shown that the creditors never asked the Collector to execute the decree against the property of the respondent other than the Zamindari Abolition Compensation and Rehabilitation Grant Bonds and there was nothing on the record to show that the debtor had any property other than the Zamindari Abolition Compensation and Rehabilitation Grant Bonds against which the decree could have been executed by the Collector. It was submitted that when the debts are to be liquidated against the Zamindari Compensation and Rehabilitation Grant Bonds, the requirement of law under Section 23-A of 1934 Act is that those bonds must be placed at the disposal of the Collector.

The Collector will then at first under Section 23-B (1) of the 1934 Act for liquidating the secured debts in order of priority ranked by the Special Judge utilise the bond placed at his disposal under Section 23-A. If any balance out of the compensation and rehabilitation grant bonds remains in the hands of the Collector after utilising the same in accordance with the provisions of Sub-section (1), such balance would be utilised by the Collector in discharging the debts other than the secured debts. The submission was that in the instant case with the Collector there had remained a balance of compensation and rehabilitation grant bonds and since the Collector had utilised the same to discharge the unsecured debt of the appellant-creditors, he was perfectly within jurisdiction to give benefit of the 1952 Act to the respondent Zamin-dar.

11. It was contended that 1952 Act was enacted with the object of making a provision for scaling down of debts of the Zamindars whose estates had been acquired under the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950, and the said Act embraces within its ambit both secured and unsecured debts. It makes provision by its Section 9 thatwhere a decree relating to an unsecured debt was executed by attachment and sale of the bonds granted to the judgment-debtor on account of compensation or rehabilitation grant for his estate, the court executing the decree notwithstanding anything in any law enter satisfaction in accordance with the formula given in the Schedule of the said Act.

This being the policy, it was urged that there was no tenability in the argument that the law did not protect the respondent by extending him the benefit of reduction under the 1952 Act when the Collector proceeded towards utilising the balance out of the bonds remaining with him in satisfaction of the unsecured debt of the respondent. The submission was that the benefit of scaling down of debt will always be available to a Zamindar debtors whose debt is to be satisfied from the Zamindari compensation and rehabilitation grant bonds, payable to him under the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act. Thus it was contended that mere absence of reference to the provisions of Section 9 of the 1952 Act in Sub-section (2) of Section 23-B of the 1934 Act will not change the position against the respondent and deprive him of the benefit of application of the formula of reduction contained in the Schedule of 1952 Act.

12. Tn regard to question No. 2 the reply was that on the facts it appears that the Collector had sought for a report from the Encumbered Estates Clerk regarding the details of the Zamindari Abolition Compensation and Rehabilitation Grant Bonds payable to the ex-intermediary and on receiving the report from the office of Compensation Officer, he ordered the Treasury Officer, Pratapgarh to receive the bonds and keep the same in the Treasury as a valuable security and as the bonds in fact always remained in official custody and had never been handed over to the respondent, the order of the Collector just referred to would be nothing but attachment of the said bonds. The submission thus was that on the facts of the case the second question would not arise as the bonds were required by the Collector for liquidating the debts in execution of the decree of the Special Judge. Alternatively, it was suggested that even assuming that they were sent by the Compensation Officer suo motu, a fact which, it is said, is not true as the bonds were still always with the Compensation Officer, the order of the Collector would befor attachment and the legal position would not change.

13. On the arguments of the parties the first question that arises for consideration is whether the Collector in the proceedings under Chapter V of the 1934 Act acts as a court and executes a decree. Under Section 19 of the Act a Special Judge sends the decrees granted under Sub-setion (7) of Section 14 to the Collector for execution in accordance with the provisions of Chapter V, It is clear, therefore, that under the Act the Collector executes the decree passed by the Special Judge and the execution is carried out in accordance with the provisions of Chapter V. Though this Chapter is headed as 'Execution of decrees and liquidation of debts' and Sections 23 and 23-B of the said Chapter talk of liquidation of debts but that alone to my mind would not mean that the Collector does not execute the decree of the Special Judge. Under the Scheme of this Chapter it appears the process of execution in the circumstances envisaged in Sections 23 and 23-B is described as liquidation.

