Prem Chand Jain, J.
1. Kaura Ram has filed this petition under Section 115 of Civil P.C. against the order of the learned Subordinate Judge, 1st Class, Hissar, dated September 29, 1976, by which his application for permission to produce additional evidence, was rejected.
2. The revision petition came up for hearing before a learned single Judge of this Court. During the course of hearing an objection was taken by the learned counsel for the respondents that the revision was not legally maintainable. This contention of the learned counsel for the respondents was controverted by Shri Harbans Lal Sarin, Senior Advocate, learned counsel for the petitioner, on the ground that in view of the addition of the explanation to Section 115, C.P. Code, the scope of Section 115 had been enlarged. Finding that the matter deserved to be settled authoritatively, the learned single Judge referred the matter to a larger. Bench. That is how the revision petition has come up for hearing before us.
3. So far as the matter which has been referred for decision to a larger Bench about the scope of Section 115 is concerned, the learned counsel for the parties agree that the same stands concluded by. the Division Bench judgment of this Court in Harvinder Kaur v. Godha Ram, ILR (1979) 1 Punj and Har. 147.
4. In view of the aforesaid finding, in the ordinary course, the matter should have gone before the learned single Judge for decision on merits, but we do not propose to adopt that course as no useful purpose would be served in sending back the case to the learned single Judge. Even the learned counsel for the parties are agreed that the matter may finally be disposed of by this Bench on merits also. Hence, we have decided to hear the learned counsel for the parties on merits.
The only contention raised before us by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that the copy of the order dated August 24, 1976, passed by the learned Senior Subordinate judge on the application filed under Section 8(1) (b) and (c) of the Arbitration Act should have been allowed to be produced in evidence and that in refusing the prayer the learned Subordinate Judge acted illegally and with material irregularity.
5. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties, we find that there is considerable force in the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner. The order was passed by the learned Senior Subordinate Judge on August 24. 1976, when the evidence of the petitioner had been closed. The copy of that order could not be produced earlier by the petitioner. Issue No. 7 in the suit is in the following terms:--
'Whether any arbitration agreement dated 20-10-1970 was executed between the plaintiff and defendant No. l (Gobind Ram), if so, to what effect?'
The copy of the order is sought to produced by the petitioner in order to show that the arbitration agreement was executed between the parties. In our view, the learned Subordinate Judge was not justified in refusing permission in produce the copy of the order as additional evidence and has ignored the Provisions of Rule 17-A of Order 18, Civil P.C. In the aforesaid provision, which was introduced in the year 1976, it as provided that if any evidence could not be produced by a party at the time when that party was leading evidence, the Court may permit that party to Produce that evidence at a later stage on such terms as may appear to it to be just. As earlier observed, the order was passed on August 24, 1976, when the evidence had been. closed, This piece of evidence was not in existence at the time when the evidence was closed. In this situation, keeping in view the provisions of Rule 17-A of Order 18, the leamed Subordinate Judge should have allowed the application.
6. In this view of the matter, was hold that the learned Subordinates Judge acted illegally and with material irregularity and failed to exercise jurisdiction vested in him by rejecting the application filed by the petitioner for permission to produce additional evidence. Consequently, we allow this application, set aside the order of the learned Subordinate Judge and direct him to admit certified copy of the order dated August 24, 1976, in evidence, on payment of Rs. 50/- as costs. The Learned counsel for the respondents states at the bar that he would not be leading any evidence in rebuttal.
7. Before parting with the judgment, it may be observed that the respondents would be entitled to show to the Court that the copy of the order dated August 24, 1976, is not relevant and is of no evidentiary value. The cost shall be costs in the cause. The Parties, through their learned counsel, have been directed to appear before the office is directed to remit the records of the case to the trial Court immediately.
8. Orders accordingly.