Skip to content


Thangammal and ors. Vs. K. Dhanalakshmi and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLimitation
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberA.A.O. No. 226 of 1978
Judge
Reported inAIR1981Mad254
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - 0rder 21, Rules 89, 92, 92(2) and 99; Limitation Act, 1963 - Schedule - Article 127; ;Uynitation Act - Schedule - Article 127
AppellantThangammal and ors.
RespondentK. Dhanalakshmi and anr.
Appellant AdvocateSubramaniam and ;J. Nagaraian, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateN. Varadaraian, Adv.
Cases ReferredSubbammal v. P. G. Thevar.
Excerpt:
.....days. the court below took the view that though the filing of an application to set aside the sale on deposit falls under the purview of order xxi, rule 89, order xxi, rule 92(2) is the operative portion, that as per rule 92(2) which is a mandatory provision the deposit has to be made within thirty days from the date of the sale, that the provision in article 127 of the limitation act is a general provision for an application for setting aside the sale under order xxi, rules 89, 90 and 91 and that such a general provition cannot nullity the mandatory provision in rule 92(2). the judgment-debtors preferred an appeal before the high court.; the question that arose for consideration was whether an application to set aside the sale field under order xxi, rule 89 within sixty days as per..........and gives proper effect to the provisions contained in art. 127 of the limitation act fixing 30 days period of limitation for filing an application for setting aside a - sale on deposit and the provision in 0. 21 rule 92 (2), c. p. code. providing for the consequences of a deposit within 30 days. but the position appears to be different after the amending act 104 of 1976 came into force which has amended art. 127 of the limitation act, by fixing 60 days, as the period of limitation for filing an application under 0. 21 rule 89. however, order 21, rule 92 (2) which enables the court to set aside a sale if the deposit is made within 30 days from the date of the sale has not been amended. it is in the light of these two conflicting provisions it has to be seen whether the application for.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. This appeal involves an interesting question of law arising out of two inconsistent provisions6 one occurring in the Limitation Act and the other occurring in the Civil Procedure Code.

IA. The appellants herein were the judgment debtors in 0. S. No. 244 of 1961. on the file of the Sub Court, Coimbatore. The decree in the said suit was put in execution in ILP.No. 281 of 1977 and the appellants' Properties had been sold in court auction on 21-11:977. for a sum of Rs. 45060. The appeltants came forward with a petition in E. A. No. 202 of 1978 on 24-1-1978 to set aside the sale on depositing the entire decree amount, commission and poundage under 0. 21, Rule 89, C. P. Code.

2. The said application for setting aside the sale was opposed by the auction purchaser on the ground that the deposit had been made beyond 30 days from the date of the sale and. therefore. it was, not maintainable. The decree holder however did not file any counter opposing the application. The court below upheld the objection put forward by the auction purchaser that as 'the deposit had not been made within 30 days from the date of the sale as per Order 21. Rule 92 (2) of the application. for setting aside the sale under Or. 21. Rule 89 cannot be maintained. The said decision of the lower court has been challenged in this appeal on the ground that the time for filing an application under Or. 21. Rule 89 having been fixed under Article 127 of the Limitation, Act of 1963. as 60 days and the application for setting aside the sale and the deposit of the amount being within the said 60 days, the court below is in error in dismissing the application as barred by time.

3. In this case. the sale took place on 21-12-1977 and the deposit of the entire decree amount, commission and poundage had been made on 23-1-1978 and the application for setting aside the sale has been filed on 24-1-1978. Before the court below the contention on behalf of the auction Purchaser was that not with standing the longer period of limitation fixed under Art. 127 of the Limitation Act for filing an application to set aside the File by a judgment debtor, the deposit has to be made within 30 days as provided under 0. 21, Rule 92 (2) and that as the deposit had not admittedly been made within 30 days from the date of the sale, the application is not maintainable. The Court below took the view that through the filing, of an application to set aside the sale on deposit falls under the purview of 0. 21, Rule 89, Order 21, Rule 92 is the operative provision, that as per Rule 92 (2) which is a mandatory Provision the deposit has to be made within thirty days from the date of the sale, that the provision in Art. 127 of the Limitation Act is a general Provision for filing an application for setting aside the sale under Or. 21. Rules 89. 90 and 91 and that such a general provision cannot nullify the mandatory wo4ision in Rule 92 (2).