I am not impressed with the contention that in the scheme of Chapter V when the Collector proceeds for realisation of value of the debtor's property under Section 24 of the Act it is only then he executes the decree. To my mind whole of Chapter V deals with the execution of decrees. Execution of transmitted decree is nothing but the process for carrying into effect the decree passed by the Special Judge for discharging the debt. May be the process of discharging the debt is termed as liquidation of debt but it is through the process of execution that such liquidation takes place. Whatever proceedings the Collector takes under Chapter V, they remain confined to execution of a decree transmitted by the Special Judge to him. The Act itself lays down that under Chapter V the function of the Collector is nothing but to execute the decree of the Special Judge in accordance with the provisions laid down therein.

It is not possible to accept the argument advanced on behalf of the appellant creditor that Chapter V can be divided into two distinct parts conferring different powers on the Collector viz. (i) for liquidation of debts and (ii) for execution of the decree. Introduction of such dichotomy in Chapter V would mean that the Collector when proceeding under Sections 23 and 23-B of Chapter V, is not executing the decree but doing somethingwhich is not contemplated by Section 19 of the Act. When Section 19 confines the Collector to execute the decree in accordance with the provisions of Chapter V then all what is provided in Chapter V is nothing but the process of execution as with the aid of provisions under that Chapter the Collector discharges his duty and function for executing the decree transmitted to him by the Special Judge. The highly sophisticated argument that the Collector under Chapter V when he proceeds under Section 23-B ia an Administrator or a Liquidator does not appeal to me.

A reference was made to the case of Deputy Commr.,. Hardoi v. Ram Krishna (AIR 1953 SC 521) and it was submitted that the Supreme Court described the proceedings under the U. P, Encumbered Estates Act ,as administrative proceedings and, therefore, the Collector was nothing but an Administrator of the estate. The observation which the learned Judges of the Supreme Court made in that judgment in paragraph 6 at page 524 was to the following effect :--

'It is apparent from the provisions of the Act cited above that U. P, Encumbered Estates Act is no more nor less than a Code for the administration of the assets of the landlord debtor and for giving relief to him in a number of ways against the contractual right.....'

14. I do not think any such inference can be drawn from the said observations of the learned Judges of the Supreme Court that under Chapter V of the Act the Collector does not execute the decree but administers the estate just as an Official Receiver under the Provincial Insolvency Act or a Liquidator of a Company under the Companies Act. The Supreme Court in the case cited above was not concerned with the nature of the function of the Collector under Chapter V of the Act. The ratio of the decision in S. C. Swarup v. Raghupati Rikh, (1970 All LJ 1S9) does not appear to me to lead to the conclusion that the Collector under Chapter V of the Act does not execute a decree. The Division Bench was concerned with the function of Official Receiver under the Provincial Insolvency Act, when realising the Zarnindari Compensation bonds and in selling them while administering the estate of the insolvent and in that connection the Bench concerned observed that the Official Receiver does not take any proceedings for execution of the decree by attachment and sale of compensation or rehabilitation grant for the estate and then concluded that since the Official Receiver was not executing a decree by attachment and sale of the bonds, Section 9 of the U. P. Zamindars Debt Reduction Act was not attracted. The Division Bench had no occasion in that case to consider the nature of the role and function of the Collector under Chapter V of the U. P. Encumbered Estates Act. I have no hesitation in holding that under Section 23-B the Collector executes the decree of the Special Judge according to the injunction implicit in Section 19 of the 1934 Act.

15. The next question that arises is whether the Collector is a court while carrying on the proceedings under Chapter V of the Act. The word 'Court' has not been statutorily denned under any of the two Acts with which we are concerned. There is no doubt in my mind, considering the nature of the functions under the provisions of various chapters and the rules, under the 1934 Act that the Collector has all the trappings of a court. He is required to issue notices, hear parties and by judicial application of his mind give his award which is described in the rules as 'liquidation award'. Sections 22 and 23 of the 1934 Act themselves are indicative of the fact that the Collector is nothing but a court when performing his function under Chapter V. Section 22 provides that the Collector shall allow the debtor a period of two months within which he may put into court the whole or any part of the amount due from him. Likewise, Section 23 (1) and (2) both envisage payment into court. It has not been suggested neither it can be that the court envisaged by Sections 22 and 23 of Chapter V is some instrumentality or organ other than the Collector himself.

