1. This is an appeal by a decree-holder against the order passed under Section 9, U.P., Debt Redemption Act, amending a decree passed in favour of the appellant and reducing the amount from over Rs. 7000 to Rs. 5,933-60.
2. The decree-holder had made a declaration under Section 4, U.P. Debt Redemption Act and it was argued on her behalf that as she had made that declaration the learned Civil Judge had no jurisdiction to amend the decree, the provisions of the U.P. Debt Redemption Act being no longer applicable.
3. The lower Court has, however, held that the judgment-debtor was not only an agriculturist but he also belonged to one of the classes specified in Clause (a) of Sub-section (20) of Section 2, and the declaration, therefore, would not have the effect of depriving the judgment-debtor of the benefits of Section 9, U.P. Debt Redemption Act.
4. Learned Counsel for the appellant has urged that this decision is wrong.
5. It is not denied that the judgment-debtor is employed in the Dhampur Sugar Mills Limited and his wages are Rs. 50 a month, i.e., they do not exceed Rs. 600 a year. It is also not denied that the judgment-debtor is an agriculturist. Learned Counsel has urged that as the judgment-debtor is a proprietor he cannot be a workman and, therefore, he is not entitled to take the benefit of the proviso to Section 4. Proviso 1 to Section 4, U.P. Debt Redemption Act, is as follows:
Provided that no such declaration shall be made in a suit or proceeding relating to a loan recoverable from an agriculturist who also belongs to one of the classes specified in Clause (a) or Clause (b) of Sub-section (20) of Section 2.
It will be noticed that in this proviso the word 'workman' has not been used and it has been, studiously avoided. It being admitted that the judgment-debtor is an agriculturist it is necessary for us to see whether he belongs to one of the classes specified in Clause (a) or Clause (b) of Sub-section (20) Of Section 2.
6. Clause (a) of, Sub-section (20) of Section 2 is in these words:
(a) who earned wages within the meaning of Sub-section (vi) of Section 2, Payment of Wages Act, 1936, within the twelve months preceding the first day of June 1940, which did not exceed Rs. 600 in the twelve months and did not exceed Rs. 60 in any such months.
7. Clause (b) of this subsection is not applicable and we, therefore, need not consider it.
8. The agriculturist earned wages within the meaning of Sub-section (vi) of Section 2, Payment of Wages Act, 1936, and it is admitted that the wages received by him did not exceed Rs. 600 in twelve months preceding the first day of June 1940. The judgment-debtor, therefore, satisfied both the requirments of the proviso and the declaration under Section 4 given by the decree-holder does not affect her rights by reason of the proviso to Section 4. The opening words of Sub-section (20) to Section 2 - ''workman' means a person who is not a proprietor or a tenant' - have been omitted from the proviso to Section 4. The reason obviously is that the legislature intended not to deprive an agriculturist who is also a wage-earner or who resides within the municipal limits, cantonment or notified area of the benefits of the Debt Redemption Act by reason of a declaration made by the creditor under Section 4 of that Act and such benefit is not available to a person who is a mere 'workman' but is not an agriculturist.
9. The decision of the lower Court is, therefore, perfectly correct. There is no force in this appeal and it is dismissed with costs.