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Basti Ram Vs. Ghewarchand and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCommercial
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Second Appeal No. 42 of 1968
Judge
Reported inAIR1979Raj148; 1979()WLN51
ActsRajasthan Money Lenders Act, 1964 - Sections 2(11), 2(15), 27, 29 and 33
AppellantBasti Ram
RespondentGhewarchand and anr.
Appellant Advocate H.M. Parakh, Adv.
Respondent Advocate L.R. Mehta, Adv.
DispositionAppeal partly allowed
Cases ReferredBansilal Ramgopal Bhattad v. Harishchandra Tatya Bhambhure
Excerpt:
rajasthan money lenders act, 1963 - section 2(11), 27 and 33--no inconsistency between sections 27 & 33--for determining quantum of interest transaction can be reopened principal being rs. 1689/11/- and interest of rs. 1500/- already paid--held, plaintiff can claim rs. 189/11/- towards interest.;section 27 of the rajasthan act can only be construed according to the definition given to, the word 'principal', in section 2(11) and for determining the quantum of interest, the transaction between the debtor and the creditor can be ripped up and reopened and to roe there does not appear to be any conflict or inconsistency between the provisions of sections 27 and 33 of the rajasthan act.;the principles of the loan is rs. 1,689/11/-. the plaintiffs can only claim a sum of rs. 189/11/- by way.....m.c. jain, j. 1. this is an appeal by the defendant against the judgment and decree dated 5-10-1967 of the district judge, balotra, whereby he decreed the plaintiffs' suit in toto.2. the facts giving rise to this appeal may be briefly stated as under:the plaintiff-respondents instituted a suit against the three defendants bastiram, and his two sons bhanwara and ghewarchand with the allegations that the defendant no. 1 basti ram executed a pronote and a receipt in favour of the plaintiffs on phalgun sudi 8, 2019 corresponding to 3-3-1963 for a sum of rs. 2,101/- after acknowledging the balance of past loan and stipulated to pay interest @ 12% per annum. the plaintiffs sued for rs. 2,101/- as principal and rs. 749/- on account of interest, total rs. 2,850/-.3. it may be stated that the suit.....
Judgment:

M.C. Jain, J.

1. This is an appeal by the defendant against the judgment and decree dated 5-10-1967 of the District Judge, Balotra, whereby he decreed the plaintiffs' suit in toto.

2. The facts giving rise to this appeal may be briefly stated as under:

The plaintiff-respondents instituted a suit against the three defendants Bastiram, and his two sons Bhanwara and Ghewarchand with the allegations that the defendant No. 1 Basti Ram executed a pronote and a receipt in favour of the plaintiffs on Phalgun Sudi 8, 2019 corresponding to 3-3-1963 for a sum of Rs. 2,101/- after acknowledging the balance of past loan and stipulated to pay interest @ 12% per annum. The plaintiffs sued for Rs. 2,101/- as principal and Rs. 749/- on account of interest, total Rs. 2,850/-.

3. It may be stated that the suit against Bhanwara and Ghewarchand stands dismissed and it is only defendant No. 1 Bastiram, who is at present contesting. Bastiram submitted his written statement in which he admitted the execution of the pronote and the receipt, but he alleged that the amount, in respect of which the pronote and the receipt were executed, was only of interest. Under Section 27 of the Rajasthan Money-Lenders Act, 1963 (Act No. 1 of 1964) (hereinafter referred to as 'the Rajasthan Act'), the plaintiffs are not entitled to interest exceeding the principal amount and the suit in excess thereof is liable to be dismissed after taking accounts under Section 27. The learned Civil Judge framed the issue No. 1, which on translation in English, is as under:--

'Whether the defendant is entitled to any benefit under the Rajasthan Money-Lenders Act If so, to what extent?

4. The learned Civil Judge decided this issue holding that the plaintiffs cannot be allowed interest claimed in thesuit to the tune of Rs. 7497-. It appears that the learned Civil Judge proceeded on the basis that the suit-pronote is the balance of the principal amount of Rs. 854/10/6 during St. Year 2012 with a capitalised interest thereon to the tune of Rs. 2,746/5/6 and on payment being made of a sum of Rs. 1,5007- on 3-3-1963, a balance of Rs. 2,1017- was struck, This amount is not liable to be reopened, but he found that the plaintiffs are not entitled to further interest amounting to Rs. 749/-. Consequently, the learned Civil Judge decreed the plaintiffs' suit for Rs. 2,101/- only together with proportionate costs and further allowed instalments.