It is well known that for performance of his judicial duties under the law the Collector sits in a court which is known as the court of the Collector. The provisions of Sections 57 and 58 of the 1934 Act put it beyond doubt that the Collector under Chapter V of the said Act is a court. Section 57 says that the Collector subject to the rules framed by the State Government may transfer any proceeding under this Act which are pending in his court to the court of Assistant Collector Ist Class under Section 54 and he may withdraw any proceeding so transferred. Section 58 empowers the Board of Revenue to transfer any proceeding under this Act from the court of one Collector tothat of any other Collector. Sub-section (2)of Section 46 also contemplates the Collector to be a court when it lays down that the Board of Revenue at any time on its own motion for a sufficient reason call for the record of proceedings of any case under this Act which is pending into court of a Collector or has been decidedby a court. Thus the Legislature itself has described the Collector as a court I have no difficulty, therefore, in holding that the Collector is a court when performing his duties and functions under Chapter V of the 1934 Act.

16. Thus the contention advanced on behalf of the petitioner-creditors that the Collector neither executes any decree nor is he a court when exercising hia power conferred by Section 23-B of the 1934 Act fails.

17. The next limb of the argument that under Section 23-B (2) of the 1934 Act the Collector neither attaches nor puts to sale the compensation or rehabilitation grant bonds in liquidating the debts may now be considered.

18. If, of course, the strict procedure for attachment of the property, as laid down in the Civil Procedure Code, and then its sale in execution of a decree is the only criterion to judge the nature of the action contemplated in Chapter V of the 1934 Act, then the answer may be that no such attachment and sale takes place but that to my mind will not be a correct approach. When a court reserves a property for the purpose of realising its value in discharge of the debts or any other kind of liability on the owner of such property and the owner cannot deal with that property, in my view, would amount to attachment of such property. The test is that when a court in legal process reserves to itself the power of disposal of any property to the exclusion oi its owner, such a reservation would amount to attachment of that property.

On behalf of the creditor appellants reliance was placed on a Division Bench decision of this Court in Kishori Saran v. Gauri Shanker (1972 All LJ 875) wherein it was held that since the Compensation Officer is a public officer within the meaning of Order XXI, Rule 52 of the Civil Procedure Code, the bonds under his custody could not be said to have been attached unless a notice under Rule 52 of Order XXI of the Civil Procedure Code was issued by the court, followed by a prohibitory order to the judgment-debtor as mentioned under Rule 54 of Order 21of the Code of Civil Procedure, thus a mere requisition by the Collector under Section 23-A of the 1934 Act read with Rule 31 of the Act cannot be called attachment of the bonds. It will be seen that the reasoning of the learned Judges to come to such a conclusion was entirely based on the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code. The learned Judges did notice the fact that the bonds when requisitioned are placed at the disposal of the Collector but held that that did not amount to a valid attachment as it was not followed by a prohibitory order as contemplated under Rule 54 of Order XXI of the Civil Procedure Code. It was mainly on this ground that the learned Judges observed :--

'It seems doubtful if this can be called attachment of the bonds.'

19. They only expressed a doubt but refrained from expressing a definite opinion. With great respect to the learned Judges constituting the Bench in Kishori Saran v. Gauri Shanker (1972 All LJ 875) (supra) I do not share their doubt. When the bonds are requisitioned and placed at the disposal of the Collector thus coming under his control and the same being movable property mere absence of any prohibitory order on the landlord-debtor would not affect in any way the power of the Collector to dispose them of according to law. Moreover, Rule 54 of Order XXI applies only to attachment of an immovable property. A reference to Rules 43 and 46 of Order XXI of the Civil Procedure Code will be more apt. When the bonds representing the money value of the compensation and rehabilitation grant payable to the landlord themselves are in the custody of a public officer, then actual seizure thereof and their deposit in court will complete the attachment as contemplated by Rules 51 and 52 of Order XXI of the Civil Procedure Code. This is exactly what takes place.

