1. This is a second appeal raising a short point under Sections 3 and 5, Temporary Postponement of Execution of Decrees Act, 1937, which came into force on 1st January 1936. The short facts of the present case are these: The plaintiff obtained a decree for the hundred and fifty odd rupees against certain defendants on 11th February 1931. On 26th January 1934, the plaintiff made an execution application, which was finally disposed of by an order on a date which the Civil Judge of Farrukhabad states to have been 16th November 1935. On 7th May 1941 the present renewed execution application was lodged. In the interval between 1936 and 1941, the Temporary Postponement of Execution of Decrees Act, 1937, had come to pass, and the question involved in this appeal is whether the three entire years during which this Act was in operation can be excluded from the limitation period running against the application of 7th May 1941. By Section 3 (1) of the Act it is provided that
All proceedings in execution of any decree for money or for foreclosure or sale in enforcement of a mortgage passed by a Civil Court on the basis of a liability incurred before the passing of this Act, in which the judgment-debtor or any of the judgment-debtors is, at the date of the passing of this Act an agriculturist shall be stayed during the period this Act shall remain in force...
2. The stay provided by the Act is, by the joint effect of Sub-sections (1) and (2), of Section 3, unqualified in the case of a judgment-debtor paying less than certain specified amounts of land revenue or rent, while in the case of every other agriculturist, whatever the amount of his land revenue or rent he is entitled to apply to the Court for a stay of execution on making a certain deposit. By Section 5 of the Act it is provided as follows:
5. (1) 'In computing the period of limitation prescribed by the Indian Limitation Act, 1908, or any other law for the time being in force, for...(b) the execution of such decree as is referred to in Section 3, and not covered by Section 6, the period during which this Act shall remain in force shall be excluded.
3. It is obvious upon the language of these sections that the exclusion of the period during which the Temporary Postponement of Execution of Decrees Act, 1937, remained in force applies to such decrees as are 'referred to' in Section 3, provided they are not of the kind excepted by Section 6. Turning to Section 3 (1), the only decrees referred to are
any decree for money or for foreclosure or sale in enforcement of a mortgage passed by a Civil Court on the basis of a liability incurred before the passing of this Act, in which the judgment-debtor or any one of the judgment-debtors is, at the date of the passing of this Act, an agriculturist.
4. For the purpose of applying Section 5, all one has to do is to ascertain whether the decree is a decree of the kind referred to in Section 3. The decree in the present case is obviously a money decree and there is no contention that it falls within Section 6. I cannot, therefore, see how it is possible to escape from the conclusion that it falls literally within the terms of Section 3 (1) of the Act. It is argued, on the other hand, that it is absurd to suppose that the Temporary Postponement of Execution of Decrees Act, 1937, would give to a decree-holder the benefit of a suspension of the period of limitation in a case in which the decree, holder was not qualified to take advantage of Sub-section (1) of Section 3 and did not choose to take advantage of Sub-section (2). There is at first sight some substance in this view, if one is prepared to ignore the plain language of Section 5, which, I am glad to observe, the learned Judge in the Court below has not been tempted to do. In my view, as in his, the language of Section 5 is quite plain, and even if it did produce a result such as I have suggested above, the learned Civil Judge is quite right in supposing that that fact affords no reason why the plain language of the statute should not be given effect to. That alone would be sufficient to dispose of this appeal. But, in my judgment, it by no means follows that such a construction does lead to any absurd result. It is quite true that in a case in which there is no absolute stay under Section 3, Sub-section (1) of the Act, it is open to the judgment-debtor to apply under Sub-section (2) to the Court to stay the execution. If he does so apply, and if he pays or deposits in Court the prescribed amount, then the Court has no discretion but is bound to stay the execution. It follows, therefore, that where the judgment-debtor is an agriculturist, an executing decree, holder can always be met by the Act in any case in which the judgment-debtor either has an unqualified right to a stay or chooses to take proper steps to obtain a stay under Sub-section (2) of Section 3. In those circumstances there may be a good reason why the statute by Section 5 has said that it will not force a decree-holder, in order to save himself from limitation, to make an application under Sub-section (2) which, as I have said, can always be met. The Act may well have deliberately taken the simple course of allowing the full period of three years against the limitation period in every case. If an explanation were needed, that, to my mind, affords a sufficient explanation of Section 5. I must however, again say that I must not be supposed to think that, where the language of a] a statute is plain, any explanation of its meaning is needed. This appeal is dismissed with costs.