Decided on October 17,1969



- (1.)These two Civil Revision Petitions arise out of a Small Cause suit which was decreed exparte. An application was filed to set aside the exparte decree along with an application offering security as per the provision contained in the proviso to Section 17 (1) of the Provincial Small Causes Courts At (hereinafter referred to as 'the act'), Both the two applications were dismissed. Against the orders dismissing these two applications the two Civil Revision Petitions were filed. The relevant facts may be stated as follows :-
(2.)The Small Cause suit is of the year 1963 being S.C. Not 68 of 1963 on the file of the Court of the Subordinate Judge, Guntur . The suit was filed to recover a sum of Rs. 1,949-21 np. towards arrears of rent due by one Laxmareddy for the years 1956-57 to 1960-61. When Laxmareddy dted a year prior to the filing of the suit, it was filed againt his widow. sons and daugnters as his legal representatives. The suit was defended denying the debt and the lease deed said to have been executed by Laxmareddy. The suit was pending for a long time. On behalf of the plaintiff two witnesses were examined in April 1955. Thereafter the suit dragged on till the year 1967. After several adjour ments the suit was adjourned to 7-4-1967 from 20-3-1967. On that day the defendant reported not ready. The learned Judge refused to grant adjournment and after hearing the plaintiff, the suit was posted to 11-4-1967 for judgment on which date, judgment was pronounced and the suit was decreed. The defendants filed a petition to set aside the exparte decree alleging that the first defendant had been to a marriage on 7-4-1967 and therefore she could not attend court on that day and informed her Advocate on 5-4-1967 about that fact. Even on 11-4-1967 itself petitioners (defendants; filed a petition to reopen the suit. But since the judgment was pronounced on that day the petition was dismissed. Thereafter the two applications in question were filed on 18-4-1967.
(3.)As provided under Section 17(1)proviso of the Act, the secui rity offered should be for the performance of the decree passed ex parte for setting aside which the application is made The under taking given in the security bond filed along with the application is to discharge the decree that might ultimately be passed in the suit, Therefore the security bond filed along with the application for its acceptance is not the one thac is required under the provision of law referred to above. When this defect in the bond was detected after more than 30 days from the date of passing of the exparte decree, which is the period of limitation for the petitioner for setting aside the exparte decree, the defendants offered eitner to amend the security bond already filed or to file a fresh bond giving security for discharging the exparte drcree in case the petition filed to set aside the exparte decree is to be dismissed as provided under Section 17 (1) proviso of the Act. This was objected to by the respondent (plaintiff) on the eround that such amendment or fresh bond cannot be allowed at that stage because it would amount to filing the bond as well as the petition to set aside the exparte decree beyond the statutory period of 30 days. The only question to be considered in such matters is whether the security offered by the party and the bond placed in the hands of the court and which if ultirmately accepted by the Court is sufficient for the purpose of the application. Accepting this contention of the respondent the lower court did not accept the security bond already filed without allowing the defendants either to amend the security bond already filed or to file a fresh bond and accordingly dismissed the applications.

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