Section 23-A of the 1934 Act lays down that the Collector shall require the Compensation Officer and Rehabilitation Grant Officer to place at his disposal in pursuance of Section 70 of the U. P. Za-mindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act the amount of compensation money and rehabilitation grant payable to the landlord in respect of his proprietary right in the land found liable to attachment or sale under the provisions of Sub-section (2) of Section 19. Rule 31 under the 1934 Act provides that after the amount of compensation money and rehabilitationgrant payable to the landlord is placed at the disposal of the Collector then he shall expend the amount so recovered in liquidation of the debt of the debtor-landlord in accordance with the provisions of Section 23-B of the Act and the balance, if any, shall be refunded to him. I think, it is clear from the scheme that the Collector having secured for himself the power of disposal to the exclusion of the Landlord-debtor the attachment would be complete.

20. The next question then requiring consideration is whether in realising the money value of the compensation and rehabilitation grant bonds in fully discharging the debt, the Collector puts to sale such bonds. The compensation and rehabilitation grant payable to en ex-intermediary under the U. P. Z. A. & L. R. Act is represented by the bonds. Under Section 70 of the said Act when the Compensation Officer is required by a court or authority before whom any suit or proceeding is pending which directly or indirectly affects or is likely to affect the right of any person to receive the whole or part of the compensation then the Compensation Officer will have to place the amount so payable at the disposal of the requisitioning court or the authority and the same then shall be disposed of in accordance with the orders of such court or authority. With regard to rehabilitation grant Section 79-A of the U. P. Z. A. & L. R. Act provides for the eventuality which brings about a similar result. It must, however, be kept in view that the so-called bonds only represent the money.

The law requires compensation and rehabilitation grant to be paid in money. It is the compensation money and rehabilitation grant payable to the landlord in the shape of bonds in respect of his proprietary right in land which is put at the disposal of the Collector, in order to discharge the debt secured or unsecured in respect of which a decree has been made by the Special Judge the Collector transfers or entrusts such number of bonds whose money value is equal to the debt to be discharged. Thus it is the money notionally in the shape of bonds which is paid to the creditor in discharge of the debt. It is difficult, therefore, to accept the argument advanced on behalf of the respondent zamindar that the bonds as such are sold in execution of the decree for discharging his debt. In my judgment no sale takes place of the bonds as such even if the bonds be regarded as nego- tiable instruments. There is no sale con-ducted by the Collector. It is the money which is at his disposal in the shape of bonds which under the law is delivered to the creditor. There is no element of sale involved.

21. The result of the discussion above is :

(i) that the Collector is a court when exercising jurisdiction under Section 23-B of the 1934 Act;

(ii) that in liquidating the debt under Section 23-B of the 1934 Act the Collector executes the decree passed by the Special Judge under Sub-section (7) of Section 14 and transmitted under Section 19 of the said Act;

(iii) that the Collector attaches the compensation money or the rehabilitation grant payable in the shape of bonds and executes the decree in discharging the debt by delivering the money or its value in the shape of bond to the creditor; and

(iv) that no sale takes place of any property in execution of the decree when the decree is executed against the compensation and rehabilitation grant bonds under Section 23-B of the 1934 Act.

22. As a result of the discussion above, I have no difficulty in answering the second question referred by the Division Bench. My attention has not been drawn to any provision in the 1934 Act or any rule framed thereunder prescribing any particular form in which the Collector will require the Compensation Officer or the Rehabilitation Grant Officer, as the case may be, to place at his disposal the compensation money and rehabilitation grant payable to the landlord. Thus to my mind it would not be legitimate to over-emphasise the act or requisition. Once compensation money and rehabilitation grant payable to the landlord in the shape, of bonds is placed at the disposal of the Collector by the Compensation Officer or by the Rehabilitation Grant Officer, as the case may be, to my mind the requirements of law are substantially complied with. The manner or mode in which the Collector assumes control of the bonds hardly will matter. Even if the Officer places the bonds at the disposal of the Collector without waiting for any formal requisition in writing, the requirements of law would be satisfied.

23. I would answer the question No. 2 referred in the negative.

24. In regard to the first question referred, on the argument of the learnedcounsel for the creditor-appellants two points arise, namely, (1) Whether the absence of mention of Section 9 of the 1952 Act in Sub-section (2) of Section 23-B of the 1934 Act necessarily rules out the applicability of Section 9 of the 1952 Act and the debtor-zamindar loses the benefit of reduction of his debt or the decretal amount? and (ii) assuming that absence of mention of Section 9 of the 1952 Act in Sub-section (2) of Section 23 of the 1934 Act does not rule out the applicability of Section 9 of the 1952 Act, still the Za-mindar debtor would not be entitled to the benefit of those provisions as Section 9 of the 1934 Act in terms would not apply.

