1. The only question raised in this appeal is whether the appellants, the mortgagees, are not entitled to interest at the contract rate during the time the suit has been pending. There is no doubt that the mortgagees are entitled to interest at the contract rate until the date fixed for payment and thereafter at such rate which the Court may allow. The learned Subordinate Judge has allowed interest at the contract rate upon the principal amount, but has allowed interest at the rate of six per cent. per annum from the date of suit till the expiration of the period of grace.
2. The learned Vakil for the respondent has contended that the Subordinate Judge had the power to allow interest at a lesser rate than that agreed upon, under the provisions of Section 3 of the Usurious Loans Act. Section 3 of that Act lays down the circumstances under which the Court has power to interfere with the contract rate of interest. The Court below has not stated any reasons in its judgment as to why it did not allow pendente lite interest at the contract rate.
3. It appears that the plaintiffs instituted the suit so far back as the 8th August, 1922. The defendant-respondent virtually had no defence to make and she took time twice in the Court below on the ground that she was trying to raise money from some other creditors, and she is therefore responsible for the delay in the disposal of the suit which terminated on the 5th December, 1923, that is, about a year and a half since its institution. There is no question of any unfair dealing towards the lady. When the plaintiffs were about to sue, they were approached by the husband of the lady, and the plaintiffs agreed not to sue upon the defendant executing an agreement by which the rate of interest was to be raised from 9 to 11 per cent. We do not see any reason why the mortgagees should not get interest at the con-tract rate during the time the suit was pending. The creditors, however, are willing to accept Rs. 2,500 less provided that the defendant pays off the mortgage debt within one month from this date, that is, on or before the 16th August, 1924.
4. The date fixed for payment is three months from this date.
5. The appeal is allowed with costs, the hearing-fee being assessed at three gold mohurs.