1. Thedecree-holder, who happens to be the assigaee of a decree for arrears of rent but not the assignee of the interest of the landlord who had obtained that decree, is the appellant in this appeal. She applied for execution of that decree but the execution has been refused by both the Courts below on the ground that she is not competent in view of Section 148 (h) of the Bengal Tenancy Act.
2. So far as this question is concerned it is well known that there is a considerable conflict of judicial opinion. In the case of Manurattan Nath Das v. Hari Nath Das 1 C.L.J. 500, Mookerjee, J., pointed out this conflict but he did not decide the question. It would be convenient to quote his words in this connection. He said, ' Upon a review of these authorities it is manifest that there is a conflict of judicial opinion on the question and the cases of Kailash Chandra Ray v. Jadu Nath Roy 14 C. 380, Dwarka Nath v. Peary Mohan 1 C.W.N. 694, Dinanath v. Golap Mohini 1 C.W.N. 183, Karuna Roy v. Surendra Nath 26 C. 176 and Nagendra Nath v. Bhuban Mohan 6 C.W.N. 91 are authorities being in support of a strict and literal interpretation of Section 148 (h) of the Bengal Tenancy Act; while on the other hand the cases of Sashi Bhusan v. Gagan Chandra 22 C. 364 and Hari Nath v. Dengu Nath, S.A. No. 2143 of 1898 (unreported) clearly support a liberal interpretation of this provision of the law. Since that decision there has been another decision of this Court in which the earlier authorities were discussed and it was held by Richardson and Walmsley, J.J. that cl (h) of Section 148 of the Bengal Tenancy Act forbids the assignee of a decree for arrears oi rent to make any application to execute the decree even as a simple decree for money under the Code of Civil Procedure. The learned Judges held that the language of Section 148 (h) appears not to be altogether free from obscurity, but that there ia a strong current of authority in favour of giving to the words of Statute their plain and obvious meaning. In the case of Forbes v. Maharaj Bahadur Singh 23 Ind. Cas. 632 : 41 C. 926 : 18 C.W.N. 747 : (1914) M.W.N. 397 : 15 M.L.T. 380 : 12 A.L.J. 653 : 27 M.L.J. 4 : 1 L.W. 1059 : 41 I.A. 91 : 25 C.L.J. 434 (P.C.) their Lordships of the Judicial Committee while not particularly dealing with the question did refer to Section 748 (h) and express themselves with regard to the meaning of that clause in this way 'A reference to Section 142 (h) clearly shows that the right to apply for the execution of a decree for arrears was attached to the status of the decree-holder qua landlord. It declares that notwithstanding anything contained in Section 232, Civil Procedure Code, etc.' We are of opinion that there is no reason whatsoever why the plain words of the Statute should not be given their obvious meaning and we do not see our way to agree with those decisions in which the learned Judges have purported to have given what they considered the literal interpretation to the words of the Statute.
3. We think that the Courts below have taken the correct view of this matter and we accordingly dismiss this appeal with costs. We assess the hearing-fee at one gold mohur.