1. This is a rule obtained by the plaintiff Bank calling upon the defendant to show cause why an order of the Munsif staying the hearing of a suit should not be set aside. The suit is to recover money due on a mortgage. The relevant facts are these : The defendant made an application to a Board under the provisions of Act 7 of 1986. The suit was stayed on receipt of a notice under Section 34 of that Act. On 31st May 1939, the plaintiff was included in Schedule 2, Reserve Bank of India Act of 1934. The effect of this was that the claim in the present suit ceased to be a debt within the meaning of the Bengal Agricultural Debtors Act. The Board made an award on 22nd September 1939. The Munsif held that he had no jurisdiction to question the action of the Board and that the only remedy of the petitioner was to appeal under the provisions of the Act. The petitioner then obtained this Rule. The question of the jurisdiction of the Courts to decide whether a certain claim is a debt within the meaning of the Act has been settled by a Division Bench of this Court in Nur Mia v. Noakhali Nath Bank : AIR1939Cal298 . That decision was also followed by Edgley J., in another case. It is binding upon me and I will merely say that I respectfully agree with it. The second question for determination is whether the claim is a debt within the meaning of the Act or not. In para. 3 of the affidavit it is stated that the plaintiff Bank was included in the schedule on 31st May 1939. There is no counter-affidavit and this point has not been contested.
2. In showing cause against the rule, Mr. Dutt has drawn my attention to what he calls the dilatory tactics of the plaintiff in connection with this matter. No claim was made in compliance with the notice served on the plaintiff under Section 13 (1) of the Act. Applications for time were made. It was suggested that this was a deliberate device adopted in order to give the plaintiff time to have his name included in the schedule before the Board proceeded to make an award. The plaintiff did not actually apply to the Court until after the Board's award was passed on 22nd September 1939. It is contended that, when once the Board's order was passed, the jurisdiction of the Court came to an end. The plaintiff by his delay in intimating the new fact to the Court has lost his right to recover the money by suit. The suit was already pending in the Court and it was the duty of the Munsif to proceed to try it without an application being made to that effect. The Munsif was bound to grant a stay until 1st June 1939. From that date the notice upon which the stay order was passed ceased to have any legal effect and it was the duty of the Munsif to proceed to try the case. His jurisdiction in no way depended upon any action taken by the plaintiff. What is called the application of the plaintiff is really nothing more than an intimation to the Court of the fact that the bar to its jurisdiction had been removed. The jurisdiction of the Court in no way depends upon an application by the plaintiff.
3. Then, in the second place, the award of the Board was entirely without jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of the Court cannot be taken away by a proceeding which has no legal effect. Mere delay has nothing to do with the jurisdiction of the Court. I should hardly be justified in refusing to interfere in revision on a ground of jurisdiction merely because the plaintiff has been dilatory. The defendant could certainly press this point with regard to costs and with regard to the question whether he should be made liable to pay the interest at the bond rate or at any rate for the period from 1st June until the plaintiff notified the Court of the removal of the bar. That, of course, will be a question with which the Munsif should deal. The rule is accordingly made absolute. The order of the Munsif is set aside and he is directed to try the suit in accordance with law. I make no order as to costs in this rule.