1. This appeal raises a question of limitation. The lower Courts have held that the appellant's petition for execution was barred and that the alleged part payments which are relied upon to save limitation, though made within three years and would therefore be operative for that purpose, did not have the desired effect, because they were certified to the Court by the decree holder more than three years after the date of the last application. The matter has to be construed with reference to Section 20 of the Limitation Act read along with Order XXI, Rule 2, of the Civil Procedure Code.
2. Section 20 of the Limitation Act says that, 'debt' within the meaning of the action includes money payable under a decree or order of the Court. The learned Pleader for the respondents has argued his clients' case on the basis that there is no distinction to be drawn between a decree and money payable under a decree of the Court. For the purposes of this section it is rightly conceded that there is no period of limitation prescribed for certifying payment to Court by the decree-holder; but it is argued on behalf of the respondents that Clause 3 of Rule 2 of Order XXI of the Civil Procedure Code, which says that a payment or adjustment, which has not been certified or recorded as aforesaid, shall not be recognized by any Court executing the decree', should be construed to mean that the Court cannot recognize payments made within time if they were not certified before the expiry of the period of limitation, that is, three years. But it seems to us that the decree-holder not being tied down to any time for certifying payment to the Court, the necessary result must be that once the certificate is made, the Court is bound to recognize the payments previously made and then Section 20 of the Limitation Act comes in to save limitation. There is a conflict of decisions on the point. The Calcutta High Court takes 'the view which we have suggested in the case Lakhi Narain Ganguli v. Felaniani Dasi 20 C.L.J. 131 and that ruling is Tollowed in an unreported decision of Mr. Justice Sadasiva Aiyar in this Court in C.R.P. No. 880 of 1914. A different view has prevailed in the Allahabad High Court. See the decisions in cases Gokul Chand v. Bhika 23 Ind. Cas. 753 and Bhajan Lal v. Cheda Lal 24 Ind. Cas. 215 and the decision in the case Amir Singh v. Chhattar Singh 29 Ind. Cas. 274. For the reasons which we have given, we are inclined to agree with the decision in the case Lahlu Narain Ganguli v. Ferlamani Dasi 20 C.L.J. 131 and of Mr. Justice Sadasiva Aiyar.
3. The result will be that we allow the appeal and the case must be remitted to the Court of first instance to ascertain whether the alleged part payments were actually made, and whether the other provisions of Section 20 of the Limitation Act were complied with. Goats will follow the result.