1. This is a plaintiff's application from a decree by a Court of Small Causes. The plaintiff sued on a bond for Rupees 700. The defendant admitted the claim, but put forward pleas ad miseri cordiam that he was an old man and could not possibly afford to discharge the decree which amounted to Rs. 884 as a whole, and he asked for the decree to be paid by instalments. The Court briefly recorded its view that he should pay in six monthly (half yearly) instalments of Rs. 60 each, on default the whole to be due, and similarly the whole was to be due if any attempt was made by the defendant to alienate his property. No future interest was allowed. The result of this decree is that it would take the plaintiff more than seven years to recover the amount now due to him, and he would also have no future interest. It is manifest that the amount of that instalments and the period for their) payment is a matter of the discretion of the Court; but it is a discretion which is to be exercised within bounds. The exercise of it in the manner of the present suit constitutes a virtual denial of the plaintiff's rights. Another case almost on all fours with this is to be found in the judgment of another Judge of this Court, Mukerji, J., in Civil Revn. No. 33 of 1927, decided on 8th April 1927. In that judgment, Mukerji, J., said:
The result was that there was a decree which carried no future interest and allowed the judgment-debtor to pay at the rate of Rs. 2 per month which meant that the decree could not be sates-fled till the expiration of 61 months, i. e. over five years. The discretion given to the Courts to grant instalments should not be so exercised as to practically nullify a claim for money.
2. The learned Judge returned the case to the Court of Small Causes for rehearing and disposal. While agreeing with the learned Judge in the remarks I have quoted, I think that this Court could well dispose of the matter and save further expense. Neither counsel suggests that any further material is available or could properly be allowed now to be put before the Court. To decide it here will be to the interest of both parties. I set aside the decree of the Court of Small Causes, and in lieu thereof decree the plaintiff's claim for Rs. 884 with costs and future interest at the usual rate of 6 per cent, and allow the defendant to pay in half yearly instalments of Rs. 120 each commencing from 28th July next. The applicant here will have his costs.