PARMA RAI Vs. DHARAM DEO SINGH
LAWS(ALL)-1965-3-16
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
Decided on March 05,1965

PARMA RAI Appellant
VERSUS
DHARAM DEO SINGH Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

JWALESHWAR PRATAP NARAIN SINGH V. PARCHANBIR SINGH [REFERRED TO]
BANUMAL V. BASHIR AHMAD KHAN [REFERRED TO]
RAGHURAJ SINGH VS. MURARILAL [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

C.B.Capoor, J. - (1.)THIS is a defendants' appeal. The plaintiff-respondents filed a suit to recover a sum of Rs. 1,106 on foot of a simple mortgage-deed, dated 10-10-1945. The plaintiff-respondents had in the plaint given up the security and claimed to recover the amount from the defendants personally.
(2.)THE suit was resisted and one of the pleas raised in defence was that under the provisions of U. P. Zamindars Debt Reduction Act, the debt was liable to be scaled down. That plea found favour with the learned trial Court, but it has been repelled by the lower appellate Court. THE view of the Court below was that as the plaintiff respondent has given up the security and had not claimed a decree under Order 34 Rule 4 of C. P. C. the provisions of the U. P. Debt Reduction Act were not attracted. THE Court of appeal passed a decree for a sum of Rs. 826 with proportionate cost and pendente lite and future interest at 3% per annum. Aggrieved by the aforesaid decree, this appeal has been filed.
The only contention that has been put forward on behalf of the appellants is that the provisions of the aforesaid Reduction Act would be applicable even though the plaintiffs did not claim a decree under Order 34 RULE 4 of C. P. C. and had given up the security. It has been contended that it should not be at the option of the plaintiffs to deprive the debtors of the benefits conferred by the aforesaid Act merely by giving up the security and claiming a personal decree. The question raised is an interesting one.

Section 3 of the aforesaid Act roads as below:-- "Notwithstanding anything in any laws, agreement or document, in any suit to which this Act applies relating to a secured debt, the Court shall, after the amount due has been ascertained, but before passing a decree, proceed as hereinafter stated."

(3.)THE first question that arises for consideration is as to whether the present suit was one to which the aforesaid Reduction Act applied. According to Clause (c) of Section 2 of the aforesaid Act, the suit to which this Act applies means any suit or proceeding relating to a debt whether secured or otherwise and there can be no doubt that the suit filed by the plaintiff was a suit to which the provisions of the aforesaid Reduction Act applied. THE next question that awaits consideration is as to whether the suit under consideration related to a secured debt. Secured debt according to Section 2 (m) means a debt secured by mortgage of an estate or an estate and other immoveable property. THE mortgage deed executed in favour of the plaintiff, it is not disputed, comprised estate and prima facie the suit related to a secured debt. It is significant that the words used by the legislature in Section 3 are "relating to a secured debt."
There is a vital difference between the expression a suit "relating to a secured debt" and the expression a suit 'to enforce secured debt'. In the aforesaid section there is no reference to the nature of the relief that may have been sought and if the intention of the legislature had been that the section would apply to that suit only which seeks to recover money by sale of secured property, a specific provision to that effect would have been made. It is a well established canon of interpretation that the intent of the legislature is to be gathered from the words used and that if the words used have not acquired any technical meaning, they should be deemed to have been used in their ordinary meaning. The safer and more correct way of dealing with a question of construction is to take the words themselves and arrive, if possible, at their meaning without, in the first place, reference to cases. See Maxwell on Interpretation of Statutes, 11th Edition, pp. 3 and 4.

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