25. Taking the first point formulated above, it should be borne in mind that when the 1952 Act was enforced with effect from 2lst May, 1953. Sections 23-A and 23-B of the 1934 Act did not exist. They were introduced as amendments to the 1934 Act by U. P. Act No. 13 of 1954, known as the U. P. Encumbered Estates (Amendment) Act, 1954. Section 14 of the Amending Act enacted Sections 23-A and 23-B to be included in the principal Act The Amending Act's long title shows that it was an Act to amend the U. P. Encumbered Estates Act, 1934 for certain purposes. The 1934 Act aimed at the preservation of estates in liquidating the accumulated debts of the indebted Zamindars and was a measure to bring relief to the class of landlords who were surrounded by creditors and whose estates were heavily encumbered. Many measures were enacted whose provisions brought much needed relief to the indebted Zamindars and afforded them a wholesome benefit in liquidating and discharging their debts secured or unsecured, which otherwise would not have been available to them under the ordinary law.

It is a matter of legislative history when the 1934 Act was passed, there was no question of the abolition of the proprietary rights of the landlord in land. Itwas in 1951 that the U. P. Z. A. and L. R. Act was enforced abolishing all proprietary rights of the Zamindars and awarding them compensation and rehabilitation grant in return for the acquisition of their estates by the State. Considering the plight in which a large number of Zemindars were put by abolition of Zamindari, other enactments were passed for affording them relief, one of which was the 1952 Act, known as U. P. Zamindars Debt Reduction Act. The long title of this Act shows that it was enacted to provide forscaling down of debts of Zaminders whoseestates had been acquired under the provisions of the U. P. Z. A. & L. R. Act, 1950. The statement of objects and reasons was as follows :--

'The Zamindari Abolition Committee made certain recomendations as regards the scaling down of intermediaries debts. They pointed out that our existing debt laws do not take into account the- special problem of the reduced capacity of the landlord to pay his debts due to abolition of Zamindari. To the Committee it appeared sound and equitable that after the abolition of Zamindari the landlords' debts should be reduced in proportion to the reduction in the value of his lend consequent upon the abolition. Government after carefully considering the various recommendations of the Committee have incorporated their decisions in the Bill which is being presented before the Legislature.....'

26. As the statement of Objects shows, the Legislature appreciated the reduced capacity of the landlord to pay off his debts for the reason of abolition of Zamindari and it was considered sound and equitable that after the abolition of Zamindari the landlord's debt should be reduced in proportion to the reduction in the value of the land consequent upon the abolition. Section 3 of the 1952 Act provided for reduction of debts at the time of passing of the decree. Section 4 conferred power on the court to reduce the debt after passing of the decree. Section 6 provided for decree for reduced amount. Section 8 provided for secured debts realisable from compensation money and rehabilitation grant payable to the ex-intermediary under the provisions of the U. P. Z. A. & L. R. Act, Section 9 provided for a formula for scaling down of the debt when a decree was executed against the bonds granted to the judgment-debtor on account of compensation and rehabilitation grant for his estate in regard to unsecured debt.

When the Legislature in 1954 amend-ed the Encumbered Estates Act introduc-ing Sections 23-A and 23-B in the principal Act of 1934, it would be presumed that it had knowledge that the debts of Zamindars in respect of which decrees were passed by the Special Judge under Sub-section (7) of Section 14 of the 1934 Act still remained undischarged as proceedings in execution for liquidating such debts were pending under Chapter V of the 1934 Act in the Court of the Collector. Thus the 1952 Act and 1934Act as amended in 1954 can be said to be twin measures for ameliorating the lot of landlords and affording them equitable relief against their debts when such debts whether secured or unsecured were realised against the value of the compensation and rehabilitation grant awarded to them on the acquisition of their estatea I think it would be legitimate, taking into view the avowed object of the Legislature, to construe and apply these laws in a manner complementing and supplementing each other in order to achieve the object for which they were enacted.