5. The plaintiffs went in appeal and the defendant Bastiram also filed cross-objection. In appeal the plaintiffs' suit was decreed in full for Rs. 2,850/- for principal and interest with costs of both the Courts and the plaintiffs were further allowed future interest on the decretal amount @ six per cent per annum from the date of the decree till realisation. The learned District Judge held that the defendant is not entitled to reopen the transaction in view of proviso (1) of Section 33 of the Rajasthan Act and the pronote amount would be considered to be the principal of the loan.

6. Aggrieved against the judgment and decree of the District Judge the defendant has preferred this appeal.

7. I have heard Shri H. M. Parekh, learned counsel for the defendant-appellant and Shri L. R. Mehta, learned counsel for the plaintiff-respondents.

8. Before stating and dealing with the respective contentions of Shri Parekh and Shri Mehta, the admitted facts may be first taken notice of.

9. The learned District Judge in para 14 of his judgment has stated the position of accounts between the parties. A sum of Rs. 9,540/- and odd was lent from time to time from St. 2009 to St. 2011 and repayments made from time to time which liquidated the interest in full and left ,a balance of Rupees 1,689/11/- outstanding as principal on Katik Badi 15, St. 2011. After Katik Badi 15, St. 2011 to Phalgun Badi 8, St. 2019. that is, 2-3-1963, nothing was paid towards the principal amount of Rupees 1,689/11/- and in the intervening period of nearly 8 years Rs. 1,911/5/- accrued as interest on the principal amount of Rs. 1,689/-. On Phalgun Sudi 8, St. 2019 corresponding to 3-3-1963, the defendantpaid Rs. 1,500/- towards the account, which reduced the amount of interest from Rs. 1,911/5/- to Rs. 411/5/-. The defendant thus executed the suit pro-note for the outstanding principal amount of Rs. 1,689/11/- and interest Rs, 411/57-total Rs. 2,101/-.

10. The learned counsel for the defendant-appellant vehemently contended that under Section 27 of the Rajasthan Act the plaintiffs are not entitled to interest, a sum greater than the principal of the loan due on the date of the decree. He submitted that Section 27 places a limit to the recovery of the amount of interest and this provision introduces the rule of 'damdupat' and this provision begins with the non obstante clause, so it will override any agreement or any law which may be for the tune being in force and this provision applies to loans whether advanced before the Act came into force or to loans advanced after the coming into force of the Act It takes away the power of the Court to pass a decree on account of interest for a sum greater than the principal of the loan due on the date of the decree. The word 'principal' has been defined under Section 2 (11) of the Rajasthan Act which means in relation to a loan, the amount actually advanced to the debtor. According to the learned counsel the principal amount was Rs. 1,689/11/- and a sum of Rs. 1,500/- was paid by way of interest.

The plaintiffs are only entitled to a sum of Rs. 189/117- by way of interest besides the principal amount of Rupees 1,689/11/-. The learned counsel submitted that the learned District Judge seriously erred in holding that so far as the suit transaction is concerned, 'principal' of the loan is Rs. 2,101/- and he was wrong in observing that the defendant is not entitled to get the transaction dated 3-3-1963 re-opened, as the interest once capitalised and agreed to be considered as principal cannot be treated as interest. Accordingly, the learned counsel submitted that the plaintiffs at the most are entitled to a decree for Rs. 1,689/11/- principal amount and Rs. 189/11/- interest, total Rs. 1,879/6/-and the remaining suit of the plaintiffs is liable to be dismissed in view of Section 27 of the Rajasthan Act.

