Subba Rao, J.
1. This civil miscellaneous second appeal arises out of an application filed by the respondents under Section 19-A of the Madras Agriculturists Relief Act as amended by Act XV of 1943 for determination of the amount payable by the respondents to the appellant under a simple mortgage dated 14-11-1932 executed in favour of the appellant. Ex. P. l is the said mortgage deed. It is for a sum of Rs. 2,000 made up of Rs. 1,580-6-0 paid in cash at the time of the execution and the balance Rs. 419-10-0 for the amount due under a prior promissory note, Ex. P. 1 (a). Ex. P. 1 (a) was a renewal of the prior promissory notes the earliest of them being Ex. P. 1 (e), dated 3-7-1926. That promissory note was executed by the respondents in favour of the appellant for a sum of Rs. 500. The learned District Munsiff declared that the amount due by the respondents to the appellant was a sum of Es. 607-7-9 together with interest thereon at 5 per cent per annum from 15-12-1936 up to 22-3-1938 and thereafter at 6 1/4 per cent per annum until payment. The respondents preferred an appeal A. S. No. 421 of 1946 to the Court of the District Judge, West Godavari against the order of the District Munsiff of Kovvur. In the view of the District Judge, the amount payable by the respondents to the appellant was only a sum of Rs. 256-7-0. But applying the Madras Usurious Loans Act, he reduced the figure still further to Rs. 192-5-9. The learned District Judge reduced the amount due to the appellant by the application of the provisions of the Madras Agriculturists Relief Act on the ground that the amounts paid by the respondents towards the earlier promissory notes should have been credited towards the original debt. The creditor preferred the above second appeal.
2. The learned counsel for the appellant raised before me the following two points : (1) The lower Court erred in applying the provisions of the Usurious Loans Act in an application filed under Section 19-A of the Madras Agriculturists Relief Act and (2) the learned District Judge should have credited the amounts paid towards the earlier promissory notes towards the principal amounts under the respective promissory notes. Section 19-A of the Madras. Agriculturists Relief Act reads : 'Where any debt incurred before 22nd March 1938, other than a decree debt, is due by any person who claims that he was an agriculturist both on that date and on the 1st October 1937, the debtor or the creditor may apply to the Court, , having jurisdiction for a declaration of the amount due by the debtor on the date of the application;
Provided that no such application shall be presented or be maintainable if a suit for the recovery of the debt is pending.'
It is clear from the provisions of this section that the relief to a creditor or a debtor as the case may be is confined only to the provisions of the Madras Agriculturists Relief Act, for the basis of that application is that the debtor should be an agriculturists on the crucial dates mentioned therein. If a relief is claimed under that section, it appears to me, that the applicant cannot club either the reliefs he may otherwise be entitled to under the General law or under the provisions of any other Act. I, therefore, hold that the lower appellate Court was wrong in invoking its powers under the Usurious Loans Act to give relief to the respondents under the Madras Agriculturists Relief Act. I also agree with the learned counsel in regard to his contention on the second point. Indeed the self-same question was raised before Horwill and Raghava Rao, JJ., in O. S. A. No. 17 of 1948. It was argued before the learned Judges that by reason of explanation 1 added to Section 8 of the Madras Agriculturists' Relief Act amounts paid by a debtor towards principal should be credited towards the sums originally advanced by the creditor. The learned Judges say :
'Unappropriated payments have clearly to be set off against the original principal and the advances made from time to time; but when a party makes a payment towards principal and the payment is endorsed on a promissory note, it is clear that the parties intended the payment to be towards the principal of the promissory note and not towards the hypothetical principal calculated as above. We are not satisfied that the Act required us to disregard the express intention of the parties.'
When it was argued that the aforesaid explanation had the effect of overruling settlements between the parties and compelling the Court to set aside any appropriations that might have been made even with the consent of the debtor and to set them off against the original sums advanced, the learned Judges pointed out,
'All that this explanation would seem to do is to re-enunciate what was laid down in all the earlier cases under the Act that open payments not expressed as being in discharge of principal or interest should be credited against the sums originally advanced.'
That decision directly applies to the facts of the case. The learned Counsel for the respondents made an attempt to persuade me to differ from or at any rate refer the case to another Bench. But sitting alone I am wound by that judgment.
3. In the result, the judgment of the lower appellate Court is set aside, and that of the District Munsiff is restored. The appellant will have his costs here and the Courts below. Leave refused.