27. The authorised English translation of Section 9 of the 1952 Act is as follows :--

Section 9. 'Where a decree to which this Act applies relating to other than as secured debt is executed by attachment and sale of the bonds granted to the judgment-debtor on account of compensation or rehabilitation grant for his estate, the court executing the decree shall, notwithstanding anything in any law enter satis-faction in accordance with the formula given in Schedule II.'

(Underlining mine)

28. However, the Hindi version which is the original language in which the Act was enacted by the Legislature is as follows :--

^^9&&lqjf;{kr :.k dksNskM+dj vU; :.k ls lEcn~/k dksbZ fMh ftlds fo'k; esa ;g vf/kfu;e izo`rgks( okn&:.kh dks mlds vkLFkku ds fo'k; esa izfrdj vFkok iquokZlu ds :iesa fn;s x;s cU/kksa (bounds)dh dqdhZ ;k uhyke n~okjk fu'ikfnr dh tk;] rks fMh dk fu'iknu djusckyk U;k;ky;] fdlh fo/khesa fdlh ckr ds gksrs gq, Hkh] vuqlwph 2 esa crk;s gq,lw= ds vuwlkj vnk;xh izekf.kr dj nsxk A**

29. Then an argument was made on behalf of respondent Zamindar to interpret Section 9 in the manner that the phrase 'attachment and sale' occurring in the Section be read as 'attachment or sale'. This Court repelled the argument in the cases of Bhawani Shanker v. Go-vind Das (1962 All LJ 223) and Kishori Saran v. Gauri Shanker (1972 All LJ 875) (supra). These decisions were rendered before the controversy in this Court as to the competition between Hindi version of the Statute and its authorised English translation was still unsettled. In the instant case itself on behalf of the appellant-creditors it was submitted that the English version must prevail and be re-garded as supreme as held by the Full Bench of this Court in the case of Smt. Ram Rati v. Gram Samaj (AIR 1974 All 106) (FB) (supra).

The Supreme Court in the case of J. K. Jute Mills v. State of U. P. (AIR 1961 SC 1534) (supra) specifically approved the principle of interpretation laid down by this Court in the case of Haji Lal Mohammad Bidi Works v Sales Tax Officer (AIR 1959 All 208) (supra) that if there was an apparent ambiguity in the translation of the Act enacted in Hindi then that can be resolved by making use of the Hindi text. We doubted the correctness of the Full Bench case of Earn Rati v. Gram Samaj (AIR 1974 All 106) (FB) (supra). The matter was then referred to a Full Bench of seven Judges, which has now declared that where there is some doubt or ambiguity in any provision in the authoritative English text, it is permissible to look into the Hindi text to remove the doubt of ambiguity. Since in the Hindi version the phrase used is 'Kurki Ya Neelam', the ambiguity in the English authoritative text due to use of the conjunction 'and' which ambiguity was canvassed before the two Division Benches of this Court but now we can resolve it by taking recourse to the Hindi text and it would be legitimate to read the phrase in the authoritative English text as 'attachment or sale'. The Legislature itself has used such phrase in Section 19 (2) and (6) of the 1934 Act.

30. Having thus cleared the deck, I may now consider whether the specific mention of Section 8 of the 1953 Act in Sub-section (1) of Section 23-B, which relates to execution of debts secured against the proprietary rights in Land for which compensation and rehabilitation grant was payable, shows a manifest intention on the part of the Legislature that when a decree is executed in respect of an unsecured debt under Section 23-B (2) by attachment or sale of the compensation and rehabilitation grant payable to the debtor Zaminder, he would not be entitled to the scaling down of the decretal amount in accordance with the formula in Schedule II of the said Act and there would be no power in the executing court to reduce the amount accordingly.

31. It would be seen that Section 8 of the 1952 Act deals with the debts realisable from compensation money and rehabilitation grant in respect of a secured debt. By its Sub-section (1) it provides that the reduced amount found in thecase of a judgment debtor or mortgagor, as the case may be, under Sections 3 or 4 of the said Act as respects mortgaged estates shall not be legally recoverable otherwise than out of the compensation and rehabilitation grant payable to such mortgagor or judgment-debtor in respect of such estate. Thus an estate which is charged to secure a debt it is the compensation and rehabilitation grant for such an estate which can only be utilised for discharge of the reduced amount of debt and such debt cannot be recovered from compensation and rehabilitation grant payable in respect of other estate. Subsection (1) of Section 8 of the 1952 Act lays down a rule that when a decree for the secured debt is executed, the value of the debt would be taken to be 3/4th of the amount as found and the debt would stand discharged against compen--sation bond of such value.