11. Shri Mehta, on the other hand, urged that there is a specific provision contained in Section 33 for re-opening of transactions or accounts already taken, The plaintiffs' case is not covered under Section 33, so the transaction dated 3-3-1963cannot be re-opened and it should be taken that the capitalised interest was a notional advance. The provisions contained in Sections 2 (11) and 27 of the Rajasthan Act have to be read along with Section 33 and they should be harmoniously construed. The definition of the expression 'principal' may not be given the meaning assigned to it, if there is anything repugnant in the subject or context. The learned counsel in support of his contention placed reliance on a Division Bench decision of the Calcutta High Court Durga Sankar Sukul v. Prafulla Chandra Nag, (AIR 1947 Cal 294).

12. In order to properly comprehend the respective contentions, it is essential to have a look to the relevant provisions of the Rajasthan Act and for facility of reference, they are reproduced hereunder:--

'Section 2. Definitions -- In this Act unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,

(11) 'principal' means in relation to a loan, the amount actually advanced to

the debtor;

(15) 'suit to which this Act applies' means any suit or proceeding --

(a) for the recovery of a loan made

after the date on which this Act comes into force; or

(b) for the enforcement of any security taken, or any agreement made, after the date on which this Act comes into force in respect of any loan made either before or after the said date; or

(c) for the redemption of any security given after the date on which this Act comes into force in respect of any loan made either before or after the said date;'

'Section 27. Power of Court to limit interest recoverable in certain cases -- Notwithstanding anything contained in any agreement or any law for the time being in force, no Court shall, in respect of any loan, whether advanced before or after the date on which this Act comes into force, decree, on account of interest, a sum greater than the principal of the loan due on the date of the decree.'

'Section 29. Limitation on rates of interest -- (1) The State Government may, from time to time, by notification in the Official Gazette, fix the maximum rates of simple interest for any class of business of money-lending in respect of secured and unsecured loans.

(2) No money-lender shall charge or receive from a debtor interest at a rate exceeding the maximum rate fixed by the State Government under Sub-section (1).

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, no agreement between a moneylender and a debtor for payment of interest at the rates exceeding the maximum rates fixed by the State Government under Sub-section (1) shall be valid and no Court shall, in any suit to which this Act applies, award interest exceeding the said rates.

(4) If any money-lender charges or receives from a debtor interest at the rate exceeding the maximum rates fixed by the State Government under Sub-section (1), he shall, for the purpose of Section 40, be deemed to have contravened the provisions of this Act.'

'Section 33. Reopening of transaction or accounts already taken -- Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, the Court, shall, in any suit to which this Act applies, whether heard ex parte or otherwise :--

(a) re-open any transaction or any account already taken between the parties;

(b) take an account between the parties;

(c) reduce the amount charged to the debtor in respect of any excessive interest;

(d) If on taking accounts it is found that the money-lender has received more than what is due to him, pass a decree in favour of the debtor in respect of such amount;

Provided that in the exercise of these powers, the Court shall not --

(i) re-open any adjustment or agreement purporting to close previous dealings and to create new obligations which have been entered into by the parties or any person through whom they claim at a date more than 6 years from the date of the suit.

(ii) do anything which affects any decree of a Court.

Explanation. -- For the purpose of this section 'excessive interest' means interest at a rate which contravenes any; of the provisions of Section 29.''

13. The Rajasthan Act was promulgated in order to make better provision for the regulation and control of transactions of money-lending in the State of Rajasthan and it came into force from 1st Oct., 1965. The perusal of Section 27 willshow that it introduces the rule of 'damdupat' of Hindu Law. This provision seeks to give legislative recognition to that rule, which always viewed with great disfavour the creditor's right to recover interest exceeding the principal amount. This provision begins with non obstante clause and anything contained in any agreement or any law for the time being in force, would not come in way of the operation of this provision. It prohibits the Court from passing a decree on account of interest for a sum greater than the principal of the loan due on the date of the decree, and further this provision has been made applicable to loans advanced before or after the date of the coming into force of the Rajasthan Act.

