Subba Rao, J.
1. The facts in this revision are simple. The Maharajah of Parlakimedi filed a suit on 15th November 1946 for recovery of rent under Section 77, Madras Estates Land Act. The Madras Act XVII  of 1946, which provides for the temporary protection of certain class of tenants and ryots in the Province of Madras, became law on 4th October 1946. The tenant made a deposit of the rent on 6th January 1947, that is more than two months after the commencement of the Act. He applied for stay of trial of the suit under the said Act. The lower Court dismissed the application on the ground that the deposit was made after the prescribed time. The tenant filed the above revision.
2. The learned counsel for the appellant, Mr. S. Suryaprakasam, contended that, on a proper construction of the provisions of Act, the payment of rent by his client is not a condition precedent for obtaining stay. The relevant provisions of the Act may be extracted :
'Section 4 (1). All suits, proceedings in execution of decrees or orders and other proceedings --
(a) for the eviction of tenants from their holdings of land, as the case may be, or in which a claim for such eviction is involved, whether in addition to a claim for rent or not, or
(b) In which the sale of the holding of a tenant or ryot for recovery of rent is claimed and which are pending at the commencement of this Act or may be instituted thereafter in any civil or revenue Court shall be stayed subject to the provisions of the following sub-sections .....
Section 4 (2). Where in a suit for eviction there is also a claim for rent, the tenant shall within two months from the date of the commencement of this Act or the date of institution of the suit, as the case may be, deposit in Court, for payment to the landlord, (i) in the case of a suit instituted before the commencement of this Act, the arrears of rent accrued due until the date of the commencement of this Act, at the rate claimed in the plaint or an amount equivalent to rent for the two years at the rate aforesaid, whichever is less,
(ii) in the case of a suit instituted on or after the commencement of this Act, the arrears of rent claimed in the plaint or an amount equivalent to rent for two years at the rate claimed in the plaint, whichever is less, together with such interest as may be payable under law, custom or agreement.
Section 4 (3). In the case of a decree or order for eviction, if the decree or order provides for payment of rent, or in the case of a decree, order or other proceeding for the sale of a holding to recover rent, the tenant or ryot shall, within two months from the date of the commencement of this Act, deposit in Court, for payment to the landlord, the amount payable under the decree or order or an amount equivalent to rent for two years immediately preceding the commencement of this Act, whichever is less.'
3. The contention of the learned counsel is that Sub-section (2), Section 4 does not apply to a suit for recovery of rent and that therefore the tenant need not deposit the amount under Sub-section (2), Clauses (i) and (ii) as the case may be. In regard to Sub-section (3), his argument is that the said sub-section applies only to proceedings after decree or order and in any view the word 'proceeding' could not include suit. If his argument is accepted, the result would be that in the case of suits for recovery of rents, the tenant would be entitled to a stay indefinitely without any liability on his part to deposit rent in Court. This would be contrary to the clear intention of the Legislature and would cause great prejudice to the landholder.
4. If without doing violence to the language, we can construe the relevant provisions of the Act so as to avoid that result, we should do so. In our view, the word 'proceeding' in Clause (3) is wide and comprehensive enough to include a suit also. If so interpreted, there would not be any lacuna in the Act or any injustice to either the land-holder or the tenant. This view was accepted also by Govindarajachari J. in Thyagaraja Iyer v. Abhishega Kattalai of Tiruvarur Devasthanam, : (1947)2MLJ421 . Though the learned Judge felt some difficulty, in order to avoid the lacuna he construed the word 'proceeding' in the same manner. In our view, the said judgment is correct.
5. In the circumstances, the revision petition is dismissed but without costs.