Patanjali Sastri, J.
1. In this case the respondent obtained a decree for arrears of rent and interest due under a kaichit dated 9th May, 1927, before the Madras Agriculturists'Relief Act was passed. The appellant paid a sum of Rs. 170 towards the decree and for the balance the properties were brought to sale and actually sold in November, 1937. After the Act was passed a petition to set aside the sale was filed under Section 23. The sale was accordingly set aside. Thereupon the appellant applied for relief under Section 15 of the Act, by means of two petitions depositing separately the rent due for faslis 1346 and 1347 respectively. The amounts deposited were found to be correct and the prayers in those petitions, namely, that the amounts deposited should be accepted in full satisfaction of the rents due in respect of the two faslis, were granted. The appellants then filed the petition out of which the present appeal arises under Section 19 of the Act, praying that the entire arrears of rent due under the decree should be scaled down and that the amount of Rs. 170 paid by them towards the decree before the commencement of the Act should be adjusted towards the costs payable under the decree under the proviso to that section. The District Munsiff allowed the petition and recorded satisfaction of the entire decree except as to the execution costs which were not covered by the previous payments. On appeal to the District Court by the decree-holder the learned District Judge held that the proviso to Section 19 was not applicable to the case as the decree in question was not a decree for repayment of a debt within the meaning of that section and that therefore the sum of Rs. 170 paid by the appellants before the commencement of the Act could not be adjusted towards costs awarded under the decree. He therefore dismissed the petition filed by the appellants under Section 19 and this appeal has been preferred from the said order.
2. It is argued for the appellants that according to the decision in Venkata Rajagopala Krishna Yachendra Bahadur Varu v. Venkata Seshacharlu : AIR1942Mad78 , even decrees for rent are liable to be scaled down under Section 19 of the Act and that therefore the proviso to that section applies to such cases. I am unable to accept this contention which proceeds upon a misapprehension of the decision referred to above. All that was held in that case was that when a decree had been passed for rent, a procedure analogous to that laid down under Section 19 of the Act should be followed with reference to such decrees, as no procedure is laid down in the Act for scaling down amounts due under decrees for rent. This does not mean that a decree for arrears of rent is a decree for repayment of a debt for which alone provision is made under Section 19 of the Act. The definition of 'debt' in Section 3, Clause (iii) excludes 'rent' as defined in Clause (iv) and a decree for arrears of rent cannot therefore be a decree for repayment of debt within the meaning of Section 19. It is suggested that so far as the portion of the decree awarding costs is concerned it may be viewed as a decree for repayment of debt. But, as pointed out by the learned District Judge, though such portion might be regarded in a sense as a decree for payment of debt it cannot be regarded as one for repayment of debt, for repayment clearly implies a prior borrowing. It cannot be said that the costs of a suit awarded under a decree were in any sense borrowed by the unsuccessful party. It follows that proviso to Section 19 is inapplicable to the present case and the appellants cannot claim to have the payment of Rs. 170 adjusted first in payment of the costs awarded under the decree.
3. It is pointed out that the learned District Judge has erroneously dismissed the petition altogether. The petition prayed not only for the adjustment towards the payment of costs as aforesaid but also for recording satisfaction of the decree in respect of the arrears of rent found due. The appellants' petition should not therefore have been dismissed in toto. As deposits made by them for faslis 1346 and 1347 have been accepted as correct the petitioners are entitled to have the decree for arrears of rent discharged, except in regard to costs. The decree of the Court below will be modified accordingly. As the appellants have failed on the main point, they will pay the costs of the respondent.
4. Leave to appeal is refused.