It would appear from this provision that it applies to all loans which have been advanced prior to the coming into force of the Rajasthan Act. Thus, by this provision quantum of liability for the payment of interest is fixed and limited in respect of the loans advanced before 1-10-1965 or after 1-10-1965. Section 27 of the Rajasthan Act is retrospective in nature. From the bare reading of the provision, this is abundantly clear. In a Bench decision of this Court Durga Dass v. Kanhaiyalal (1970 WLN (Part I) 563) Section 27 has been held to be retrospective. In this regard in that case after reviewing the case law it was observed that 'on first principles and the case-law, we must hold that Section 27 of the Act should be given retrospective effect.' Much reliance was placed on a Bench decision of the Bombay High Court reported in Bansilal Ramgopal Bhattad v. Harishchandra Tatya Bhambhure (AIR 1953 Bom 420), wherein the Bombay High Court had ,an occasion to consider a similar controversy with reference to Section 23 of the Bombay Money Lenders Act which was worded in a similar language.

The word 'principal' used in Section 27, if given the meaning as assigned to it in the definition clause, it would be clear that it will not include the concept of notional advance or it will not include the capitalised interest. The word 'principal' would only mean the amount actually advanced to the debtor. It is by giving this meaning to this word the legislative intent can find its manifestation of placing a limit to the amount of recovery of interest. It is true that if the context requires a different meaning to be given or if there is anything repugnant in the subject or context, then a different meaning may be given, but in case it is not so, the meaning assigned by the Legislature is to be adopted in all the provisions wherever this expression has been used. If any conflict, inconsistency or repugnancy arises then the legislative meaning may be given way to but in case no inconsistency arises or there is no repugnancy in the subject or context, the same meaning should be given to the word or expression, which the Legislature has assigned to it.

14. I may now proceed to examine the scope of Section 33.

15. Section 33 empowers the Court to act in accordance with Clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d) 'in any suit to which this Act applies.' The expression 'suit to which this Act applies' has been defined in Section 2 (15) of the Act, which means any suit or proceeding for the recovery of a loan made after the date on which this Act came into force, or for the enforcement of any security taken or any agreement made, or for the redemption of any security given, as stated in Clauses (b) and (e) of Sub-section (15) of Section 2 of the Rajasthan Act. Admittedly the present suit does not fall within this expression and Section 33, thus, cannot be made applicable to the present suit. Proviso (i) to Section 33, places a restriction on Courts to reopen any adjustment or agreement purporting to close previous dealings and to create new obligations at a date more than six years from the date of the suit.

Even in suits to which Section 33 applies, adjustment or agreements whereby previous dealings were closed and new obligations created, cannot be re-opened under Clause (i) of the proviso, if they are more than six years old from the date of the suit. If they are less than 6 years old, then adjustment or agreement can be re-opened. It may be stated that under Section 33 of the Rajasthan Act, the amount of interest charged to the debtor, can be reduced, in case it is found that excessive interest is charged and this expression 'excessive interest' has been explained in the explanation, which means interest at a rate which contravenes any provisions of Section 29. Section 29 places limitation on rates of interest. If Sections 29 and 33 are read together, it would be clear that these provisions do not deal with the overall limit to the recovery of the amount of interest, that is, these provisions do not deal with the total liability of the debtor in, respect of interest, which is only found in Section 27 of the Act.

Thus, it would appear that the scope of Section 27 is entirely different from the scope of Section 33. Section 27 places a limit on the quantum of interest recoverable and does not take into consideration the limit on the rate of interest, whereas Section 33, if read in the light of Section 29, places restrictions on the rate of interest and if excess rate of interest is charged, then the same can be reduced under Section 33. Further, Section 33 applies to any suit to which this Act applies, as defined in Section 2 (15), but no such expression is found in Section 27 of the Rajasthan Act. Whenever in any suit for the recovery of loan a question as to the quantum of interest arises, the matter has to be dealt with by the Court according to the provisions of Section 27.

