1. The sole question of law which arises in this appeal is, whether the suit is barred by limitation as has been held by the Subordinate Judge in reversal of the decision of the Court of first instance. The plaintiff commenced this action on the 29th October 1908 for declaration of his title to a house purchased by him on the 26th October 1896 and for recovery of possession thereof. His title was disputed by the defendants, and it was also urged that the claim was barred by limitation. The Courts below have concurrently found upon the merits in his favour, but they have differed on the question of limitation. It is not disputed that the Court was closed on the 26th October 1908 and did not re-open after the annual vacation till the 29th October 1908. The plaint was presented on that date, but it was found that the full amount of Court-fees had not been paid on the plaint. Thereupon, the following order was made; Plaintiff to file deficit Court-fee and also summons and talbana and copies of plaint in a week.' The plaintiff carried out the order of the Court on the 6th November; the plaint was registered and the suit was tried in due course. No objection was taken at the trial by the defendants that the order of the Court had not been duly carried out. But when the unsuccessful defendant appealed to the Subordinate Judge, she contended that the order of the first Court had not been carried out because the deficit Court-fee had been paid on the eighth day after the order had been made. The Subordinate Judge accepted this contention as well founded and dismissed the suit as barred by limitation.
2. On behalf of the plaintiff, it has been argued in this Court that the order of the original Court for the payment of deficit Court-fee was duly carried out and that the plaintiff paid the Court-fee within one week from the date when the order was made. On behalf of the respondents, it has been contended that the day on which the order was made ought to be treated as part of the week allowed by the Court. In our opinion, this contention is not well founded. The order obviously means that the plaintiff was to pay the deficit Court-fee in a week from the date of the order. Now, it is well settled that the word, week,' when used in reference to computation of time from which it is to be reckoned, prima faice excludes the day of that date Howard's case (1700) 2 Salk. 625 : 1 Ld. Raymond 480, though it is clear that the expression may be inclusive or exclusive according to the context, as pointed out by Lord Lindley in the ease of Sidebotham v. Holland (1895) 1 Q.B. 378 : 64 L.J.Q.B. 200 : 14 R. 135 : 72 L.T. 62 : 43 W.R. 228. It was observed in the case of Lester v. Garland (1808) 15 Ves. 248 at p. 254 : 10 R.R. 68 that an inflexible rule of interpretation cannot be allowed in cases of this description, and whether the day on which the order is made is to be included or excluded, must depend upon the circumstances and the reason of the thing. Once such reason was suggested by Lord Esher in the case of In re North, Ex parte Hasbuck (1895) 2 Q.B. 264 at 270 : 64 L.J.Q.B. 694 : 14 R 436 : 72 L.T 854 : 2 Manson 326 : 59 J.P. 724. The learned Judge observed: 'A fair rule of construction seems to be that where the computation is to be for the benefit of the person affected, as much time should be given as the language admits of, and where it is to his detriment, the language should be construed as strictly as possible.' See also Wilkins v. Mc Cinity (1907) 2 Ir. R. 660. Now, there can be no question that, in this case, the intention of the Court was to allow the plaintiff full seven days for payment of the deficit Court-fees. Consequently, we must take it that the order of the Court was duly carried out when the deficit Court-fees were paid in a week exclusive of the day on which the order was made. The principle of interpretation we adopt accords with Section 9 of the General Clauses Act and Section 12 of the Indian Limitation Act. We may add that, in England, it is well settled that in any case in which a number of days, not expressed to be clear days, is prescribed by the rules of the Supreme Court, the same ought to be reckoned exclusive of the first day and inclusive of the last day. (See Order 64, Rule 12 of the Supreme Court of England, and Daniell on Chancery Practice, Vol. I, p. 37). We are, therefore, of opinion that the suit is not barred by limitation and that the judgment of the Subordinate Judge cannot be supported.
3. The result is that this appeal is allowed, the decree of the Subordinate Judge reversed and that of the Court of first instance restored with costs in all the Courts.