S. Ramachandra Iyer, C.J.
1. This Civil Revision Petition raises an interesting question regarding the power of the Revenue Court functioning under the Madras Cultivating Tenants. Protection Act to pass a self-contained and conditional order for eviction. The respondent, the owner of certain agricultural lands, sought the eviction of the petitioner, his cultivating tenant, on the ground that the latter had defaulted in the due payment of rent. The petitioner admitted that he was in arrears and promised to pay up the same by 12th March, 1963. A joint memorandum to that effect signed by the landlord as well as by the tenant was filed before the Revenue Divisional Officer. On that memorandum the Court passed an order under Section 3(4)(b) of the Act directing the respondent (Petitioner herein) to deposit in Court the amount of arrears on or before 12th March, 1963 failing which the tenant was to be evicted.
2. The contention of Mr. G. Nagarajan, Advocate for the petitioner is that such self-contained order of eviction is not warranted by the terms of the statute. Under Section 3(4)(b), the Revenue Divisional Officer, if he finds that the tenant was in default in payment of rent he might be allowed such time as the Court considers just and reasonable having regard to all the circumstances of the case. The section then states that if the cultivating tenant deposits the sum as directed, he shall be deemed to have paid the rent. Otherwise, the Revenue Divisional Officer shall pass an order for eviction. The terms of the section clearly show that in all cases of default where the Revenue Divisional Officer considers that an opportunity should be given to the tenant to pay up the arrears, there should be two stages in the proceeding; the first stage is where the Court finds that a default has been committed and decides to give an opportunity to the tenant to pay up the arrears. The second stage is when the tenant performs or fails to perform his obligation. These two stages envisaged by the section cannot obviously be rolled up into one and a single combined order passed. The illegality of such an order will be patent if I give an illustration; suppose on the date fixed for payment of arrears of rent, there is some good cause for the tenant not turning up to pay up or deposit the arrears. It is undoubted that the Revenue Divisional Officer will have jurisdiction to grant some little time to the tenant to perform his obligations. But if a conditional order is passed as in the instant case it would mean that the Revenue Divisional Officer has precluded himself from considering whether on the date fixed for payment of arrears of rent the tenant was prevented by sufficient cause from paying up the arrears and giving him the discretionary relief by way of extension of time. The order of the Revenue Court in the instant case cannot therefore be supported. It is set aside. I am informed that since the filing of this Civil Revision Petition the tenant has paid up all the arrears of rent. The delay in the payment will be condoned. It is, therefore, unnecessary to remand the matter back again to the Revenue Divisional Officer. The order for eviction passed by the Revenue Divisional Officer against the tenant will stand vacated. There will be no order as to costs.