Salil Kumar Dutta, J.
1. This rule arises out of an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963, (Act XXXVI of 1963), for condoning the delay in filing the appeal. The appeal was filed on January 6, 1969, and according to the Stamp Reporter, the appeal would be in time if filed on January 3, 1969, but was out of time for 3 days. The memorandum of appeal was returned to the learned Advocate for the appellants on February 20, 1969, and the application on which this rule has been issued was filed on February 21, 1969.
2. The plaintiffs appellants' explanation for this delay is that the judgment under appeal was delivered on November 15, 1968, and the decree was prepared on November 26, 1968. The appellant No. 2 who was in charge of the suit, on receipt of the news of death of his brother-in-law left Calcutta in the third week of November 1968 and returned to Calcutta on December 10, 1968. The application for copy was made by him on December 12, 1968, through Deonandan Ojha, the clerk of their Advocate. The clerk received the certified copy on December 24, 1968, but unfortunately misplaced the same. The Court was closed for the Christmas holidays during December 25, 1968 to January 1, 1969 both days inclusive. 'After the reopening of the Court on January 2, 1969, the said Ojha came to know from another Advocate's clerk that he found one certified copy lying on the Advocates' clerks room of the Court on December 24, 1969, and at his request the said clerk brought and handed over the said copy to Deonandan Ojha on the following day on January 3, 1969. The appellant No. 2 received the copy on January 3, 1969, and immediately handed it over to his Advocate, who prepared the memorandum of appeal on the evening January 4, 1969, and the appeal was filed on January 6, 1969, the intervening January 5, 1969, being a Sunday. The allegations are also supported by the affidavit of the said clerk Deonandan Ojha.
3. The rule is opposed by the defendant opposite party, who denied the material allegations made in the petition filed by the appellant. It was further contended that the time for filing the appeal expired on December 23, 1968, and as such in absence of any explanation for delay from December 24, 1968, the application for condonation of the alleged delay should be dismissed and this rule should be discharged.
4. To appreciate the argument of the parties it is necessary to consider the relevant dates which are as follows:
1. 15-11-68 -- Date of fragment.
2. 26-11-68 -- Date of drawing up of the decree
3. 12-12-68 -- Date of application for copy,
4. 13-12-68 -- Date of notification for stamps and folios
6. 16-12-68 -- Date of delivery of stamps and folios.
6. 21-12-68 -- Date on which copy was made ready for delivery.
7. 24-12-68 -- Date when copy made over to the applicant.
It will appear therefrom that the time for filing appeal is December 15, 1968 under Section 8(2)(a) of the City Civil Court Act, 1953 (W. B. Act XXI of 1953) and to this will be added the time for certified copy. According to the appellants, they are entitled to--
(a) 2 days for 12th and 13th December, 1968;
(b) 6 days from 16th to 21st December, 1968;
(c) 11 days from 15th to 25th November, 1968, the period between the pronouncement of judgment and drawing up of the decree.
The limitation on above calculation would expire on January 3, 1969.
5. The opposite party has seriously disputed the right of the appellants petitioners to have the period (c) above. It was submitted that on an interpretation of the Explanation to Section 12 of the Limitation Act, 1963, it would appear that the petitioners are not entitled to have the benefit of the period (c) above.
6. The appellants have relied on the decision of the Full Bench of the Patna High Court in the State of Bihar v. Md. Ismail, : AIR1966Pat1 (FB), in which case Mahapatra, A. B. N. Sinha JJ., U. N. Sinha J., dissenting, held that the time between the pronouncement of the judgment and the drawing up of the decree shall be included within the time required for obtaining a copy. We were also referred to a decision of Chatterjee J. in C. R. No. 3810 (S) of 1964 (Cal), Gopal Mahato v. Ranglal Mahato (unreported), the judgment being delivered on 19-7-1967, which also supports the above majority view of the Patna Full Bench.
6-A. On perusal of the relevant provisions of Section 12, it appears that while Sub-sections (1) to (4) thereof provide the exclusion of time in computing the period of limitation, the Explanation provides for inclusion of the time mentioned therein for obtaining a certified copy. Sub-sections (2) to (4) provide that in computing the period of limitation, the time requisite for obtaining a certified copy of the decree, judgment or award shall be excluded. The Explanation again provides that the time taken by the Court to prepare the decree or order before an application for a copy thereof is made shall not be excluded in computing the period for obtaining a certified copy of such decree or order. In other words, the time so taken, as contemplated in the said Explanation, shall be included in computing the period for obtaining certified copy and thus of limitation for an appeal or application and an appellant or applicant will be entitled to the benefit of the time so taken for preparing the decree or order. In the view we have taken, we respectfully follow the decisions of Chatterjee J. and of the Full Bench of the Patna High Court referred to above.
7. Accordingly, if after the decree or order is prepared, an application is madefor copy, then under the Explanation the time required for preparation of the decree or order, shall be not excluded from the time required for obtaining a certified copy, in other words, it will be included in the time for copy and thus necessarily for limitation. Again, if application is made before the preparation of the decree or order, then time under the Explanation as being the requisite for copy, will include the time between the pronouncement of the judgment and the date of application for copy, and the rest of the period as may be taken by the Court to prepare decree or order will be the time required for obtaining the copy as provided in Sub-sections (2) to (4) of Section 12. The Explanation is clear and there will be no ambiguity if one remembers that while Sub-sections (2) to (4) of Section 12 of the Act relate to exclusion of time for obtaining certified copy of relevant judgment, decree or order, the Explanation concerns not with the limitation for appeal or application, but with the computation of time required for copy.
8. In the above view, it must be held that the appellants here are entitled to the period mentioned in (c) above and the limitation for filing the appeal expired on January, 3, 1969.
9. We have further considered the explanation given by the appellants and we accept the same. We are satisfied that the appellants had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal in time. The delay in filing the appeal, in the circumstances, is condoned and the rule is made absolute there being no order as to costs. The appeal may now be registered and proceed according to law.
S.K. Chakravarti, J.
9-A. I agree.