1. It is clear that when A.S. No. 345 of 1916 was filed and disposed of the Co-operative Credit Society of Kalathur had gone into liquidation and was represented by the Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies as liquidator. The appellant in that appeal made the society a respondent but alleged that it was represented by its former President whose powers to represent the society had ceased before the filing of the appeal. The decision of the District Munsif in favour of the society was reversed and the transfer of the decree made by the President acting on behalf of the society was recognised.
2. The Registrar of Co-operative Credit Societies applied to the District Judge to set the decree in A.S. No. 345 of 1916 aside owing to the society not having been properly represented and to rehear the appeal after bringing him on record as the proper person to represent the society. He applied under Section 151, Order 22, Rule 10 and Order 47, Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
3. As regards the delay the District Judge in the exercise of the powers conferred by Section 5 of the Limitation Act excused the delay and 1 do not think that under Section 115 of the Civil Procedure Code I can interfere with his discretion. Even assuming that Order 47 Rule 1 does not apply the question is whether he had power to act under Section 151.
4. I am of opinion that where a corporation or company is made a party to a proceeding but is not represented by a person having legal authority to do so and an order is passed adversely to it, it is competent for the proper officer to apply for vacating the order and for a decision after hearing the person through whom the company can legally act. It cannot be said that the company is not a party simply because a wrong person represents it. No doubt a decree or order passed under such circumstances will not bind the company and it will be open to it to have it set aside but the question is whether it cannot do so under Section 151 of the Code.
5. I find nothing in the language of S 151 which prevents a party to a suit from applying under that section simply because he has a remedy by a separate suit or proceeding. Courts cannot act under Section 151 if provision is made for a particular contingency by the orders and rules but in cases not covered by them 1 do not see why parties should be put to the trouble, delay and expense of filing separate suits for relief which can be properly given in the suit itself. The language of Section 151 is wide and refers to the inherent powers of the court to make such orders as may be necessary for the ends of justice.
6. No doubt a stranger to the litigation cannot intervene after the suit or proceedings are disposed of and claim the protection of Section 151 or appeal to the inherent powers of the court to do justice. Drew v. Willis (1891) 1 Q.B. 450 which was referred to by the appellant's Vakil refers to a case where a stranger to the proceedings wanted to vacate it after orders had been properly passed. Lord Esher, M. R. observed that no court has power to vacate an order after it has been properly made by reason of facts that occurred subsequently. In the present case the complaint is that the order in A.S. No. 345 of 1916 was not properly made as the respondent was not properly represented.
7. Reference has also been made to Ponnayya v. Janagalakama Kotayya : (1919)37MLJ399 which turned on order 9, rule 13. The learned judges held that a minor who was said to be represented by a guardian ad litem who did not consent to act cannot be regarded as a party to the proceedings and so cannot be said to be prevented for sufficient cause from conducting them. I doubt if this is authority for holding that registered companies or societies cannot be said to be parties simply because they are not represented by a proper officer.
8. I think the decision of Mookerjee and Beachcroft, JJ. in Tikait Anant Singh v. F.T. Christian (1913) 17 Cal. W.N. No. 862 is in point.
9. The order of the District Judge was in my opinion within his power and I see no ground to set it aside. I dismiss the petition with costs.