MOTILAL Vs. RAMCHANDER NARAYAN
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
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Jaganmohan Reddy, J. -
(1.) These four Appeals and the Revision arise out of an
Award of the Jagirdar Debt Settlement Board (hereinafter referred to as the Board)
in respect of a debt incurred by one Ramachandra Narayan, a jagirdar. A.S. No. 100
of 1957 is by the creditor in respect of a secured debt contracted by Ramachandra
Narayan and his son Tej Narayan. A.S. No. 182 of 1957 is in respect of a debt incurred by
Ramachandra Narayan along with one Satguru Narayan who died in 1950
before the Jagirdars Debt Settlement Act (XII of 1952)-hereinafter referred to as
the Act-came into force and his heirs were brought on record in the execution
proceedings taken by the decree-holder, Raja Pannalal Bansilal. A.S. No. 393 of
1957 is by Madanlal Gupta, who was one of the unsecured creditors. A.S.
No. 391 of 1958 is by Tej Narayan against the order declaring him not to be a
jagirdar. C.R.P. No. 211 /4 of 1356-F. is filed against the refusal to allow instalments
in the decree awarded in favour of Raja Pannalal in O.S. No. 69/3 of 1355-F.,
which debt is the subject-matter of A.S. No. 182 of 1957. By the time the
revision came to be disposed of the Act had come into force and consequently the
High Court transferred the matter to the Board, but the Board by its award said
that under the provisions of the Act only suits, appeals, and applications in
execution could be transferred to it and as there was no provision to transfer revision
petitions, it re-transferred the case to the High Court.
(2.) At the very outset, learned Advocate for the revision petitioner, Shri Sadashiv
Rao, said that he does not wish to press this petition inasmuch as the remedies open
to him under the Act give ample relief and consequently this revision petition is
dismissed, but in the circumstances without costs.
(3.) In A.S. No. 100 of 1957, the question is whether the debts of the appellant were
time-barred. A suit was filed by the appellant before the First Additional Judge,
City Civil Court, being O.S. No. 633/1 of 1952. On coming into force of the Act.
this suit was transferred to the Board and the debtor Ramachandra Narayan claimed
that the debt was entirely his. He had, however, not taken any plea of limitation,
nor was there any question of any acknowledgment saving limitation. In fact,
there was no issue in this regard ; but the Board seems to have adjudicated upon this
matter and held that since the acknowledgments are only by the sons of Tej Narayan,
they are not binding and that excepting the last two instalments, the rest of the debt
was barred by limitation. It is the case of the appellant even in the Memorandum
of Appeal that arguments were not even advanced on this aspect of the matter and the
Board's decision on the question of limitation came as a surprise. In our view, it
is clear that no contentions were raised on the question of limitation, nor was anything urged by Ramachandra Narayan that the acknowledgments do not save the
limitation against him. At any rate, it was open to the appellant, if such a plea
was raised by the respondent, to have adduced evidence or raised contentions that
those acknowledgments would also serve to save limitation. We do not propose
to deal with this matter in any great detail, because the learned Advocate for the
respondent, Shri Sadashiv Rao, concedes that the question is one which the appellant
could have met if raised and since it is not raised, the matter should be remanded.
We accordingly allow the appeal and remand the case to the Board in order
to enable the respondent the raise to specific plea, if he so minds, and to give an
opportunity to the appellant to meet to same and the enable both parties to adduce
evidence in support of their respective contentions and dispose of the matter
according to law. This appeal is accordingly allowed. The cost will abide the
result. There will be a certificate for refund of court-fee.;
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