1. This is an application to revise the decree of the District Munsif, Tenali, dismissing the plaintiff's suit. The plaintiff is a vakil in Tenali. He appeared to defend two suits filed against the Taluk Board, Repalli, under instructions from the then President of the Taluk Board. After the termination of the suits, he sent in his bill for payment. The present President is not the person who instructed him to appear and the Board now objects to pay the bill. The District Munsif dismissed the plaintiff's suit on the ground that there was no provision in the Local Boards Act empowering the President to engage a vakil to work in suits by and against the Taluk Board without the sanction or approval of the Board. The question is whether the President of a Taluk Board has power to instruct a vakil to defend a suit without obtaining the previous sanction of the Board. Section 21 of the Local Boards Act is the section which empowers the President to exercise executive power and Clause (2) which restricts the power is as follows:
It shall not be lawful for the President to exercise any power which by this Act it is expressly declared shall be exercised by the Local Board.
2. No provision of the Local Boards Act was brought to my notice which in any way restricts the power of the President of the Board to engage a vakil to conduct cases brought against the Board. If the Board is to sue as plaintiff, it may be necessary for the President to obtain the sanction of the Board for' instituting a civil suit. But where suits are brought against the Board and where it is necessary to defend a suit in time, it cannot be said that the President has no power to instruct vakils for the purpose of appearing in Court lest the Court should decree ex parte against the Board. So long as there is no restriction on his power to defend suits 1 do not think it can be said that it is not within the ordinary powers of the President to engage vakils to defend suits brought against the Board.
3. The next question is whether the Board is bound to pay a vakil who has worked for the Board when there is no express sanction of the Board to engage a vakil. I think this question has to be decided on the principle of part performance. Where the Board has had the benefit of the service of the vakil and as in this case where out-fees have been paid on behalf of the Board by the vakil, it is not open to the Board to say that it is not liable to pay the amount the benefit of which it had in the way of defending the suit and in the way of out-fees which were paid by the vakil during the conduct of the suits. I think it is highly inequitable that a public body like the Board should engage a vakil through its President and when the vakil sends in his bill after the termination of the suits should turn round and say that the President has no power to engage a vakil without the permission of the Board to defend a case brought against it. I think it is not merely inequitable but highly dishonest to take up such an attitude especially in a case where there is nothing shown against the vakil's bona fide belief in the power of the President to engage him to conduct cases and to allow him to pay out-fees out of his pocket.
4. It is urged on behalf of the respondent (Board) that inasmuch as there was no resolution of the Board authorising the President to engage the vakil, the Board is not liable. Where the President bona fide acts on behalf of the Board and where the Board gets the benefit of such an act, I think it is not open to the Board to deny liability which arises from the benefit which it gets.
5. A contention is raised on behalf of the respondent that no notice was given as required by the Act. This point is one of fact and it was not raised in the Lower Court and it is not therefore open to the respondent to raise it here.
6. Another point raised on behalf of the respondent is that the suit was not brought within six months as provided by , Section 225 of the Act and therefore the suit is barred by limitation. Section 225 does not apply to cases of this kind. It applies to cases of alleged neglect or default of some officer in the execution of an act authorised by law. Where the Board is sued for a debt due by it, the ordinary law of limitation, namely, three years, applies and not six months as provided by Section 225 of the Act. I hold that the suit is within time and the plaintiff is entitled to a decree.
7. I, therefore, set aside the decree of the Lower Court and direct that a decree for the sum sued for and costs be passed in plaintiff's favour together with the costs of this application.
8. The 2nd defendant being the old President is not liable and the petition, so far as he is concerned, is dismissed without costs.