In so far as the recovery against rehabilitation grant payable in respect of mortgaged estate is concerned, the decree shall also be executed to the extent of 3/4th of such grant payable for the mortgaged estate. Sub-section (1) of Section 23-.B of 1934 Act is framed so as not to affect the provisions of Section 8 of the 1952 Act. The scheme is clear. When the Legislature enacted Sub-section (1) of Section 23-B of the 1934 Act. it introduced the phrase 'without prejudice to the provisions of Section 8 of the U. P. Za-mindars Debt Reduction Act, 1952'. Thus intention was to caution the Collector that he will keep in mind the provision that compensation bond and rehabilitation bonds at his disposal representing the money value of compensation and rehabilitation grant payable to an intermediary for a mortgaged estate must be utilised to discharge the liability of the debt charged over such estate. If any balance is left then it may be utilised towards payment of unsecured debt.

In case the secured debt is not fully discharged against those bonds and any part of it remains out-standing, then the Collector for liquidating it will not utilise the compensation and rehabilitation bonds representing the value of another estate belonging to the debtor Za-mindar which was not mortgaged or charged with any liability but will take recourse to the procedure prescribed by Section 24 of the 1934 Act. Since the unsecured debt is not charged on any estate no question will arise for discharging the debt only from the compensation or rehabilitation grant payable for any mort-gaged or charged estate, therefore, there was no necessity to caution the Collector. But that will not mean that if the Collector has power under any other law to scale down the unsecured debt he could not exercise that power while executing a decree for liquidating the unsecured debt under Sub-section (2) of Section 23-B of the 1934 Act. As already observed, above, two Acts in question, namely, the 1934 and 1952 Acts are two enactments complementing and supplementing each other for affording the needed relief to the ex-intermediary whose capacity to pay his debt was reduced after the abolition of Zamindari.

It would be legitimate to hold that had the intention been not to afford any relief of scaling down of an unsecured debt as provided for under Section 9 of the 1952 Act, it would have expressly said so. In my judgment, the power of Collector to take recourse to the provisions of Section 9 of the 1952 Act while liquidating a debt through execution of a decree under Chapter V remains unimpaired and unaffected. Mere omission to introduce a clause in the 1952 Act does not manifest contrary intention of the Legislature. I think the Collector was right in giving benefit of Section 9 of the 1952 Act to the Zamindar-respondent. It is not possible to countenance the argument of the learned counsel for the creditor-appellants that if the decree was executed for discharging the debt by realising the value of some property which was not an estate under Section 24 of the 1934 Act the debt could be scaled down under Section 9 of the 1952 Act, but it cannot be scaled down in liquidating the unsecured debt under Section 23-B of the 1934 Act.

This is an argument which appears to be fallacious. When the object of both the Acts is the same, that is, to afford relief to an ex-intermediary on account of his reduced capacity after abolition of Zamindari and when the debts are to be discharged against the compensation and rehabilitation grant payable for acquisition of the Zamindari, the relief of reduction will all the more be needed. I am unable to agree with the view taken by the Division Benches in the cases of Bha-wani Shanker v. Govind Das (1962 All LJ 223) (supra) and Kishori Saran v. Gauri Shanker (1972 All LJ 875) (supra).

32. In my judgment, all the conditions are satisfied for attracting Section 9 of the 1952 Act :

(i) the decree is one to which the said Act applies, (ii) the decree is being executed by a court and (iii) it is being executed by attachment of the compensation and rehabilitation grant payable to the landlord.

33. My answer to the first question, therefore, would be in the affirmative.

M.N. Shukla and T.S. Mishra, JJ.

We agree.

BY THE COURT

34. Our answer to the first question is in the affirmative, and our answer to the second question is in the negative.

35. Let the papers be returned tothe Division Bench concerned with the above answers.


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