Bishan Narain, J.
1. Chanan Ram, proprietor of Mangal Bam Chanan Ram'of Nabha (Pepsu), on the 15th of September, 1950, executed a pronote for Rs. 1,800/- at Nabha in favour of Chet Ram Arjan Das of Delhi. On the 7th of July, 1953, Chet Ram Arjan Das assigned this pronoto to Kahan Singh at Delhi by endorsement and a month later Kahan Singh filed the suit out of which this appeal has arisen for the recovery of Rs. 1,800/-principal and Rs. 300/- interest against Chanan Ram and Chet Ram Arjan Das.
The suit was contested by Chanan Ram who inter alia pleaded that the pronote was not properly stamped and cancelled. The trial Court framed a preliminary issue covering this 'plea and after hearing arguments decided it against the plaintiff and dismissed the suit. On appeal by the plaintiff the Additional District Judge, by his order dated the 14th February, 1955, set aside the order of dismissal and remanded the case for decision on merits having come to the conclusion that the pronote was properly stamped and cancelled. The defendant Chanan Ram has filed this second appeal against the order of the Additional District Judge, Delhi.
2. On behalf of the plaintiff-respondent an objection has been raised that since the order of remand the trial Court has passed a decree in favour of the plaintiff on the basis of the pronote in question and therefore this appeal has become infructuous. There is no force in this objection. Inasmuch as the decree was passed after the remand order and during the pendency of the appeal from that order, it must be taken to be subject to the result of this appeal. If this appeal fails, then the decree is not affected by this appeal. On the other hand, if this appeal succeeds, then the subsequent proceedings would fall with the remand order and would be of no effect, vide Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee v Raja Shiv Rattan Dev Singh, (S) AIR 1955 SC 576 (A).
3. Now, the pronote bears four revenue adhesive stamps of one-anna each and on each stamp is engraved 'Nabha State'. All the four stamps are cancelled by the signature of Chanan Ram as Proprietor of the firm Mangal Ram Chanan Ram. The assignment in favour of theplaintiff is at the back of the pronote. Admittedly, the pronote was not stamped at the time of endorsement in the plaintiff's favour.
4. The learned counsel for the appellant was unable to indicate how it can be stated that the stamps had not been properly cancelled, and the only point argued before me was that the pro-note was not properly stamped. The learned counsel for the appellant urged that the Stamp Act, 1899, has been correctly printed in the Civil Code Manual Volume 6 (Madras Law Journal publication) and not in the 6th edition of the Commentary by Mulla and Pratt on this Act. It was conceded that if the Act in the Commentary be held to be correctly printed, then the appellant had no case. I have, therefore, carefully gone into the matter and have come to the conclusion that in fact there is no difference in the Acts as printed in the two works.
5. Before 1947 this Act extended to the whole of the British India. The charging section 3 distinguished between pronotes executed in British India and those executed outside British India. Section 19 laid down that the first holder in British India shall affix and cancel the proper stamp when negotiating a negotiable instrument drawn or made out of British India. Then in 1947 India became a dominion and by Article 4 (2) of the Independence Order, 1947, 'the whole of the British India' was defined as 'all the provinces of India,' and accordingly section 19 also applied to all the first holders in all the provinces of India.
Thereafter India became a 'Sovereign Republic'. Before this time Native States were not part of India. Between 1947 and 1950 some of these Native States merged and formed new States. Nabha, States merged with her neighbouring States and formed Pepsu State. Under the 1950 Constitution all the States merged previously became part of India and were classified as Part B States including the Pepsu State.
Before the Adaptation Order, 1950, the Stamp Act was modified. A new section 1(2) was substituted so as to read 'It extends to the whole of India except B States', and section 21(26) was added which reads ' 'states' means all the territories for the time being comprised within Part A States and Part O States'.
By this Adaptation Order section 19 was not modified in view of the new definition of the States. Now, Mullla and Pratt in their Commentary have chosen to introduce the words 'India except Part B States' in place of the original 'the whole of British India' and 'all the provinces of India', while in the Madras Law Journal Publication the word 'States' has been used in all the sections in view of the definition of this word in the newly Introduced section 2 (20). Thus, there is really no difference between the Acts as printed in these two works. Therefore the appeal on the learned count's own showing fails.
6. On the merits also there is no force in this appeal. The present pronote was executed after Nabha had become part of India but was included in Part B State. The Indian stamp Act at that time did not apply to Nabha. Therefore when the pronote was executed It did not require to be stamped under the Indian Stamp Act or under any other law. In any case the learned counsel has not urged before me that according to any other law this pronote when executed was liable to be stamped In Nabha. New section 19 reads:
'The first holder in India except Part B States of any bill of exchange payable otherwise than on demand or promissory note drawn or made out of India except Part B States shall, before he presents the same for acceptance or payment, or endorses, transfers or otherwise negotiates the same in India except Part B States, affix thereto the proper stamp and cancel the same:
(a) if, at the time any such bill of exchange or note comes into the hands of any holder thereof in India except Part B States, the proper adhesive stamp is affixed thereto and cancelled in manner prescribed by section 12 and such holder has no reason to believe that such stamp was affixed or cancelled otherwise than by the person and at the time required by this Act, such stamp shall, so far as relates to such holder, be deemed to have been duly affixed and cancelled;
(b) nothing contained in this proviso shall relieve any person from any penally incurred by him for omitting to affix or cancel a stamp.' Now, the first holder in India was Chet, Ram Arjan Das. This firm transferred it to Kahan Singh, and before transfer the law requires a proper stamp and its cancellation. The pronote does bear stamps of four annas which have been properly cancelled, and therefore the provisions of section 19 have been satisfied in this case, and, therefore, the appeal must be dismissed on this ground.
7. A new point was, however, raised before me and that was that the revenue stamps with the words 'Nabha State' cannot be considerred to be proper stamps within the Indian Stamp Act inasmuch as these stamps cannot be considered to be Indian Stamps. There is no force in this contention. After the Constitution came into force, Pepsu State including the erstwhile Nabha State became part of India: vide section 3 of the General Clauses Act as adapted by Adaptation Order of 1950. Therefore these stamps bearing the words 'Nabha State' are Indian stamps.
The Stamp Act contemplates only two kinds of stamps 'impressed' and 'adhesive' and in that context the stamps are of proper description and of sufficient amount. No rule has been brought to my notice which suggests that such stamps after the 26th of January, 1950, cannot be considered to be stamps under the Indian Stamp Act. There is nothing in the rules made under the Act which throws any light on the matter, and I see no reason for considering these stamps to be other than Indian stamps within the Indian Stamp Act after the 26th of January, 1950. I, therefore, reject this contention also.
8. The result is that this appeal fails andis dismissed with costs.