1. The only question in this case is whether the delay in filing the appeal to the lower appellate Court should be excused and the appeal allowed to proceed or the appeal should be dismissed, the delay not being excused. The appeal was originally presented to the High Court on 13th July 1925. It was directed to be returned by order dated 18th September 1930. There was no further delay in representation to the District Court where it ought to have been presented on 5th March 1925. The District Judge held that the period which elapsed after 13th July 1925 may be excluded from the computation but held that the interval between 5th April 1925 and 13th July 1925 cannot be excluded.
2. It is conceded on all hands that at that time the practice was to file such appeals (under the Land Acquisition Act Section 54) to the High Court. The two decisions of this Court S.R. 7968 of 1927, Devadoss and Jackson, JJ., and Venkatareddi v. Adinarayan Rao 1929 Mad. 351 holding that the appeal lay to the District Court and not to the High Court were passed after 1925. But the learned District Judge held that the decision in Ramaohandra Rao v. Ramchandra Rao 1922 P.C. 80 on which these two decisions were based was passed on 24th January 1925 and that its effect is that appeals should be filed to the District Court and not to the High Court. The actual decision in Ramaohandra Rao v. Ramchandra Rao 1922 P.C. 80 relates to the question of res judicata, but, the reasoning in it leads to the conclusion that the decree in question was a decree and that an appeal lies to the District Court. The District Judge observes:
It will be apparent that Section 54 impliedly affirms that appeals shall lie from the decision of the Courts constituted under the Act as if they were decrees.
3. As to this, I would only say that what is implied cannot be apparent and until the Court actually decided the point in 1927, the practice was to file appeals in the High Court. In these circumstances I hold that the District Judge should have excused the delay : Sunderabai v. Collector of Belgaum 1918 P.C. 135. I excuse the delay, reverse the decree of the District Judge and remand the case for disposal according to law. The court-fee paid by the appellant in appeal shall be refunded. All other costs will abide the result.