1. This is a petition against the order of the District Munsif of Kovvur dismissing an application under Section 20 of Madras Act IV of 1938 praying, for stay of delivery of property in execution of a decree.
2. A simple money decree had been passed against the petitioner and in execution of that decree certain property of his was brought to sale and the sale was confirmed. A petition was put in for delivery of the property and at the time when this application under Section 20 was made, no orders had been passed on the delivery petition. The District Munsif, without giving any reasons for his opinion, stated that no execution petition was pending and dismissed the petition.
3. There would be a very serious hiatus in Madras Act IV of 1938, if there was no provision to stay delivery pending an application under Sections 19 and 23 of the Act; but I am satisfied that no such hiatus exists. The terms of Section 20 are wide enough to cover a case of this sort. Delivery of property is the most important stage of execution and merely because full satisfaction has been entered up, it does not mean that execution is at an end. If the property purchased by the decree-holder has not been delivered to him, then execution is not at an end and Section 20 can therefore be applied to stay a delivery proceeding.
4. Some question has been raised whether in fact the petitioner has put in an application under Section 23 and whether, in case he has not, his proceedings under Section 19 would be infructuous. That question however does not arise at this stage, and the original petition under Section 19 asking the Court to stay the decree and set aside the sale and an amendment petition to make it clear that the application was also under Section 23 are still before the lower Court, and I do not wish to express any opinion on their merits.
5. The petition is therefore allowed and the interim order of stay passed at the time of admission made absolute pending disposal of the petitions in the Court below. The respondent will bear the costs of the petitioner in this Court.