1. This is a decree-holder's application for revision of an order passed by the learned Civil Judge of Meerut allowing a judgment-debtor's application under Sections 5 and 30 of the U.P. Agriculturists' Relief Act, 1934. The applicants, the Allahabad Bank Ltd. obtained a decree against members of a joint Hindu family, namely Babu Lal and his three sons, one of whom is the present opposite party, Prakash Nath. Later Babu Lal, the karta, applied under Sections 5 and 30, Agriculturists' Relief Act, for the payment of the decree by instalments and for the reduction of interest payable on the loan. This application was dismissed upon the ground that Babu Lal was not an agriculturist, and later he applied for a review of that order. His application for review of the order was eventually dismissed and he then appealed to the District Judge, and when the present application of Prakash Nath was before the lower Court, Babu Lal's appeal was still pending before the District Judge. We are now informed by counsel for the applicant Bank that Babu Lal's appeal has been dismissed by the District Judge. Prakash Nath claimed also to be an agriculturist, and the learned Civil Judge has held that he was an agriculturist and therefore entitled to the benefits of Sections 5 and 30 of the Act. Counsel for the applicant now contends that the lower Court could not possibly find that Prakash Nath, the son, was an agriculturist when the Courts had previously found that Babu Lal, the father and admitted karta of the family, was not an agriculturist.
2. The term 'agriculturist' is defined by Section 2 (2), Agriculturists' Relief Act, and it is. clear from sub paras, (a) to (h) of Sub-section (2) that it is the person who is holding land or who is paying land revenue, etc. who is to be regarded as an agriculturist. For example, if a person is recorded as holding certain property or if the revenue papers show that a certain person actually pays land revenue, etc, then he is the person who is prima facie an agriculturist within the meaning of Sub-section (2) of Section 2 of the Act. Where property is owned by a joint family, difficulties might have arisen and consequently the position is dealt with in Expln. 2 to Section 2(2), Agriculturists' Relief Act. This Explanation reads as follows:
In the case of members of a joint Hindu family or joint owners, or joint tenants, each member, or owner, or tenant shall be considered to be an agriculturist for the purposes of Chs. 2 (except Sections 3, 4, 5 and 8) 3 and 6 whose share or interest in revenue, local rate or rent or the rent free land, as the case may be, does not respectively exceed the aforesaid limits.
3. This Explanation makes it clear that for certain purposes, each member of a joint Hindu family or each joint owner or joint tenant may apply for certain benefits conferred by the Act. But on the other hand this Explanation makes it equally clear that each member of a joint family or joint owner or joint tenant cannot claim the benefits conferred by Section 5 of the Act or by Section 30, which is one of the sections in Ch. 4, because Section 5 and Ch. 4 are expressly excluded in this Explanation. According to this Explanation each member of a joint Hindu family can be regarded as an agriculturist only in certain specified cases, e.g. proceeding relating to redemption of mortgages under Ch. 3, proceedings under Sections 37 and 38, etc. In cases other than those expressly covered by this Explanation, the karta or person actually recorded as holding the property or paying land revenue, etc. can only be treated as the agriculturist and the other members of the joint family cannot claim the same benefits and privileges.
4. It follows therefore that for the purposes of applications under Section 5 or applications under Ch. 4, the person recorded as owner or the person paying revenue, etc. is the only person who can apply. Normally such a person in a joint Hindu family would be the karta. In the present case it is found that Babu Lal was the karta of the family, and the property held by the family was recorded in his name. Therefore he was the only person who could for the purposes of Section 5 or any of the sections of Ch. 4 be regarded as an agriculturist. The Court has held that Babu Lal is not an agriculturist, and in our view that concludes the matter. The other members of the family could not by reason of Expln. 2 to Section 2(2) be regarded as agriculturists for the purposes of this application before us, and consequently the application of Prakash Nath should have been dismissed by the learned Civil Judge. For the reasons given above, we allow this application, set aside the order of the learned Civil Judge and dismiss the judgment-debtor's application. The applicants will have the costs of this application in this Court and in the Court below.