1. The only agricultural or horticultural land in which the appellant hadan interest was sold in court auction and bought by the 1st respondent on 25-3-1967. The sale was confirmed on 24-5-11)57 and delivery was effected on 13-7-1957. All this was before Act It of 1958 came into force on 14-7-1958 and it is not the, case that the appellant has since acquired any interest in agricultural or horticultural land. It is therefore obvious that the appellant was not an agriculturist within the meaning of Section - (a) of the Act either when the Act came into force or when on 7-1-1959 he made his application under Section 22 (1) (b) of the Act. Even if the present tense of Section '2 (a), 'has an interest x x x x in any agricultural or horticultural laud' is to be regarded as the present tense of logic' so that the relevant point of lime is the time when the question has to he decided, the Tact remains that the appellant was not an agriculturist at that time. And what clinches the mailer is that Section 22 (1) (b) requires that the court should he satisfied that the, 'applicant is an agriculturist, not that he was an agriculturist at the lime of the sale, before making an order in his favour. That the appellant was not, since he had ceased in be an agriculturist when he made his application. The words 'had an interest' in the opening sentence of Section '22 (i) qualify the words immovable properly' and cannot sustain thc argument that it is enough if the applicant had an interest in agricultural land not necessarily at the time of his application. The learned single Judge was therefore right in holding that the, appellant was not entitled to the benefit of Section 22 (i) of the Act. And we might add that we are not sure that this lends to any anomaly because the result is that while a person whose entire land has not been sold is entitled to the benefit, one whose entire land has been sold is not The object of the Act as proclaimed by the, preamble is to relieve indebted agriculturists, not quondam agriculturists or the landless.
2. We dismiss the appeal but make noorder as to costs.