1. This appeal arises out of a suit for compensation on the ground of improper attachment of the plaintiff's goods (paddy and jute), damage to goods while under attachment and conversion of some of the goods. Compensation was also claimed on amount of fall in the market rate of goods while under attachment and for costs incurred in getting the goods released from attachment.
2. The Court below has dismissed the suit on the ground that it was barred by limitation under Article 29 of the Limitation Act.
3. That Article provides one year's limitation for a suit for compensation for wrongful seizure of moveable property under legal process. In order to bring the case under that Article, it must be shown that the seizure was wrongful under legal process.
4. In the present case the writ was issued by the Court and prima facie it was not a wrongful seizure. The writ was not without jurisdiction as the Court had jurisdiction over the subject-matter : nor was the writ executed against a person who was no party to the decree, nor with respect to goods outside the scope of the writ. In these circumstances, we think that Article 29 is inapplicable to the case. This view is supported by the cases of Manavikraman v. Arisilan Koya 19 M. 80 : 6 M.L.J. 11 : 6 Ind. Dec. (N.S.) 761 and Sokkalinga Chetty v. Krishnaswami Ayyar 55 Ind. Cas. 786 : (1920) M.W.N. 192 at p. 195 : 11 L.W. 479 : 38 M.L.J. 324 : 27 M.L.T. 259.
5. It may be pointed out that the limitation of one year under Article 29 is to run from the date of the seizure; but so long as the writ is not set aside, the seizure cannot be said to be wrongful except in instances such as mentioned above. Proceedings to have the writ set aside may take a long time; and if Article 29 were applicable to the case, limitation would run from the date of the seizure although the writ might not be set aside within the period of one year.
6. On behalf of the respondent, we have been referred to the cases of Madras Steam Navigation Co. Limited v. Shalimar Works Limited 28 Ind. Cas. 463 : 42 C. 85 at p. 108. (8) 35 Ind. Cas. 98 : 31 M.L.J. 257, Ram Narain v. Umrao Singh 29 A. 615 : A.W.N. (1907) 194 : 4 A.L.J. 548, Damaraju Narasimha Rao v. Thadinada Gangaraju 31 M. 431 : 4 M.L.T. 271 : 18 M.L.J. 590 and Pandiri Veeramma v. Mandavili Subba Rao 35 Ind. Cas. 98 : 31 M.L.J. 257. In the last three cases, however, the plaintiff whose property was in question was a stranger to the proceeding in which the legal process was issued. In the case of Madras Steam Navigation Co. Limited v. Shalimar Works Limited 28 Ind. Cas. 463 : 42 C. 85 at p. 108 there is an observation to the effect that the Article was applicable, but it was held that the plaintiff was not entitled to any compensation. The observation, therefore, was not necessary for the purposes of the case.
7. These cases, therefore, do not decide the point raised before us.
8. We are accordingly of opinion that the decree of the lower Appellate Court must be set aside and the case sent back to that Court, in order that the Court may decide the other questions which have not already been decided and dispose of the case according to law.
9. Costs to abide the result.