1. The point that arises for consideration in revision turns upon the construction of Section 4, Sub-section (5) of the Madras Tenants and Ryots Protection Act (Madras Act XVII of 1946). The section reads as follows
Where a suit or other proceeding is stayed under Sub-section (1), the tenant or ryot shall, so long as this Act is in force, deposit or continue to deposit in Court, for payment to the landlord, each year's rent as it accrues due, within a period of two months from the date on which it becomes payable or such further period or periods not exceeding two months in the aggregate as may be allowed by the Court.
The lower Court held that it had no power to extend the time beyond four months from the date the rent accrued due. The Sub-section does not in express terms confine the jurisdiction of a Court to extend only up to a continuous period of four months. Mr. Variar for the respondent argues that the words 'further period' in Sub-section (5) can only mean a further period in continuation of a prior period of two months. The use of the words 'further period' does not necessarily show that the additional period should be in continuation of the prior period. One can easily visualise the various contingencies when this power of giving additional time would be valueless if it was confined only to a continuous period of four months. If the intention of the Legislature was to confine the period to a continuous period of four months, it should have said so in clearer terms. It is further argued that the different words used in Sub-sections (4) and (5) would necessarily show that the intention of the Legislature was different. In Sub-section (4) the words are
allow the deposit to be made within a specified period not exceeding one month and may extend it by such period or periods not exceeding one month in the aggregate.
In Sub-section (5), words are 'such further period or periods not exceeding two months.' The omission of the word ' further ' in Sub-section (4) and the mention of it in Sub-section (5) it is argued must have been made to indicate different ideas and that the word ' further ' in the context can only mean in continuation of the prior period. It has been held by this Court that the Court under Sub-section (4) has power to give time which need not necessarily be in continuation of the prior period. That Sub-section itself draws a distinction between giving time and extending time. The use of the word ' extension ' clearly brings out the idea that the period so extended is a continuation of the prior period. The fact that the Legislature instead of using the word ' extend ' used the expression ' further ' in Sub-section (5) shows that the power is not to extend but grant time which can be at any time when the Court is asked to exercise the discretion. Mr. Justice Panchapakesa Ayyar in G.R.P. No. 1469 of 1947 though he decided the case on a different point, made observations which seems to support Mr. Variar's argument; but the observations are merely obiter. The lower Court's order is set aside and the matter is remanded to the lower Court to be disposed of in accordance with law.
2. The costs to abide the result.