1. These two applications in revision are connected together and shall be governed by the same judgment. The applicant in both the cases is the same, namely, the Aman-O-Aman Bank Ltd., Gorakhpur, herein referred to as the Bank. The Bank obtained a decree against eight persons, two of whom have died leaving as their legal representatives some of the remaining six. Thus there are at present six judgment-debtors to the decree. Two applications for apportionment of liability under Section 11, U.P. Debt Redemption Act, were made by the judgment-debtors. They were disposed of by the same order apportioning the liability between the judgment-debtors.' The decree-holder having felt dissatisfied by the order of apportionment has come up in revision to this Court. Two revisions have been filed against the order disposing of two different applications though for the same relief.
2. It is an admitted fact that all the judgment-dehtors are agriculturists. The contention on behalf of the decree-holder Bank was that Section 11 does not apply to a case where all the judgment-debtors are agriculturists. This contention has been repelled by the Court below and has been repeated before me in this Court It is urged by Mr. Takru holding brief in both the cases that the Court below has misinterpreted Section 11, U.P. Debt Redemption Act. Section 11 reads as follows:
In any proceeding relating to a loan due jointly from several persons any of whom is an agriculturist or a workman the Court shall apportion the loan between the joint debtors and the provisions of this Act shall apply only to that part of the loan which is apportioned to the joint debtor who is an agriculturist or a workman.
3. Learned Counsel contends that this section applies only to a case where any of the judgment-debtors is an agriculturist and does not apply to a case where all the judgment-debtors are agriculturists. I am unable to accept this contention. The word 'any' in the context in which it occurs includes 'all.' It cannot be said that a case in which all the judgment-debtors are agriculturists is not a case in which any judgment-debtor is an agriculturist. The word 'any' used in this section will include one or more and there seems to be no reason for holding that it will include any number only so long as that number is one less than the total number of the judgment-debtors. The word 'any' in this section appears to have been used in the sense opposite to none and this section applies to every case other than a case where none of the judgment-debtors is an agriculturist.
4. Learned Counsel for the applicant has relied upon a single Judge decision of the late Chief Court of Avadh in Sri Ram v. Firm Chandra Sen Duli Chand A.I.R. (30) 1943 Oudh 418 in which it has been held that Section 11 does not apply to a case where all the judgment-debtors are agriculturists. Discussing. the question of the interpretation of the section the learned Judge has observed as follows:
It is argued for the appellant that if it was intended that the section should not apply to all cases where both or all the joint debtors are agriculturists the section would commence like this:
In any proceedings relating to a loan due jointly from several persona any of whom but not all of whom are agriculturists or workmen' etc.But I think that on the other view we might equally well expect the section to read thus:In any proceedings relating to a loan due jointly from several persons any of whom or all of whom are agriculturists or workmen etc.
5. With respect to the learned Judge, who decided this case, I am of the opinion that the real point for consideration was what the section meant as it was worded, rather than how it should have been worded if the Legislature had intended one thing or the other. I have already indicated that according to its grammatical meaning the section covers a case where all the judgment-debtors are agriculturists. The learned single Judge of the late Chief Court of Avadh then proceeded to interpret the section by recourse to the object which this legislative provision was intended to serve. The learned Judge thought that in a case where all the judgment-debtors were agriculturists they could be entitled to all the benefits under the Act without any apportionment of 'liability and that, therefore, the Legislature could not have intended to apply the provision about apportionment to a case where Mil the judgment debtors were agriculturists. It appears to me that in coming to the conclusion the learned single Judge overlooked certain benefits which could not be obtained without apportionment of liability. The result of the apportionment of liability is not only that the decree is revised and the amount of interest reduced but the result of the apportionment of the liability further is that every judgment debtor re-mains liable for the payment of the amount apportioned to him and the liability for the payment of the entire debt is taken away. In a case where liability is not apportioned it is open to a decree-holder to realise the entire amount from anyone of the judgment-debtors leaving him to seek contribution from other judgment-debtors; to be relieved from the liability of paying the entire amount and from having recourse to further litigation to realise proportionate amount from co-judgment-debtors is a great benefit. It is, therefore, not possible to agree with the view of the learned single Judge that by apportionment in such cases no further benefit could be obtained by the agriculturist-debtors. With respect to the learned Judge I am unable to agree with his interpretation of Section 11, U.P. Debt Redemption Act. I am of the opinion that the section applies even to a case where all the judgment-debtors are agriculturists. In this view the order of the Court below is correct.
6. These applications in revision are accordingly dismissed but as the learned Counsel for the opposite party has not appeared at the hearing I make no orders as to costs.