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Santhappa Vs. Eswarappa Holiappa Bulla, by L.R. Siddalingappa Bulla - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1941Mad810; (1941)2MLJ295
AppellantSanthappa
RespondentEswarappa Holiappa Bulla, by L.R. Siddalingappa Bulla
Cases ReferredNagappa Chettiar v. Annapoorani Achi
Excerpt:
- - sitarama rao appearing for the appellant conceded that the appellant was not entitled to claim in full measure the relief provided by section 8 of the act, as section 19 was not applicable to the court which passed the decrees in question, that is to say, he admitted that the interest due on the debts prior to the decrees and included in them could not be wiped out, as that would clearly amount to going behind the decree and would be beyond the powers of an executing court; it must then declare that the decree has been satisfied......achi : air1941mad235 which has definitely ruled that proceedings under the act for scaling down decree-debts are not proceedings in execution under section 47. the court observed:if the scaling down does not wipe out the decretal amount then an amended decree is passed, which can only be enforced in execution proceedings separately instituted under the code of civil procedure. if the scaling down wipes out the decretal amount the court cannot pass an amended decree. it must then declare that the decree has been satisfied. but here again, the entering up of satisfaction is not in execution proceedings, but in proceedings, under the agriculturists' relief act, which are of an independent nature.6. if the entering up of satisfaction of a decree as a result of applying the provisions of.....
Judgment:

Patanjali Sastri, J.

1. The question that falls to be decided in these appeals is whether interest payable under a decree passed by a Court in the Bombay Presidency but transferred for execution to a Court in this Province is liable to be scaled down under Section 8 of the Madras Agriculturists' Relief Act, (hereinafter referred to as the Act).

2. The respondent obtained two decrees against the appellant in O.S. No. 167 and 168 of 1923 in the Court of the Additional First Class Subordinate Judge, Dharwar, and got these decrees transferred to the District Court of Bellary for execution as the appellant was residing in Bellary and owned properties there. The decrees were passed on 10th March, 1927, and provided for payment of the amount due in instalments which were, in each case, charged on immoveable properties situate in the Bellary District and carried interest at 9 per cent, per annum. The appellant claiming to be an agriculturist applied to the Court below in the course of the execution proceedings after the Act came into force for scaling down the decrees. The Court declined to grant the relief on the ground that as a Court executing the decrees, it could not interfere with the decrees which could be amended only by the Court which passed them, and the mere fact that the procedure laid down in the Act for the scaling down of decrees was not applicable to Courts in Bombay could not enlarge the powers of the executing Court.

3. Mr. Sitarama Rao appearing for the appellant conceded that the appellant was not entitled to claim in full measure the relief provided by Section 8 of the Act, as Section 19 was not applicable to the Court which passed the decrees in question, that is to say, he admitted that the interest due on the debts prior to the decrees and included in them could not be wiped out, as that would clearly amount to going behind the decree and would be beyond the powers of an executing Court; but he contended that there was nothing in the Act to preclude the Court from granting the more limited relief namely, the wiping out of the interest at nine per cent, per annum ordered to be paid from the date of the decrees that is from 10th March, 1927, to 1st October, 1937, and of the further interest due for the subsequent period in excess of the statutory rate of 6 1/4 per cent, allowed under the Act. It was urged that this limited relief the Court below was competent and, indeed, bound to grant under Section 47 of the Civil Procedure Code, as the Court being a Court of this Province was bound to give effect to the provisions of the Act as far as it lay in its power to do so.

4. Though the point for consideration lies in a comparatively-narrow compass, the arguments ranged over a wide ground relating to the situs of judgment-debts and the competency of the local Legislature to make laws affecting decrees passed by Courts outside the Province. We do not consider it necessary' to go into these questions as we are of opinion that the only procedure open to an agriculturist seeking the benefit of the Act in respect of debts which had ripened into decrees before the commencement of the Act is what is provided in Section 19, and no alternative remedy under S, 47 of : the Civil Procedure Code is available in cases where Section 19 of the Act has no application. As pointed out in Kottayya v. Venkata Punnayya : AIR1940Mad910 the Act creates new rights in agriculturist debtors to have their debts scaled down in accordance with the provisions of Chap. II and provides a special procedure for the enforcement of the rights in cases where before the commencement of the Act decrees have been passed for the repayment of such debts, and these provisions must, be read together in order to determine the scope of the relief afforded by the Act in such cases. It was accordingly held that the use of the term 'decrees' in Chap. II must be understood as referring to decrees passed before the commencement of the Act. On the same principle, it seems to us that the term should be held to refer to decrees passed by the Courts of this Province, for, as already observed, it is conceded that Section 19 is not applicable to decrees made by Courts in other Provinces.

5. Mr. Sitarama Rao, however, stressed the words 'shall be deemed to be discharged' in Section 8 as indicating that the limited relief which he now claimed for the appellant fell within the purview of Section 47 of the Civil Procedure Code and could be granted by the executing Court without the decree being amended in the manner contemplated in Section 19. But when, as in this case, a decree carries interest at 9 per cent, from its date to hold that such interest shall not be recoverable until the 1st October, 1937, and thereafter shall be recovered only at 6 1/4 per cent, as provided in the Act is, in effect, to amend or alter the decree, and the mere use of the word 'discharged' to indicate the compulsory scaling down of debts for which the Act provides cannot, as it seems to us, bring the matter within the scope of Section 47 of the Civil Procedure Code. Indeed this conclusion seems inevitable in view of the recent decision of a Full Bench of this Court in Nagappa Chettiar v. Annapoorani Achi : AIR1941Mad235 which has definitely ruled that proceedings under the Act for scaling down decree-debts are not proceedings in execution under Section 47. The Court observed:

If the scaling down does not wipe out the decretal amount then an amended decree is passed, which can only be enforced in execution proceedings separately instituted under the Code of Civil Procedure. If the scaling down wipes out the decretal amount the Court cannot pass an amended decree. It must then declare that the decree has been satisfied. But here again, the entering up of satisfaction is not in execution proceedings, but in proceedings, under the Agriculturists' Relief Act, which are of an independent nature.

6. If the entering up of satisfaction of a decree as a result of applying the provisions of the Act is thus not a matter relating to execution of the decree, it is difficult to see how a partial reduction of the amount payable under a decree by the wiping out of the interest can be said to fall under Section 47.

7. On these grounds we agree with the Court below that the appellant is not entitled to the reliefs claimed and dismiss the appeals with costs. (One set in C.M.A. 424 of 1940).


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