16. It may be stated that the decisions on statutes in pari materia undoubtedly may be of great help and if the provisions of statutes in pari materia are similar or analogous, the interpretation or the construction placed on such provisions may be adopted, for this knowledge can be attributed to the Legislature that the Legislature was aware of the interpretation placed on those provisions, when it enacts any law thereafter. Durga Sankar Sukul's case (AIR 1947 Cal 294) (supra) relied upon by Shri Mehta relates to the provisions of the Bengal Money Lenders Act, 1940 (Bengal Act X of 1940) (hereinafter referred to as 'the Bengal Act'). In this Bengal Act, as well, there were provisions somewhat like those of Sections 2 (11), 2 (15), 27 and 33 of the Rajasthan Act. For proper understanding of the conclusions and the ratio of Durga Sankar Sukul's case (supra), it is necessary to look into the analogous provisions of the Bengal Act. These provisions are reproduced here-under:--

Section 2. Definitions. -- In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,--

(16) 'principal' means in relation to a loan the amount actually advanced to the borrower;'

(22) 'suit to which this Act applies' means any suit or proceeding instituted or filed on or after the 1st day of Jan., 1939, or pending on that date and includes a proceeding in execution --

(a) for the recovery of a loan advanced before or after the commencement of this Act;

(b) for the enforcement of any agreement entered into before or after the commencement of this Act, whether by way of settlement of account or otherwise, or of any security so taken, in respect of any loan advanced whether before or after the commencement of this Act; or

(c) for the redemption of any security given before or after the commencement of this Act in respect of any loan advanced whether before or after the commencement of this Act.'

30. Limitations as to amount and rate of interest recoverable. -- Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the tune being in force, or in any agreement,

(1) no borrower shall be liable to pay after the commencement of this Act --

(a) any sum in respect of principal and interest which together with any amount already paid or included in any decree in respect of a loan exceeds twice the principal of the original loan,

(b) On account of interest outstanding on the date up to which such liability is computed, a sum greater than the principal outstanding on such date,

(c) interest at a rate per annum exceeding in the case of --

(i) unsecured loans, 10 per centum simple,

(ii) secured loans, eight per centum simple,

whether such loan was advanced or such amount was paid or such decree was passed or such interest accrued before or after the commencement of this Act.'

36. Reopening of transactions. -- (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, if any suit to which this Act applies, or in any suit brought by a borrower for relief under this section whether heard ex parte or otherwise, the Court has reason to believe that the exercise of one or more of the powers under this section will give relief to the borrower, it shall exercise all or any of the following powers as it may consider appropriate, namely, shall --

(a) reopen any transaction and take an account between the parties;

(a) notwithstanding any agreement, purporting to close previous dealings and to create new obligations, reopen any account already taken between the parties;

(c) release the borrower of all liability in excess of the limits specified in Clauses (1) and (2) of Section 30;

x x x x xProvided that in the exercise of these powers the Court shall not --

(i) reopen any adjustment or agreement, purporting to close previous dealings and to create new obligations, which has been entered into at a date more than 12 years prior to the date of the suit by the parties or any person through whom they claim, or......,.....'

17. From the above provisions of the Bengal Act, we can notice some of the distinctive features of the Rajasthan Act and the Bengal Act. Section 30 of the Bengal Act also places limitation as to rate of interest recoverable along with limitation on the quantum of interest recoverable, whereas in Rajasthan Act, we find two different provisions for the same, one in Section 27 and the other in Section 29. Section 36 (c) of the Bengal Act provides for releasing the borrower of all liabilities in excess of the limits specified in Clauses (1) and (2) of Section 30, but Section 33 of the Rajasthan Act does not cover the extent of liability of payment of interest and only covers the case of excessive interest from the point of view of rate of interest.

What is further noticeable is that the expression 'suit to which this Act applies' in the Bengal Act is very wide and comprehensive as compared to this expression in the Rajasthan Act. Under the Bengal Act suit instituted or filed after 1-1-1939 or pending on that date or a proceeding in execution in respect of the matters mentioned in Clauses (a), (b) and (c), are all covered in this expression. Connotation in the Rajasthan Act to this expression, is not so wide and so Section 33 has a limited application. The expression 'principal of the original loan' as used in Section 30 came to be interpreted in the context of the proviso (i) of Section 36, in Durga Sarikar Sukul's case (AIR 1947 Cal 294).

