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P.C. Govindasamy Vs. Balakrishna Reddiar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1977)2MLJ466
AppellantP.C. Govindasamy
RespondentBalakrishna Reddiar and anr.
Excerpt:
- .....the petitioner who is admittedly an agriculturist filed an application under section 4 of tamil nadu act xv of 1976 to stay execution of a decree for costs, obtained by the respondents in o.s. no. 73 of 1967 on the file of the court of the subordinate judge, vellore. an execution petition was filed by the respondents for recovery of costs which they secured in the above proceedings. it was resisted on the ground that the petitioner was an agriculturist and that he was entitled to relief under section 4 of the tamil nadu act xv of 1976.2. the principal district munsif, tindivanam, refused relief and hence this civil revision petition. two acts were enacted by the president of india in so far as the state of tamil nadu was concerned. one is act xv of 1976 which was to provide.....
Judgment:
ORDER

T. Ramaprasada Rao, J.

1. The point raised, though short, is rather interesting. The petitioner who is admittedly an agriculturist filed an application under Section 4 of Tamil Nadu Act XV of 1976 to stay execution of a decree for costs, obtained by the respondents in O.S. No. 73 of 1967 on the file of the Court of the Subordinate Judge, Vellore. An execution petition was filed by the respondents for recovery of costs which they secured in the above proceedings. It was resisted on the ground that the petitioner was an agriculturist and that he was entitled to relief under Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Act XV of 1976.

2. The Principal District Munsif, Tindivanam, refused relief and hence this civil revision petition. Two Acts were enacted by the President of India in so far as the State of Tamil Nadu was concerned. One is Act XV of 1976 which was to provide temporary relief to indebted agriculturists in the State of Tamil Nadu and the other Act XVI of 1976, which was to provide temporary relief to certain indebted persons in the State of Tamil Nadu. Both the Acts came into force on the 15th of January, 1976. Both the Acts define a 'debt'. Whereas in the definition of 'debt' in Section 2 of Act XVI of 1976, it means any liability in cash or kind, whether secured or unsecured, due from an indebted person, whether payable under a decree or order of a civil or revenue Court, etc., 'debt' as defined in Section (e) of Act XV of 1976, means any sum of money which a person is liable to pay under a contract for consideration received, and includes rent in cash or kind which a person is liable to pay or deliver in respect of the lawful use and occupation of agricultural land. Even in the clause dealing with the exception which enumerates what are not debts, we do not find that 'debt' under Act XV of 1976 would include a liability payable under a decree of Court. This distinction which was made in the two enactments has to be borne in mind while granting relief to an agriculturist claiming such a benefit under Act XV of 1976. In the absence of a specific provision which would enable him to obtain such a temporary relief contemplated in Act XV of 1976, it would be difficult for the Courts to introduce into the definition something which it does not either expressly or by necessary implication contain. Contrasting the definition of 'debt' in Act XV of 1976 with that in Act XVI of 1976, I am of the view that a decree debt is not a debt from the payment of which an agriculturist can claim temporary relief under Act XV of 1976. Obviously, this is a deliberate departure made by the Legislature. Apparently it means that an agriculturist is bound to pay a decree debt whilst a person who comes within the meaning of an indebted person' under Act XVI of 1976 is not expected to respect a decree, but, on the other hand, can seek for temporary relief in the matter of its satisfaction. The lower Court was, therefore, right in its conclusion. The civil revision petition is dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.

3. It is represented that the costs in the action which, in turn, is a partition action, are very heavy and still a large amount is due by the petitioner to the respondents. Having regard to the oral request made by the counsel for the petitioner before me, the petitioner is permitted to pay the costs in six equal monthly instalments from this date.


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