1. This is a judgment-debtor's appeal against an appellate order of the Senior Subordinate Judge of Delhi dated 31-3-1955 upholding the order of the trial Court and ordering the eviction of the appellants.
2. The landlords in this case brought a suit for ejectment of the appellants and for recovery of arrears of rent. The trial Court passed a conditional decree that if within a month of the passing of the decree the judgment-debtors pay the arrears of rent, then the suit for ejectment would be dismissed. This decree was passed on 4-2-1954 and the amount was deposited in Court on 6-3-1954.
The landlords pleaded that the condition not having been fulfilled they were entitled to get the tenants evicted; and the tenants in defence raised two points that they tendered money on 3-3-1955 which was within the month allowed. There was no prayer for extension of time in the executing Court but it was prayed for in the appellate Court. Both the contentions made by the tenants were negatived by the Court below.
3. The petitioners now raise two points that a month in a decree should be read as alunar month.and connotes a period of thirty days and not a calendar month. He relies on an English judgment, -- 'Bruner v. Moore', (1951) 1 Ch. 305 (A), where it was held that in legal documents the primary meaning of a month is a lunar month.
In that case the document was an agreement by which the inventor gave an option to purchase within a period of six months the patent rights. This judgment has been followed in India in -- 'South British Fire & Marine Insurance Co. v. Braja Nath', 36 Cal 516 (B). At page 535 Maclean C. J. said;
'Now, it is abundantly clear on the authorities in England that the word 'month' in all contracts, except there is evidence to show that 'calendar month' is meant, means lunar month except in mercantile transactions in the city of London where 'month' means 'calendar month',' and Harington J. said at page 541:
'But I think the course of legislation shows that the word 'month' in India as in England means 'prima facie' lunar month.' But even in England the matter has been considered and decided differently in relation to decrees, and at page 157 of Norton on Deeds it is said:
'...the time allowed for redemption In a foreclosure decree is to be calculated according to calendar and not lunar months. ..... Thecontext may show that month means calendarmonth.'
In a document which was an agreement of saleit was held that months meant calendar months:see -- 'Lang v. Gale', (1813) 1 M and S 111 (C).
4. In tenancy agreements also Lord Ellen-borough in -- 'Kemp v. Derrett', (1814) 3 Camp 510 (D) held that from three months to three months referred to calendar months and that was the intention according to the lease.
5. The present case was being decided by a learned Subordinate Judge in Delhi, and it will be straining the language if I were to hold that the meaning given to the word 'month' in a commercial document is to be extended to decrees.
6. Counsel for the appellant then submitted that in spite of the decree he is entitled, if the Court so thinks fit, to get relief against forfeiture and several cases were cited. The decree mentions one month in which the money was to be paid. Counsel for the respondent relying on -- 'Kartick Chandra v Anila Bala Devi', 54 Cal WN 17 (E) submits that the Court has no power to give relief against forfeiture where decrees have been passed. I am of the opinion that no case has been made out for extension even if the Court had such a power of which I am very doubtful.
7. I would therefore dismiss this appealbut leave the parties to hear their own costs throughout.