Costello, Ag. C.J.
1. In this case a suit was brought; by certain landlords who may compendiously be described as the Mazumdars against the family of the name of Susang which consisted of 14 persons, and of these the first four are wards under the Court of Wards Act. A decree was obtained on 4th May 1935, and on 4th December of the same year the decree-holder instituted proceedings for the purpose of putting that decree into execution. A few weeks later, that is to say on 13th January 1936, an order was made for the sale of certain property in respect of which rent claimed in the suit was decreed. On 4th February 1936 notice was given under Order 21, Rule 66, Civil P.C., and the terms of sale were settled and the sale notification prepared. The sale was fixed for 7th April 1936. Before that date arrived, however, an enactment entitled the Bengal Court of Wards (Amendment) Act, 1935 came into operation on 5th March 1936. By Section 5 of that Act a new Section 10 (c) was substituted in place of the existing Section 10 (c) of the principal Act. The new Section 10 (c) reads as follows:
Where any property is in charge of the Court of Wards, do Civil Court shall execute any decree or order against the person or property of the Ward within four years from the date of the commencement of the Bengal Court of Wards Amendment Act 1935, or from the date of the assumption of charge of the property by the Court of Wards, whichever is later, and for seven years thereafter if the interest due under such decree or order be paid in full every year during the said seven years.
2. Upon the basis of that Section an application was made to the Court in connexion with the pending execution proceeding by or on behalf of the four persons who were wards under the Court of Wards Act and whose estate was in the hands of the Court of Wards. That application was for a declaration that they were entitled to the benefit of the provisions or the privileges, or more accurately the protection afforded by the provisions of Section 10 (c). The application was granted and it was apparently held that these persona were entitled to take advantage of the new enactment although it only came into force on a date subsequent to the date of the decree, and indeed subsequent to the institution of the execution proceedings. It has been held in Habiba Bibi v. Ramranjan Mollik : AIR1937Cal207 , by this Court that the new Section 10 (c) is retrospective in operation so that it applies to decrees obtained before the Section came into force and so to execution proceedings then pending.
3. The decree-holders were content with the situation and they failed to come to Court when the matter came up on 22nd April 1936 with the result that the execution case was dismissed for default on that date. But the defendants other than the four persons who were wards under the Court of Wards, were not so content and they appealed against the effect of the order made in favour of the four persons who were wards of Court, on the basis that their interests were adversely affected by the granting of the application in that if the property of the said four persons is eliminated from the operation of the decree obtained by the landlords, then the other ten persons would have to make good the deficiency.
4. Whether or not there was any right of appeal in those circumstances, we need not pause to determine because we are satisfied that the order now appealed against was right. It is clear that the provisions of Section 10 (c) apply only to the persons or property of a ward and other persons cannot avail themselves of the protection afforded by that Section merely because they happen to be co-defendants or co-judgment-debtors with the persons who are wards under the Court of Wards. One has only to look at the precise language of Section 10 (c) itself to see at once that that must be the position. The Section has application as regards ' any decree or order ', and therefore it clearly covers the case where there is a decree made against persons who are wards of Court jointly with persons who are not wards of Court, It seems abundantly clear that the object of the Section 10 (c) is merely to protect the person or property of wards and no one but wards.
5. Mr. Bose appearing on behalf of the appellants has invited us to come to the conclusion that we ought to read into the Section some kind of limitation to the effect that the Section is not to operate in oases where as a result of protecting the property of a ward, the property of other persons might be adversely affected. There is no reason for imposing any such limitation, and we can only give effect to the plain, unambiguous and unequivocal words of the Section. The result is that this appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.
Appeal No. 660.
6. A like point, indeed the same point, falls for determination in connexion with this appeal. It is not therefore necessary to deal with it This appeal also is dismissed but without costs.
7. I agree.