1. Purporting to act in the exercise of his discretion under Section 3(4)(b) of the Madras Cultivating Tenants Protection Act, 1955, the Revenue Divisional Officer passed an order on 24th April, 1957, which he thus concluded:
I order that the counter-petitioner should pay the above arrears to Sambandam Pillai on or before 21st May, 1957, failing which he will be ordered to be evicted from the suit lands.
2. The petition for eviction was posted to 22nd May, 1957. On that day, the tenant appeared before the Revenue Divisional Officer and presented a petition stating that he had brought Rs. 595 being the price of the 70 kalams of paddy which he had been ordered to pay the landlord on or before 21st May, 1957. The tenant requested the Revenue Divisional Officer to direct the landlord to receive the money. With reference to that request the Revenue Divisional Officer passed the following order:
As the counter-petitioner has failed to measure 70 kalams of paddy on or before 21st May, 1957, I have no other option except to evict the counter-petitioner. Accordingly, I order that the counter-petitioner should be evicted forthwith from the suit lands.
3. It is plain that the learned Revenue Divisional Officer purported to discharge the duty laid on him by the first sentence of Section 3(4)(6) of the Act, which says:
If the cultivating tenant fails to deposit the sum as directed, the Revenue Divisional Officer shall pass an order for eviction.
4. It is unfortunate that the learned Revenue Divisional Officer failed to adhere in his order passed on 24th April, 1957, to the requirements of Section 3(4)(6) of the Act. That section requires the Revenue Divisional Officer, if he considers it just and reasonable to do so, to allow the tenant time for depositing the arrears of rent. When arrears of rent are deposited as directed, the tenant would be deemed to have paid the rent under Sub-section (3)(b). Sub-section (3)(b) makes deposits to be made to avoid proceedings for eviction. The legislature deliberately used the word ' deposit ' in preference to expressions like 'pay to the landlord ' or' tender to the landlord ' so as to avoid any further enquiries as to alleged tenders or payments. This case is an illustration of the wisdom of the Legislature, if I may say so, in using the word 'deposit'. The Revenue Divisional Officer stated in his order, dated 24th April, 1957, that the tenant should pay the arrears to Sambandam Pillai on or before 21st May, 1957, failing which the tenant would be evicted. The Revenue Divisional Officer did not have adequate regard to the fact that the word 'pay' includes tender and receipt. What was to happen if the tenant tendered the amount of paddy on 21st May, 1957 and the landlord refused to receive it In that event, there would not be payment. Would it be just or proper to enforce the last part of the order--Revenue Divisional Officer's order--dated 24th April, 1957 and direct eviction? It is necessary particularly in administering special Acts that officers should pay special attention to the language used in the Acts. An order directing a deposit would not give rise to difficulties in implementation. There could be no controversy as to whether there was a deposit or not, while there might be controversy as to whether there was payment or tender. Section 3(4)(b) makes it obligatory on the Revenue Divisional Officer to order eviction in the event only of failure to deposit. Not having made an order for deposit, the Revenue Divisional Officer was wrong in holding that he had no option except to pass an order for eviction. The order passed by the Revenue Divisional Officer on 22nd May, 1957, is set aside. He will restore the petitions to his file and if he considers it just and reasonable to do so make an order fixing a date for deposit of the price of the paddy payable as rent and then proceed further with the petitions. The proceedings should be expedited. The parties will bear their own costs in this Court.