18. In that case (supra) the suit was for the recovery of money due from the defendants on promissory note Ex. 1 dated 8-1-1927 for Rs. 8,225/- as principal and simple interest at six per cent per annum. The suit was filed on 27th Oct. 1941, after the Bengal Act had come into force. This promissory note was the final result of the series of monetary transactions which began as early as in 1915. The suit pronote was more than 12 years old prior to the date of the suit. The question arose as to whether the suit pronote can be impugned or ripped up under Section 30 of the Bengal Act. If theprincipal is taken to be Rs. 8,225/-, then there was nothing in contravention of Section 30 of the Bengal Act, because the interest claimed is only Rs, 7,275/- which is less than the principal and the rate of interest was also not in contravention. Their Lordships of the Calcutta High Court observed that proviso (i) to Section 36 has also to be applied to the case to determine the question of the 'principal of the loan' and they proceeded to clarify the scope of mutual connection of Sections 30 and 36 of the Bengal Act. In this connection it was observed as under :-

'A suit to enforce a loan pending on 1-1-1939, or instituted thereafter, as in this case, is covered by Section 36 (See Clause 1 of Section 36). Section 30 defines in general terms the extent of liability, i.e., the extent of liability of a borrower whether he pays amicably or is made to pay by a decree of Court, and had there been no other provision in the Act, liability would have had to be determined under Section 30. But when a suit to enforce a loan is pending on 1st Jan. 1939, or is instituted thereafter, the Court has been given power under Section 36, Clause (1) for the purpose of giving relief to the borrower if the principal and interest claimed in the suit on the basis of the contract contravenes Section 30. Otherwise, there would be no necessity to repeat the provisions of Section 30 in Section 36, Clause (1), Sub-clause (c). Where, in such a case, the instrument on which the suit is brought shows ex facie a particular sum as principal and the case of the borrower is that this amount is actual advance plus interest, the powers given by Section 36 (1) (a) or (b) can be exercised by the Court. If the transaction as represented by the said instrument cannot be reopened in view of the proviso (i) to Section 36 (1) and no relief can be given, then the principal must be taken to be what is stated therein as has been held in 48 Cal WN 496 : (A I R 1944 Cal 303) referred to before, and other cases. The definition of 'loan' as given in Section 2 would then have to be modified to prevent inconsistency and confusion. The 'principal of the loan' will, in such a case be the amount treated as such by parties in their agreement and not the amount actually advanced'.

19. It would appear from this decision that in order to bring about harmony and to resolve conflict and inconsistency between the various provisionsof the Bengal Act, their Lordships interpreted the expression 'principal of the loan' to be the amount treated as such by the parties in their agreement and not the amount actually advanced. Their Lordships also adverted to the conflict which may arise on account of the results which may flow from proceedings undertaken by the debtor under S, 38 of the Act and the suit instituted by the creditors. On that basis as well, it was observed that if Section 30 is not read with Section 36 of the Bengal Act, then an absurd result will follow, as discussed in para 30 of the Judgment.

20. To my mind there does not appear to be any conflict between the provisions of the Rajasthan Act. The scope of Sections 27 and 33 is entirely different. What has been provided in Section 27 is not covered by Section 33 and as such legislative meaning is to be given to the word 'principal' used in Section 27. For purposes of reduction of excessive interest in suits to which the Rajasthan Act applies, the borrower can invoke the provisions of Section 33 and that too, he is entitled in respect to a closed transaction not more than six years old from the date of the suit, but there is no such restriction with regard to the extent of the liability of interest under Section 27 of the Rajasthan Act and the liability of the quantum of interest can be determined by the Court in any suit and the 'principal of the loan' would be considered in the light of the legislative meaning.

21. In the 'The Construction of Statute' by Crawford (1940 Edition, pp. 363 and 364) it is stated as under :-

'No better source from which the court could obtain a true indication of the legislative intent exists than the legislative definition or interpretation clause.

'Although the legislative definition may be of great assistance in clearly revealing the legislative meaning, it may also create considerable confusion. The definitive language may itself require construction. Its own language may be ambiguous. It may be clearly contradictory with the language of the statute proper. The statute may indicate that the legislative definition is inaccurate. It is, therefore, obvious that before the legislative definition can be relied upon, its applicability as well as its reliability should be ascertained. And in this connection, one important situation should be mentioned. In the event that the definition found in the interpretation clause is atvariance with the intention of the lawmakers as expressed in the plain language of the statute, that intention must prevail over the legislative definition. In other words, the intention of the legislature must control the legislative definition. But the interpretation clause and the statute proper must all be construed together as a part of the same statute. Where this is done, if the definition laid down by the legislature does not conflict with the intent of the legislature, then the former may be given effect. If the two can be harmonized, there can be no objection to allowing the interpretation clause to control the language defined. To give interpretation clause precedence where the two cannot be harmonised, would operate to make the ancillary portion of the statute superior to the primary portion. The statute's meaning would in all probability be distorted, and the legislative intent defeated'.