4. In support of its view that 0. 21, Rule 92 (2) is a mandatory provision and therefore the deposit has to be made within 30 days from the date of sale. the lower court has referred to the following two decisions of this court, namely, Vannisami Thevar v. Periasami Thevar, 3 MLW 271: AIR 1917 Mad 176 and Subbammal v. P. G..Thevar. : AIR1974Mad278 . In the first decision a Division Bench of this court has observed that the provisions of 0. 21, Rule 89, C. P. C. is in the nature of an indulgence to judgment debtors and courts are bound to see that the provisions of law are very strictly conformed to, that the deposit within 30 days is much more important than the application to set aside the sale, that if the deposit is made within 30 days even on oral application to set aside the sale is sufficient. that the expression 'on his depositing' in 0. 21, Rule 89 (1), C. P. C. qualifies the word 'apply' occurring in that rule and that the requirements of Order 21. Rule 92 (2) of the deposit being' made within 30 days are mandatory and not directory and that the court had no power to extend the period of 30 days fixed by the Code for making the deposit. In the second case Subbammal v. P. G. Thevar. : AIR1974Mad278 . it has been held that the Provision in Order 21. Rule 85. which makes it obligatory on the part of the auctionpurchaser to deposit the full amount of purchase money within 15 days from the date of sale is a mandatory provision and the Court has no Dower to extend the time for deposit of the said purchase money. However. I fail to see how these decisions will be of any assistance to the respondents in this appeal. The second decision referred to above deals with a different provision in Order 21. Rule 85. and it cannot be taken to throw any light on the interpretation of Order 21. Rule 92 (2). The first decision though dealt with the scope of Order 21. Rule 92 (2). the same was rendered at a time when time fixed under the Limitation Act for filing an application for setting aside the sale under Order 21. Rule 89 was also 30 days. Since the time for filing an application for setting aside the sale under Order 21. Rule 89, by a judgment-debtor was 30 days under Art. 127 of the Limitation Act of 1963. before its amendment the time for making the debit was also taken to be 30 days and the consequence of non-deposit of the amount within 30 days was that the sale has to be confirmed under Order 21. Rule 92 (1). The said decision. is quite consistent and gives proper effect to the provisions contained in Art. 127 of the Limitation Act fixing 30 days period of limitation for filing an application for setting aside a - sale on deposit and the provision in 0. 21 Rule 92 (2), C. P. Code. providing for the consequences of a deposit within 30 days. But the position appears to be different after the Amending Act 104 of 1976 came into force which has amended Art. 127 of the Limitation Act, by fixing 60 days, as the period of limitation for filing an application under 0. 21 Rule 89. However, Order 21, Rule 92 (2) which enables the Court to set aside a sale if the deposit is made within 30 days from the date of the sale has not been amended. It is in the light of these two conflicting provisions it has to be seen whether the application for setting aside the sale filed in this case beyond 30 days but before 60 days is maintainable as contended for by the appellants.

5. Article 127 of the Limitation Act,1963. as amended in 1976 is as follows-

'Description of Period of Time fromapplication limitation which periodbegins to runTo set aside a sale in execution of Sixty days The date of sale

a decree, including any such application

by a judgment debtor.

5A. Order 21. Rule 89 (1) is in the following terms:-

'Where immoveable property has been sold in execution of a decree. any person claiming an interest in the property sold at that time of the sale or at the time of making the application. or acting for or in the interest of such Person, may apply to have the sale set aside on his depositing in the court-(a) for payment to the purchaser. a sum equal to five per cent of the purchase money-, and N for payment to the decree holder, the amount specified in the Proclamation of sale as that for the recovery of which the sale was ordered. less any amount which may. since the date of such proclamation of sale. have been received by the decree-holder'.

