1. The respondent obtained a decree for the return of a letter of authority, but the Court did not state, as it should have done under Order 20, Rule 10, Civil Procedure Code the amount of money to be paid as an alternative if delivery could not be had. The petitioner, alleging that he was unable to comply with the decree because the letter was not in his possession, filed a suit for fixing the amount of money to be paid as an alternative. That suit was rightly dismissed. After that suit was dismissed, the respondent applied to execute his decree, whereup6n the petitioner asked the Executing Court to fix the amount to be paid by way of compensation as an alternative to the delivery of the document The District Munsiff fixed the amount at Rs 25, which was the sum thought in the suit to be appropriate. In appeal, the District Judge held that the application to fix compensation was premature and that it was only after the attachment order under Order 21, Rule 31 had been in force for three months that the question of compensation arose. He therefore remanded the execution petition for disposal according to law.
2. Mr. D. Ramaswami Aiyangar, for the petitioner, argues that no objection can be raised to the determination by the District Munsiff of the amount of compensation at an early stage of the execution proceedings instead of later; but that argument proceeds on the assumption that the fixing of the compensation is for the benefit of the defaulting petitioner and not for the benefit of the decree-holder. Under Order 21, Rule 31, the Court is to make every reasonable attempt to execute the decree and to obtain for the decree-holder, if that is possible, the letter which he is entitled to have under the decree. It is only when such endeavour is fruitless that the question of compensation arises. In interpreting Order 21, Rule 31 strictly the learned District Judge certainly did not act without jurisdiction.
3. The petition is dismissed with costs.