M.S. Menon, J.
1. This is an appeal from the decision of the Subordinate Judge of Ottapalam in O. S. No. 3 of 1951. The suit which was filed on 12-1-1951 was for renewal fee under Section 27 of the Malabar Tenancy Act, 1929. Subsequent to the filing of the suit the Malabar Tenancy Act, 1929, was amended by the Malabar Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1951. Section 55 of that Act was in the following terms : 'All suits, appeals and other proceedings nob governed by the preceding section which are pending at the commencement of this section or which may be instituted after such commencement, shall, if the provisions of the Malabar Tenancy Act, 1929, are in force or may be brought into force in respect of the subject-matter to which the suits, appeals or other proceedings relate, stand stayed until the date referred to in Section 54, Sub-section (2), and shall, thereafter, be disposed of in accordance with. Sub-section (3) of that section, including the provisions thereto.'
2. Section 55 and Sections 1, 48, 49, 51 and 54 of the Malabar Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1951, came into force on 23-10-1951. There can be no doubt that Section 55 applied to the suit as it was pending on the date the section came into force, and as it sought to recover renewal fee under Section 27 of the Malabar Tenancy Act, 1929.
3. It is true that Section 27 disappeared from the statute-book as a result of Section 22 of the Malabar Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1951, which came into force on 15-3-1952. This however, cannot affect the statutory stay imposed by Section 55 on and from 23-10-1951, That stay could disappear only by a notification under Sub-section (2) of Section 54 or by a repeal of Section 55 itself. No notification was issued under Sub-section (2) of Section 54. There was a repeal of Section 55, but that was only by the Malabar Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1954, which came into force on 19-3-1954.
4. The judgment in this case was delivered on 3-2-1953, that is; at a time when the stay under Section 55 was in operation. The lower court had no jurisdiction to deal with the case prior to the repeal of Section 55 by the Malabar Tenancy (Amendment) Act,1954, and it must follow that the decree from which this appeal arises was passed without jurisdiction.
5. The decree has hence to be set aside and the case remanded to the lower court for fresh disposal according to law. Judgment accordingly.
6. The court-fee paid, on the memorandum of appeal will be refunded to the appellant's counsel. The rest of the costs will be costs in the cause.
7. Counsel for the appellants suggested at the beginning of his submissions that this litigation may have to be stayed under the- Kerala Stay of Eviction Proceedings Act, 1957. The contention, however, was not 'pressed and does not arise for consideration.
8. On 13-3-1957 the Division Bench before which the appeal came up for tearing observed that it would be desirable to hear the learned Advocate General. As a result we have had the advantage of hearing him. We record our appreciation of his assistance.
9. The lower court will dispose of the suit within three months of the receipt of the records in that court. The office will send the records forthwith.