Gopendranath Das, J.
1. Those appeals are on behalf of, the plaintiff in suits for recovery of arrears of rent. The claim in these suits includes a sum payable under an award and certain arrears of rent which accrued since the award, viz., arrears due from Pous kist 1346 B.S. to Aswin kist 1348 B.S. The award included a claim due under a decree in respect of arrears of rent for the period 1342 to 1845 B.S. and a claim for arrears of rent for Ashar and Aswin kists 1846. The suits have been, decreed in part by the Courts below, the lower-appellate Court holding that the plaintiff is entitled to a decree for the arrears of rent for Ashar and Aswin kists 1346, covered by the award and rent from Poush kist, 1346 to Aswin kist 1348; it has disallowed the claim for arrears of rent for 1342 to 1345 B.S. which were covered, by the decree and later included in the award. The question raised in these appeals is whether this claim can be recovered by a civil suit.
2. Both the Courts below have held that. Section 26(a), Bengal Agricultural Debtors Act, bars-a recovery of this sum by means of a suit Section 26(a) of the Act provides that notwithstanding anything contained in the Act or any other Act the landlord may include in a suit for the recovery of arrears of rent due for any land mentioned in the list referred to in Section 25(1)(a) the amount of arrears of rent payable under such award. The question is whether a decretal debt is included within the expression 'amount of arrears of rent' payable under such award. The expression 'amount payable under an award' is defined in Section 2(2) of the Act. That definition, however, does not indicate that a decretal debt is excluded from the scope of that definition. On the other hand, Clauses. (2) and (8) of Section 2 of the Act would show that a decretal debt is included within the expression 'amount of arrears of rent payable under such award.' This expression was construed by Biswas J. in Sashi Kanta Acharya v. Aptabuddiu Bepari ('43) 47 C.W.N. 680 At p. 681, it was pointed out that the expression must be construed in its plain and natural moaning. In my opinion, the words 'arrears of rent' in their plain and natural meaning include 'arrears of rent which are either covered by a decree or which are not so covered.' If the plain and natural meaning has to be given to the words, I do not see why the arrears of rent would cease to be so though suits had been brought for them and decrees passed for recovery thereof: see the case in Ananda Mohan v. Promotha Nath 8 A.I.R. 1921 Cal. 74 at p. 864. I think, therefore, that Section 26 (a), Bengal Agricultural Debtors Act, permits the inclusion in a suit for recovery of arrears of rent of the land referred to therein of a claim for arrears of rent in respect of which decrees had been obtained and which had been subsequently included in an award.
3. It is next objected that this view would mean that a further suit would lie in respect of claims already decreed. In my opinion, this contention is not of any substance. The arrears of rent in respect of which decrees had been obtained became merged in the award and the present suit is one which seeks to recover among other items an amount payable as arrears of rent under an award. Moreover, the opening words of the Section meet the difficulty sought to be suggested. It was argued by Mr. Choudhury appearing for the respondents that, in any event, the costs and interest which are included in the decree and later on in the award, cannot be decreed in these proceedings. A perusal of the award, however, does not show that the award includes the costs and interest which were included in the decree. This contention, therefore, must be overruled.
4. In two of the appeals, Nos. 517 and 518 objections were raised that these appeals are incompetent Under Section 153, Bengal Tenancy Act. It appears, however, that a question as to the amount of rent payable was decided in these cases and, in any event, even if the objection was substantial, I would have interfered with the decrees Under Section 115, Civil P.C.
5. The result, therefore, is that these appeals are allowed, the judgments and decrees passed by the Courts below are varied and the suits are decreed in full with costs in all the Courts.