Decided on January 10,1974

KOTTIALI Appellant
AITO, PONNANI Respondents


- (1.) A pump set belonging to the petitioner was attached by the local Village Officer for recovery of a sum of Rs. l,000/- and odd due from the petitioner by way of arrears of Agricultural Income Tax for the years 1969-70, 1970-71 and 1971-72. The petitioner filed an objection before the District Collector, the second respondent to the above attachment and prayed for release of the pump set from attachment. Ext. P1 dated 15-2-1973 is a copy of that objection. The second respondent did not pass any order thereon. The petitioner, therefore, filed this writ petition to quash the attachment and to direct the revenue officers concerned to return the pump set to him,
(2.) Several grounds of objection had been taken by the petitioner before me. But in my view, be is entitled to succeed on one ground, viz., that the pump set attached falls under clause (d) of S.9 of the Kerala Revenue Recovery Act, 1968, and is not, therefore, attachable. Hence I am not considering the other grounds.
(3.) The relevant part of S.9 reads as follows: "9. Attachment not to be excessive and certain articles not to be attached. The attachment shall not be excessive, that is to say, the property attached shall, as nearly as possible, be proportionate to the amount of the arrear; and it shall not include (a) ... ... ... (d) implements of husbandry and one fourth the number of ploughing cattle, subject to a minimum of one pair;" The petitioner specifically alleges that the pump set attached is exempt from attachment under the above clause and that the attachment, therefore, is illegal. A counter affidavit has been filed on behalf of the first respondent. But no specific objection has been taken to the above averment. Counsel for the petitioner relied on two decisions in support of his contention. The first decision is of a Division Bench of the Judicial Commissioner's Court, Sind, in Udharam Dalumal Rozi Shambo (AIR 1939 Sind 96). The second decision is of a Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court in Dwarka Prasad v. Meerut Municipality (AIR 1958 Allahabad 561). In the first case the property attached was a water pumping engine. In the second case the property was a ploughing tractor. In both cases, the question was whether the attached property was an implement of husbandry falling within proviso (b) of S.60(1) of the Civil Procedure Code. That proviso reads "60. Property liable to attachment and sale in execution of decree.-- (1) x x Provided that the following particulars shall not be liable to such attachment or sale, namely: (a) ... .... .... .... (b) tools of artisans, and, where the judgment debtor is an agriculturist, his implements of husbandry and such cattle and seed grain as may, in the opinion of the Court, be necessary to enable him to earn his livelihood as such, and such portion of agricultural produce or of any class of agricultural produce as may have been declared to be free from liability under the provisions of the next following section;" It was held in both the above decisions that the attached properties would fall within the description "implements of husbandry" in the above proviso. There is an elaborate consideration of the point in the Allahabad decision wherein their Lordships referred to the meaning of the expressions ''implement" and husbandry", and it came to the conclusion that a ploughing tractor was an implement of husbandry.;

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