S.M.N. Raina, J.
1. This is a reference by the Civil Judge Class II, Gariaband under Section 113 of the, Code of Civil Procedure.
2. Mst. Mankuwar Bai obtained a decree for Rs. 960/- against Udairam on 16-12-1972 in the Court of Civil Judge, Class II, Gariaband. It was not disputed before me that Udairam belongs to Scheduled Caste and as such his case is governed by the provisions of Madhya Bradesh Anusuchit Jati Tatha Anusuchit Janjati Rini Sahayata Adhiniyam, 1967 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act').
3. From the facts stated in the reference it would appear that the decree-holder had filed an application for execution of the decree on 4-1-1973. It appears that the execution could not proceed till December, 1973 in view of a notification issued by the State Government under Section 61 of the Code of Civil Procedure. After the proceedings were resumed the judgment-debtor filed an application praying that the case be transferred to Debt Relief Court for decision aS the trial Judge entertained a doubt as to the proper action to be taken in the case, he has referred this case to the High Court for opinion.
4. Sub-section (4) of Section 1 of the Act lays down that in its application to the members of the Scheduled Caste it shall come into force on such date as the State Government may appoint. The State Government by a notification No. 16-4-73-XXV-IID dated 30th June, 1973 appointed 15th August, 1973 as the date for the purpose. Sub-section (2) of Section 7 of the Act provides that if on the appointed date any suit or proceeding for the recovery of any debt is pending before any Civil Court, the Civil Court shall issue a direction to the plaintiff to submit the claim in respect of such debt before the Debt Relief Court within a period not exceeding sixty days as may be specified in such direction. Sub-section (3) of the said section lays down that if the plaintiff fails to comply with the aforesaid direction of the Court, the suit or proceeding, as the case may be, shall stand dismissed and every claim contained therein shall be deemed to have been discharged as against the debtor for all purposes. Since the proceeding for execution of decree was pending before the lower Court on the appointed date the proper course for the Court was to issue a direction as required by Sub-section (2) of Section 7 of the Act. The learned Judge of the lower Court, however, seems to have been in some doubt as to whether the debt should not be deemed to be discharged under Sub-section (4) of Section 8 of the Act as the decree-holder had failed to file an application in respect of his debt before the Debt Relief Court within 60 days.
5. Sub-sections (2) and (3) of Section 7 are special provisions relating to suit and proceedings pending on the appointed date and are not controlled by the provisions of Section 8. The provisions of Section 8 are attracted only where no suit or proceeding by a creditor for the recovery of his debt is pending in a Civil Court on the appointed date and not otherwise. There is nothing in the language of Section 8 to indicate that its provisions supersede the provisions of Section 7. If the provisions of Section 8 are field to supersede the provisions of Sub-sections (2) and (3) of Section 7 the said sub-sections shall be practically rendered nugatory. It is a cardinal principle of construction of statutes that it shall be so construed as far as possible as not to render any provision thereof as nugatory, redundant or meaningless. I, therefore, hold that Sub-sections (2) and (3) of Section 7 are not affected by provisions of Section 8 and the proper course for the trial Court is to issue a direction to the decree holder as required by Sub-section (2) of Section 7 of the Act. In fact it is not the contention of the judgment-debtor that the claim of the creditor has been discharged under Section 8. He merely prayed that the proceedings should be transferred to the Debt Relief Court. Shri K. M. Agrawal, learned counsel for the judgment-debtor also did not contend that the debt of the creditor has been discharged under Section 8 of the Act, in the circumstances of this case.
6. The trial Court shall, therefore, now proceed to issue a direction to the decree-holder as required by Sub-section (2) of Section 7 of the Act.