1. This petition raises a question under Section 25 of the Madras Debt Conciliation Act. The facts are that the petitioner applied to the Debt Conciliation Board under the Act in February, 1939. His application was allowed to remain pending for eight months and was then dismissed, the Board granting him in its order of dismissal liberty to apply again. While the first application was pending, stay of execution of a decree against the petitioner was in force. The second application was made in February, 1940, and the petitioner again applied for stay of execution of the same decree. Stay was refused by the learned Subordinate Judge, and the question at issue in this revision petition is whether the learned Judge had any jurisdiction to refuse stay.
2. It is conceded by the learned advocate for the petitioner in his argument before me that if the application to the Board of February, 1940, is to be treated as a new application in respect of the same debt, no stay can be granted. This has been laid down by Judges of this Court in Ellappa Chettiar, In re : AIR1940Mad31 and in Roopchand Merlacha v. Sha Motaji Mokanaji : AIR1940Mad791 . He therefore contends that in effect the application made in February, 1940, having been made under the express permission granted by the Board to renew the previous application, must be treated as if it was a restoration of the previous application and therefore that the rulings which have been cited present no obstacle to his obtaining an order for stay. He has cited in his favour a case decided by Wadsworth, J., in Roopchand Merlacha v. Sha Motaji Mokanaji : AIR1940Mad791 . That case dealt with an application which was rejected by the Board under Section 7 as it did not comply with the requirements of Ss, 5 and 6. But as pointed out in the latter decision Roopchand Merlacha v. Sha Motaji Mokanaji : AIR1940Mad791 there is a very important distinction between an application dismissed under Section 7 and an application dismissed in the ordinary course under Section 9. The rejection of an application under Section 7, it is expressly provided, shall not preclude the applicant from making a fresh application whereas there is no such provision to be found in Section 9. It does not seem to me therefore that a case which deals with the rejection of an application under Section 7 can be of any assistance to the petitioner in the present petition.
3. This distinction between Section 7 and Section 9 would appear to make the permission granted by the Debt Conciliation Board in dismissing the application a permission which it had no jurisdiction to grant. Even if the Board had jurisdiction to allow a petition to be suspended in this way for an unlimited period it is clear that the effect of their decision in the present case has been to contravene the provisions of Section 17. Section 17 provides that an application must be dismissed if no amicable settlement has been arrived at under Section 14 within twelve months from its date. It will be seen that if the two applications in the present case are treated as one, more than twelve months had actually elapsed from the date when the application was first made to the date when the present petition for stay of execution was put in. On the ground that the Debt Conciliation Board had no jurisdiction to extend the consideration of the application over a period of more than twelve months and also on the ground that on the merits of the case I can see no reason whatever for the granting of any order of stay to the petitioner I refuse to interfere with the decision of the learned Subordinate Judge and dismiss this petition with costs.