1. This S. R. is sought to be filed by the plaintiff as a civil revision petition to revise the order of the Subordinate Judge of Erode. in I. A. No. 289 of 1965 in O. S. No. 87 of 1956. The suit is one for partition. Defendants 102 and 115 belonged to the branch of the first defendant. The office raised an objection and hence it is posted before me for orders.
2. It will be relevant to note briefly the facts of the case. One Marimuthu Pillai who owned large extent of properties. died on 10-4-1953 leaving two wives and children. His first wife had two sons who were the first defendant and husband of the third defendant. Defendants 102 and 115 are the sons of the first defendant. The daughters of the third defendant are defendants 4 and 5. The second wife of Marimuthu Pillai is the second defendant. Her son is the plaintiff. An interim final decree was passed in respect of the relief's prayed for. The following terms of the decree may be relevant for consideration:
'.............. 4. The plaintiff and the defendants 1 to 3 are each entitled to 1/4th share in the schedule item covered by Ex. A-1 excluding the movables taken from the safe in house No. 76 Cauvery Road Karungapalayam; 5. The motor cycle claimed by the 102nd defendant and 10 HP electric motor pump claimed by the 89th defendant also belong to the family and these defendants have no title over these two items.
6. The fixed deposit receipts in the name of Rajagopala Pillai to the extent of Rs. 86,000 belong to the 3rd defendant. The plaintiff and the 1st defendant are also entitled to the fixed deposits for the like amount which they have already cashed and realized. The second defendant shall not be entitled to the sum of Rs. 86,000 for her share as her share as she has taken it by way of cash amounting to Rs. 73,000 and also two promissory notes for Rs. 13,000 executed by Subbaraya Pillai................'
3-4. The more relevant clause in the decree is this :--
'.............. 7. The second defendant shall be liable to account for the income from the immovable properties she has received and other outstandings collected by her after the death of Marimuthu Pillai for as well as the jewels that belong to the family.'
5. The aggrieved parties to the above decree preferred three appeals to the High Court. The High Court dismissed the appeals after slightly modifying the decree of the lower Court. The High Court observed that defendants 102 and 115, the sons of the first defendant, who have since become divided from their father are entitled to 1/3rd share each in the cash and other movables that will be allotted to the share of the first defendant and the share of defendants 102 and 115 could be worked out in the same suit.
6. Defendants 102 and 115 therefore filed I. A. 289 of 1965 under Order 20, Rule 18 and Section 151, C. P. Code for directing respondents 1 and 5, the children of the second defendant who were impleaded as legal representatives of the second defendant after her death, to render accounts of the income from the immovable properties the second defendant had received and their outstandings collected by her after the death of Marimuthu Pillai as well as jewels that belong to the family and pay one-sixth share of the amount found due to them.
7. In respect of the cash of Rupees 73,000 kept in the iron safe and another sum of Rs. 13,000 relating to promissory notes, the lower Court held that defendants 102 and 115 are entitled to 1/2th share. As regards the income from the immovable properties the lower Court held that the second defendant had realized not less than Rs. 25,000 as income and she was liable to pay the proportionate share due to defendants 102 and 115. In respect of the family jewels, the lower Court held that the second defendant was not liable to account for the same. In the result, the lower Court held that defendants 102 and 115 were entitled to Rs. 18,500 for their share. This order was passed on 18-1-1972. It was adjourned for payment of court-fees by the said defendants to 31-1-1972. It is stated that the court-fees was paid and the decree was passed.
8. This S. R. was filed in July, 1972, subsequent to the payment of court-fee and passing of the decree.
9. This S. R. was returned by the office pointing out that a revision would not lie and that an appeal alone would lie in view of a final decree having been passed in the matter and the amount due as per accounting having been ascertained and determined. It is the contention of the office that the order passed in I. A. 289 of 1965 is a decree within the meaning of Section 2(2). C. P. Code and that it would, therefore, be appealable as a decree.
10. The learned counsel for the petitioner represented that the suit for partition had been disposed of and a final decree had also been passed and that the present petition was filed by the sons of the first defendant under Order 20, Rule 18 and Section 151, C. P. Code only to work out their rights and obtain their share and while doing so, they also asked for accounting in regard to the income from the family properties, outstandings jewels etc. It is contended by the petitioner that Order 20, Rule 18, C.P.C. provides for a preliminary decree being passed under certain circumstances and there was no scope for such a preliminary decree in view of the facts of the case and the lower Court acted without jurisdiction in entertaining the petition and making orders thereon. In other words, it is the contention of the petitioner that the order passed in I. A. 289 of 1965 must be deemed to be an order and not a decree within the meaning of Section 2(2) of the C. P. Code.
11. The question, therefore, that arises for consideration is whether the order passed in I. A. 289 of 1965 is an order within the meaning of Section 2(14), C. P. Code or a decree within the meaning of Section 2(2), C.P.C.
12. Section 2(14) C.P.C. defines 'order' as the formal expression of any decision of a civil Court which is not a decree. 'Decree' is defined in Section 2(2), C.P.C. as the formal expression of an adjudication which conclusively determines the rights of the parties with regard to all or any of the matters in controversy in the suit and may be either preliminary or final, but shall not include any adjudication from which an appeal lies as an appeal from and order, or an order of dismissal for default.
13. The application before the lower Court was filed under Order 20, rule 18 and Section 151, C. P. Code. It is rather curious that the counsel for the petitioner would now state that that applications should not have been entertained under Order 20, Rule 18, C.P.C., by the lower Court though the petitioner himself had filed the application under the said order. There cannot be any doubt that Order 20, Rule 18 C. P. Code deals only with the passing of the preliminary decree. There cannot be any dispute that the stage of the preliminary decree has passed in the suit and it has come to the stage of final decree. The shares and liabilities of the parties have been determined; but on this application, the extent of the liabilities has been ascertained and an order has been passed to that effect. It must, therefore, be construed as a final decree. There can be several final decrees depending upon the circumstances of each case. The order in I. A. 289 of 1965 is therefore, an adjudication between the parties which conclusively determined the rights of the parties in respect of the extent of the liabilities by ascertaining and determining the exact amount payable by on party to the other. This order must, therefore, be considered as a decree enforceable and executable as a decree.
14. The learned counsel for the petitioner contends that what was ordered in the interlocutory application would remain as an order till the court-fee was paid. In other words, the contention of the learned counsel was that the order will amount to a decree only after the court-fee was paid. I am unable to see any substance in this point. If court-fee is not paid, the order will be a useless one which cannot be enforced or executed. Mere order which cannot be enforced does not affect the parties concerned. This point, however, does not arise in this case as the court-fee was paid and this petition was filed long subsequent to the payment of court-fee. I am, therefore of the view that the order passed in I. A. 289 of 1965 is a final decree and that an appeal alone will lie against the said decree. The revision petition is not maintainable. The office was right in returning the S. R. to the petitioner as not maintainable as revision petition. Ordered accordingly. The office may receive this as an appeal after collecting the court-fee.
15. Order accordingly.