1. This appeal is filed by the judgment-debtor in O. S. No. 155 of 1971 against the judgment of N. S. Ramaswami J., dismissing his appeal against the order of the II Additional Subordinate Judge, Cuddalore.
2. The suit O. S. No. 155 of 1971 was filed on 16-6-1971, for the recovery of a sum of Rs. 34980-82, against the present appellant on the foot of a security bond executed by him on 21-7-1962, for a sum of Rs. 15000 securing the properties described in the schedule. The second respondent was a puisne mortgagee. The appellant filed a written statement that the first respondent, had fraudulently suppressed the payment of interest in the security bond and if a proper account was taken, money will be due to the first respondent. When the suit was taken up for trial, the plaintiff agreed to take a special oath on his family deity that for the suit security bond no money except those shown by way of endorsement had been received by him. It was also agreed that on the plaintiff mortgagee taking such a oath, the suit may be decreed. The plaintiff took a special oath and the suit was decreed.
3. The judgment debtor filed an unnumbered execution application praying that the decree may be declared as a nullity having been passed by a Civil Court without jurisdiction. The executing Court dismissed the application, which was filed under section 47, C.P.C., on the ground that the relief claimed in the execution application does not relate to execution, discharge or satisfaction of the decree in the suit, and the executing court has no jurisdiction to go into the validity of the decree passed in the suit. The judgment debtor filed an appeal to this court in A. A. O. No. 13 of 1975.
4. Before the learned Judge, it was submitted that on the date when the special oath was taken the Oaths Act, 1873, which provided that when a special oath was taken under S. 10, it would be conclusive against the person who offered, was no longer in force as the said Act had been repealed in 1969 and that the new Act of 1969 dispensed with the procedure as to the taking of the special oath and its consequences. It is common ground that the special oath was taken in ignorance of the fact that the Oaths Act 1873, under which the procedure as to the taking of special oath was admitted, had been repealed and that the new Oaths Act had no provision for such a procedure. According to the learned counsel, taking of the special Oath is in the form of a trial by ordeal based on the agreement between the parties and as there has been no sanction in law for such a special procedure, the special oath has become invalid and the decree passed a nullity. In support of his contention, the learned counsel referred to the decision of this Court reported in Vasudeva Shanbog v. Naraina Pai ILR (1880) Mad 356. In that decision the difference between Regulation III of 1802, S. 6 and the Indian Oaths 1873, S. 11, was pointed out. The Court observed--
'But when the agreement was observed and the oaths taken, it was a mode of adjustment under the Regulation, while it is only conclusive evidence of the matter stated therein under the Act. In the one it was in itself a ground of decision, while in the other it is conclusive evidence of certain fact or facts, so that how far they might sustain a particular decision against the party bound by the oath would depend on the legal consequence of such fact or facts in relation to the relief prayed for'.
Regarding the effect of the special oath under Act 10 of 1873, the court pointed out that by requiring that the oath agreed to that by requiring that the oath agreed to be taken shall be repugnant neither to justice not to decency nor purport to affect any third person and making the oath a kind of special sanction, under which the evidence of a party or witness may be made conclusive by conduct, divested it of its character as an arbitrary and at times objectionable mode of settlement, and at the same time utilised its effect upon the conscience of a party or a witness, in the interests of justice, by constituting the agreement when it is observed into pre-appointed and irrebuttable evidence by consent.
5. The effect of the above observation would be that the result of a special oath would make the evidence given irrebuttable and that is what S. 11 specifically states.
6. We are unable to accept the contention of the learned counsel that because Oaths Act of 1873 had been repealed, what the plaintiff had stated on special oath is not evidence. It may be that if the appellants was aware that the Oaths Act of 1873, was not in force, he might have questioned the evidence of the plaintiff and submitted that it was not conclusive as against him. But, as it is, what the plaintiff had stated is evidence and the mere fact that he had given it under special oath will not deprive its status as evidence. Though S. 11 of the Oaths Act of 1873, was not in force and the appellant could have cross-examined the plaintiff, as the evidence now stands on record, the plaintiff's evidence has not been challenged. The result is that no interest has been paid except those that are endorsed on the document and the decree that was passed is perfectly proper. We refuse to accept the theory that because the plaintiff took a special oath he is in a worse position than if he had taken the ordinary oath. There is no substance in this appeal and it is dismissed.
7. Appeal dismissed.