Satyanarayana Rao, J.
1. This is an application under Section 55 of the Malabar Tenancy (Amendment) Act 1951, (Act 33 of 1951) - for stay of the hearing of the appeal A. S. No. 530 Of 1949.
2. Our learned brother Subba Rao J. referred this application and appeal to a Bench for an authoritative decision on the interpretation of Sections 54 and 55 of the Malabar Tenancy (Amendment) Act 1951 (Act 33 of 1951).
3. The appeal by the defendants arises out of a suit filed by the respondent for recovery of rent by sale of the defendants' rights in the properties mentioned in the schedule attached to the plaint. The suit was decreed by the trial Court for a sum of Rs. 2203-15-4 and proportionate costs together with interest, and a period of three months was given for payment. The decree provided that, if the amount was not paid within the time fixed the tenancy rights of the defendants in the plaint schedule properties should be sold and the proceeds applied in discharge of the above debt. The defendants are the appellants and the present application is by the first defendant.
4. The suit was instituted on 12-12-1946, and the written statements were filed in March 1947, by the first and second defendants. At that time the Madras Tenants and Ryots Protection Act, 1946 (Act 17 of 1946) was in force. Under Section 4 of that Act power was given to stay suits and proceedings for eviction of tenants and also suits or proceedings in which the sale of the holding of a tenant or ryot for recovery of rent was claimed, whether the suit was pending at the commencement of the Act or was instituted thereafter. The defendants' tenants made no attempt to take advantage of these provisions as apparently they did not wish to comply with the requirements of that Act bydepositing the rent. The suit was therefore tried and a decree was passed. The Madras Tenants and Ryote Protection Act, 1946, continual in force for a period of two years in the first instance and power was conferred on the Provincial Government to extend the life of the Act for further period or periods not exceeding two years in the aggregate. After the expiry of the period, the Madras Tenants and Ryots Protection Act, 1949 (Act 24 of 1949) was passed, continuing the benefits of the previous Act to the tenants.
The appeal in this Court was filed on 23-3-1949; the decree in the suit was passed on 20-7-1948- Act 24 of 1949 continued in force till 7-10-1953, and the period was further extended by a notification till 6-10-1954, so that the Madras Tenants and Ryots Protection Act, 1949 continued in force at the present time. The Malabar Tenancy Act, 1929 (Act 24 of 1930) was radically amended by the Malabar Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1951 (Act 33 of 1951). Though the Act received the assent of the President on 18-10-1951 and was published in the Fort St. George Gazette on 23-10-1951, under Section 1(3) of that Act, only Sections 48, 49, 51, 54 and 55 came into force immediately and it was provided by Section 1(3) that the rest of the Act shall come into force on such date as the state Government may, by notification in the Port St. George Gazette, appoint. No notification has yet been issued.
5. There are two sections which are relevant for the purpose of the present discussion. By the time the Amending Act of 1951 came into force some of the suits and other proceedings were stayed by Courts under the provisions of the Madras Tenants and Ryots Protection Acts. Section54 (1) of the Act of 1951 extended the provisions or the Madras Tenants and Ryots Protection Act, 19*9, to tenants in the Gudalur taluk of the Nil-giri district and to tenants in the villages in the South Kanar'a District specified in the schedule to the Act. Sub-section (2) of that section laid down :
'The Madras Tenants and Ryots Protection Act, 1949, in so far as it applies to tenants in the district of Malabar and in the other areas referred to in Sub-section (1) shall stand repealed with effect from such date as the state Government may, by notification in the Fort St. George Gazette, appoint.'
It is common ground that till now the notification contemplated by this sub-section has not been issued. Under Sub-section (3) of Section 54 after the date of the contemplated notification the trial of all the suits and proceedings stayed under the Madras Tenants and Ryote Protection Act, 1949, will have to be proceeded with from the stage which they had reached on the date when they were stayed and have to bo decided in accordance with the provisions of the Malabar Tenancy Act, 1929 as amended by the Amending Act of 1951. Section55 is in these terms:
'All suits, pppeals and other proceedings, not governed by the preceding section which are pending at the commencement of this section or which may be instituted after such commencement, shall if the provisions of the Malabar Tenancy Act, 1929 are in force or may be brought into force in respect of the subject-matter to which the suits, appeals or other proceedings relate stand stayed until the date referred to in Section 54, Sub-section (2), and shall, thereafter, bo disposed of in accordance with Sub-section (3) of that section, including the provisos thereto.'
Section 55 applies, as is clear from its language, to suits, appeals and other proceedings which are not governed by the proceeding Section 54. But if suits, appeals and other proceedings, not governed by Section54 were pending at the commencement of Section 55 or were instituted after such commencement, to which suite the provisions of the Malabar Tenancy Act, 1929, applied or were made applicable later on in respect of such subject-matter to which the suits, appeals or other proceedings related, they should stand stayed until the date referred to in Section 54(2), that is, the date of the notification and thereafter all such suits, appeals, and other proceedings also should be disposed of in accordance with Sub-section (3) of Section 54, i.e., applying the provisions of the Malabar Tenancy Act, 1929, as amended by the Amending Act, 1951. If Section 54 applies to a suit, appeal or other proceeding, it is clear from the language of Section 55, that that section cannot be invoked to stay such suit, appeal or other proceedings. In such a case the only course open to the tenant is to seek protection under the Madras Tenants and Ryots Protection Act, 1949. But in cases not governed fay the Madras Tenants and Ryots Protection Act, 1949, but which are governed by the Malabar Tenancy Act, 1929, with or without the amendment, recourse could be had only to Section 55 in order to have the suits, appeals or other proceedings stayed.
The present case is one to which undoubtedly the Madras Tenants and Ryots Protection Acts of 1946 and 1949 applied and the defendants never invoked the provisions of those Acts to get a stay of either the trial of the suit or of the appeal here for the reason that the conditions of stay under those Acts are more stringent in that they require a certain amount to be deposited as a condition for obtaining stay and also for continuation of the stay. It is contended before us, with some insistence, that if, in fact, the provisions of those Acts were not invoked, it would be open to the tenant to rely on the provisions of Section 55 to obtain stay of the proceedings without subjecting himself to any conditions. We are unable to agree with this contention for the reason that the language of Section 55 shows that it applies only to appeals and other proceedings not governed by Section 54. The expression 'governed' means that the rule laid down in Section 54 is applicable to the suit or proceedings and does not require that it should have been taken advantage of and that stay obtained. In other words, the contention was that if the proceedings were stayed under the Madras Tenants and Ryots Protection Acts of 1946 or 1949, then alone the exclusion under Section 55 will apply i.e., the exclusion of Section 54(2); but if the suits were not stayed under the Madras Tenants and Ryots Protection Acts of 1946 or 1949 or recourse was not had to the provision for obtaining stay, it would be open to the tenant to rely on Section 55. We are unable to accept such a narrow construction of Section 55, as in our opinion the language of Section 55 is clear.
If in fact the provision of Section 54(2) governs a particular suit, appeal or proceeding, whether the tenant took advantage of that provision or not, he is prevented from relying on Section 55 for obtaining stay of the suit, appeal or other proceeding. We therefore think that the contention of the applicant, that there should be an automatic stay under Section 55, must be repelled. Our attention was drawn to a decision of our learned brother Ramaswaml J. in 'C. M. P. No. 10561 of 1952 in C. R. P. No. 2066 of 1952 (Mad) (A)'. We are in entire agreement with the conclusion of the learned Judge.
6. For these reasons we have no hesitation indismissing the application for stay under Section 55 ofthe Malabar Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1951, (Act33 of 1951). No order as to costs on this application.