At page 262 it is stated as under:--

'The Court should seek to avoid any conflict in the provisions of the statute by endeavouring to harmonize and reconcile every part so that each shall be effective. It is not easy to draft a statute, or any other writing for that matter which may not in some manner contain conflicting provisions. But what appears to the reader to be a conflict may not have seemed so to the drafter. Undoubtedly, each provision was inserted for a definite reason. Often by considering the enactment in its entirety, what appears to be on its face a conflict may be cleared up and the provisions reconciled.'

22. In Craies on 'Statute Law', while dealing with the subject 'Light Thrown upon Meaning by other Statute' it is stated as under (Sixth Edition (1963), pp. 139, 141):-

'When a particular form of legislative enactment which has received authoritative interpretation, whether by judicial decision or by a long course of practice, is adopted in the framing of a later statute, it is a sound rule of construction to hold that the words so adopted were intended by the legislature to bear the meaning which had been so put upon them'.

'Conversely, if we find that the language employed by the legislature in the earlier statutes on a particular subject has been departed from in a subsequent statute relating to the same subject, it is generally, but not always, a fair presumption that the alteration inthe language used in the subsequent statute was intentional.'

22A. In 'Principles of Statutory Interpretation' by Guru Prasanna Singh, 2nd Edition, 1975, it is stated as under (P. 113):-

'When a word has been defined in the interpretation clause, prima facie that definition governs whenever that word is used in the body of the statute. As observed by Lord Dunedin, : 'It is a novel and.........unheard of idea that an interpretation clause which might easily have been so expressed as to cover certain sections and not to cover others should be, when expressed in general terms, divided up by a sort of theory of applicana singula singulis, so as not to apply to sections where context suggest to difficulty of application'. But where the context makes the definition given in the interpretation clause inapplicable, a defined word when used in the body of the statute may have to be given a meaning different from that contained in the interpretation clause, all definitions given in an interpretation clause are therefore normally enacted subject to the qualification -- 'unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context' or 'unless the context otherwise requires'. Even in the absence of an express qualification to that effect such a qualification is always implied. However, it is incumbent on those who contend that the definition given in the interpretation clause does not apply to a particular section to show that the context in fact so requires.'

23. In the light of the above well established principles of interpretation, if the provisions of the Rajasthan Act are examined, Section 27 of the Rajasthan Act can only be construed according to the definition given to the word 'principal' in Section 2 (11) and for determining the quantum of interest, the transaction between the debtor and the creditor can be ripped up and re-opened and to me there does not appear to be any conflict or inconsistency between the provisions of Sections 27 and 33 of the Rajasthan Act. As such, I am unable to agree with the contention of the learned counsel for the plaintiff respondents that the 'principal of the loan' should be taken to be Rs. 2,101/- in the present case, as evidenced by the pronote dated 3-3-1963.

In view of the admitted position, the principal of the loan is Rs. 1,689/11/-. The plaintiffs can only claim a sum ofRs. 189/11/- by way of interest and beyond that, the defendant is not liable to pay any interest. The total liability with regard to interest can be to the extent of the amount of Rs. 1,689/11/- and a sum of Rs. 1,500/- has already been paid by the defendant to be appropriated as interest. Thus, the plaintiffs are only entitled to a decree of Rs. 1,879/6/-.

24. In the result, this appeal is partly allowed and the decree of the District Judge is modified as under :-

The plaintiff's suit is decreed for a sum of Rs. 1,879/6/- against the defendant Basti Ram. The plaintiffs will further be entitled to interest @ six per cent per an annum from the date of institution of the suit till realisation on the principal sum of Rs. 1,689/11/-. The rest of the plaintiffs' suit is dismissed. The parties shall get proportionate costs according to their success from each other of all the courts.


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