6. Rule 92 provides in what circumstances a sale will become absolute or it will be set aside. Rule 92 (1) enables the Court to confirm a sale under certain circumstances. Rule 92 (2) enables the Court to set aside a sale in certain events. Rule 92 (2) with which we are concerned now is as follows-

'Where such application is made and allowed. and where in the case of an application under Rule 89. the deposit required by that rule is made within 30 days from the date of sale or in cases where the amount deposited under Rule 89 is found to be deficient owing to any clerical or arithmetical mistake on the Dart of the depositor and such deficiency has been made good within such time as may be fixed by the Court. the Court shall make an order setting aside the sale'.

7. The court below has construed Rule 92 (2) as rule providing a period of limitation of 30 days for making the deposit under Order 21. Rule 89 and as that is a special provision fixing a period of limitation for making the deposit in the Civil Procedure Code. the period of limitation prescribed in Art. 127 of the Limitation Act for Mine an application for setting aside the sale which is a general provision cannot operate. The question is whether the said view is legally tenable.

8. On a proper interpretation of Rule 92 (2) it is not possible to say that it provides for a period of limitation for making the deposit as has been held by the court below. Rule 92 (2) merely enables the court to set aside the sale I the. deposit required to be made under Rule 89 is made within 30 days from the date of sale. Such a provision cannot be treated as a provision fixing a period of limitation. The result of non-de-posit of, the amount within 30 days may end in the dismissal of the application made under Order 21. Rule 89 that will enable the court to confirm the sale under. Rule 92 (1). As already pointed out. the deposit of the amount within 30 days from the date of the sale has been referred to in Rule 92 (2) as the original period of limitation for filing duplication under Order 21. Rule 89 was 301 days under the Limitation Act. But that period has since been enlarged to 60 days. When under the Limitation Act al judgment debtor had 60 days for filing an application under Order 21. Rule 89 he can deposit the amount even on the 60th day and file the necessary application under Rule 89. To say that notwithstanding the enlarged period of 60 days given under Art. 127 of the Limitation Act the judgment debtor has to deposit the amount within 30 days as otherwise his application for setting aside the sale under Rule 89 cannot be maintained is to brine in the old period of limitation of 30 days for filing an application under Rule 89. A conjoint reading of Art. 127 of the Limitation Act and Order 21. Rules 89 and 92 will clearly indicate that Rule 92 (2) merely declares the right-, of Parties arising as a result of the disposal of the application under Order 21. Rule 89. Once a right is given to the judgment debtor under Order 21. Rule 89 to set aside a sale on deposit of an amount by filing an application within 60 days that right cannot be taken away under Rule 92 (2) by insisting on the payment of the amount within 30 days. Obviously the Legislature has overlooked reference to 30 days in Rule 92 (2) when it enlarged the period of limitation under the Limitation Act for filing an application under Rule 89. This appears to be a clear case. of cases omissus. Even otherwise, the Legislature cannot be taken to have provided two Periods of limitation. one for making an application for setting aside a sale under Order 21. Rule 89 and another for deposit of the amount which is a condition Precedent for making such an application. If Rule 92 (2) were to be construed as a provision for i3rovidine a limitation for making a deposit. it will mean that though the Limitation Act does not contemplate a separate period of limitation for making the deposit contemplated in R. 89 of Order 21, the Civil Procedure Code has intended to Provide a separate period of limitation for making the deposit. As making the deposit is a condition precedent for filing an application for setting aside a sale under Order 21. Rule 89, the Legislature would not have intended to provide a separate and different period of limitation for making the deposit, thus in effect. Defeating the object of enlarging the period of limitation from 30 days to 60 days. It is seen that Art. 127 of the Limitation Act was amen4ed enlarging the period of limitation from 30 days to 60 days based on the recommendation of the Law Commission in its 54th report which is to the following effect-

