1. The judgment-debtors are the petitioners in this revision. The respondents ,are the decree-holders. The judgment-debtors filed a petition under O. 21, R. 2(2) Civil P. C. hereinafter referred to as the Code, to record part satisfaction of half of the decree amount in respect of decree-holders 3 and 4 to whom a sum of Rs. 700/- is stated to have been paid on 18-11-1980. That application has been dismissed by the Court below and that is how the judgment-debtors are before this Court by way of this revision. The Court below found that the decree is a joint decree and the shares of the respective decree-holders are not
apparent on the face of the decree, either expressly or by necessary implication. This aspect is not being put in issue before me. Order 21, R. 1 (1)(b) of the Code contemplates that all money, payable under a decree, could be paid out of Court to the decree-holder in any one of the modes contemplated therein. The question came up before the Full Bench of this Court in Hanumanthappa v. Seethayya and Company, (1949) 62 MLW 539 : AIR 1949 Mad 790 as to whether the expression 'degree holder' used in singular would include the plural also. Viswanatha Sastri, J., in a separate judgment to form the majority view, has observed as follows :
'Order'21, R. 1 directs that all money payable under a decree shall be paid as follows :
(a) into the Court whose duty it is to execute the decree;
(b) out of Court to the decree-holder or
(c) otherwise as the Court which made the decree directs.
By virtue of S. 13, Cl.(2), General Clauses Act, words in the singular shall include the plural. Therefore, the term 'decree-holder in O. 21, R. 1, Cl. (b). means 'decree-holders' if there are two or more of them. Similarly in O. 21, R. 2 C1.(1), which speaks of a payment out of Court or adjustment to the satisfaction of the decree-holder, the expression 'degree holder' means 'decree-holders' if there are two or more of them. It may readily be granted that where a joint decree is passed in favor of two or more persons, not related as partners, a payment out of Court, in order to be binding on all, must be made to all the joint degree holders and that one of several joint degree holders cannot give a valid discharge of the entire decree without the concurrence of the others ........
2. Here the question is as to whether the, payment to the decree-holders 3 and 4 could be counted at least as satisfaction of the decree in respect of their shares. An answer to this question has been given by a Bench of the High Court of Bombay consisting of Rajadhyaksha and Vyas, JJ., in Valchand v. Manek Bai, : AIR1953Bom137 where while confirming the view of a single Judge of the same High Court, it has been observed as follows (Para 6) :
'The essence of the matter is that the decree sought to be executed is a joint decree and has to be executed as such. If the shares of the decree-holders are apparent on the face of the decree either expressly or by necessary implication, it is not strictly speaking a joint decree. In such a case, as Mr. Justice Shah has pointed out, each decree-holder can take out execution in respect of this own share. But where the shares of the respective decreeholders are not apparent on the face of the decree, either expressly or by necessary implication, the decree which is sought to be executed is a joint decree, and the judgment debtors must render satisfaction to the whole body of the decree-holders. Where one of the decree-holders is authorised to receive payment on behalf of all, the payment to him is obviously payment to the whole body of decree-holders. But save in such case satisfaction must be rendered to the whole body of the judgment-creditors.'
3. Where there is a joint decree in the sense there is no apportionment in the decree of the shares of the several decree-holders, it is not possible to mutilate the same and enter satisfaction piecemeal in respect of only such of the decree-holder or decree-holders who choose to receive amounts from the judgment debtor or judgment-debtors. The reason is such a decree is a joint one and none of the decree-holders has any defined share as such. The payment and satisfaction could be either in part or in full in respect of only the decree as such 4th it must be to the whole body of the decree-holders or their authorized agent. One or more of the several decree-holders of a joint decree could be an agent or agents of the other or others. It is not the case here of the judgment-debtors that decree-holders 3 and 4 received the amount towards the decree as such, and as authorised agents of the other decree-holders. The wording of O.21, R. l(l)(b) of the Code is unambiguous and plain and construing the expression 'degree holder' occurring in that provision as per the General Clauses Act so as to include the decree-holders in plurality, payment towards the decree dues out of Court could only be to the whole body of decree-holders when the decree is a joint and indivisible one or to the authorised agent of such joint decree-holders. The payment could be in part or full towards such a decree, but no payment could be counted individually against one or the other of the joint decree-holders.
4. In the ab6ve view, I cannot take exception to the order passed by the Court: below. Accordingly, the revision fails and the same is dismissed. I make no order as to costs.
5. Petition dismissed.