'An application to set aside a sale on, deposit under Order 21. Rule 89 has to be made within 30 days of the date of sale. It has been stated that this period Proves to be too short in practice. and often causes hardship inasmuch as the judgment debtor cannot arrange for moneys within that time. Banks take a far longer period than one month in sanctioning advances. and it has been suggested that the period should, therefore, be increased. We find some force in this suggestion. and are inclined to accept it. No doubt. the law should take into account the position of the Purchaser also but. since five per cent of the purchase money has to be paid to him under the rule, no serious prejudice is likely to be caused to him by an increase in the waiting period. Accordinglv, we recommend that in the Limitation Act 1963. in the schedule in the second column against Entry 127. for the words 'thirty days' the words 'sixtydays' should be substituted'

9. The above recommendation makes it abundantly clear that the enlargement of the Period of limitation from 30 days to 60 days was made as the Period of 30 days fixed earlier was found quite insufficient for the judgment debtors to make preparations for arranging funds for effecting deposit which is a condition precedent for filing an application under Order 21. Rule 89. It is only in the light of the object of the enlargement of the period of. limitation from 30 days to 60 days in Art. 127, the scope of Rule 92 (2) has to be considered. As already stated. Rule 92 (2) on the f ace of it cannot be construed as a -provision providing for limitation for making a deposit contemplated in Rule 89, much less as a provision fixing a period different from the period of limitation Prescribed under Art. 127 of the Limitation Act. it is well known that the deposit contemplated under Rule 89 is a condition precedent to an application under that rule and. therefore. the deposit itself must be with in the period of limitation contemplated by Art. 1.27. If Rule 92 (2) is construed literally. then even in a case where the deposit is made within 3.0 days but the application has not been made within N davs the sale has to, be set. aside as per that rule. However. it is well established that a sale in execution can be set aside only if an application -is made for that Purpose under Rule 89 within the period of limitation., Thus Rule 92 (2) if construed in the literal sense Will enable the court to set aside the sale once the deposit has been made as contemplated by that rule within 30 days even without an application therefore. Such an anomaly can be avoided if we construe Rule 92 (2) as an enabling provision and not as a provision fixing a period of limitation for making the deposit.

10. Even if it could be construed as a Provision prescribing a Period of limitation for making the deposit. I am of the view that it should be read subject to Art. 127 of the Limitation Act which should be taken to be a special Act in the circumstances of this case and not a general provision as has been construed by the court below.

11. Even assuming that Rule 92 is a provision fixing the period of limitation for making a deposit which is a condition precedent for filing an application under Rule 89, still. in so far as it is inconsistent with the provision in Article 127 of the Limitation Act. it should give way. Generalia specialibus nonderogant (general provision do not derogate from special provisions). What is a general statute and what is a special statute is often a question of difficulty to solve in most cases. but the classification has to be made with reference to the context in each case and the subject matter dealt with by each statute.For, most Acts can be classed as general Acts from one point of view and special Acts from another. Having regard to the preambles to the two Acts namely. the Civil Procedure Code and the Limitation Act, it may be taken that in the Particular context the provision of the limitation Act should taken as a special . enactment and the provision in the Civil Procedure Code should be taken to be general. The Civil Procedure Code deals with the Procedure of the courts and the Limitation Act deals with the Periods of limitation for suits and other proceedings. Hence in the matters of limitation, the Limitation Act is to be taken as a special Act and the Civil Procedure Code can only be taken to be a general Act. It is a well established rule if construction that when there is repugnance or inconsistency between a general enactment and a special enactment. the latter Must Prevail over the former and the former must yield in favour of the latter to the extent of repugnancy. Here admittedly there is a conflict between Art. 127 of the Limitation Act and Rule 92 (2) of Order 21, C. P. Code. Article 127 is a special later law while Rule 92 (2) is the earlier general law and therefore former must prevail over the latter. and the latter must give way to the former. Therefore the view taken by the court below that Art. 127 of the Limitation Act is a general Provision and therefore it should be subject to the special provision in Order 21. Rule 92 (2) cannot be sustained.

12. In this view of the matter both the deposit and the application for setting aside the sale under Order 21, Rule 89. having been made within 60 days as prescribed in Art. 127 of the Limitation Act. the application should be taken to be within time. The appeal is. therefore, allowed and the application for setting aside the sale will stand allowed as the amount deposited has not been questioned as deficient in any manner. There will, how-ever, be no order as to costs.

13. Appeal allowed.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //