Mithan Lal, J.
1. This appeal and Civil Revision No. 1402 of 1953 have been filed by the judgment-debtor, Raj Bahadur Chaudhari Raghuraj Singh, while the connected Appeal No. 301 of 1953 has been filed by the decree-holders Murari Lal and others.
2. The judgment-debtor's appeal and revision both arise out of the same order of the Civil Judge, Bulandshahr, Sri S. Ibad Ali, dated 13th November, 1953, dismissing the objections of the judgment-debtor registered as Misc. Case Nos. 37 of 1953 and 38 of 1953, while the appeal filed by the decree-holders arises out of an order of the same Civil Judge dated 23rd May, 1953.
3. The facts out of which these three cases arise are that Murari Lal and others or their predecessor decree-holders, filed a suit on the basis of a promissory note and were given a decree for a sum of Rs. 2,71,338/8/6 with proportionate costs payable in 20 instalments of six months each. This amount was later reduced by this Court by about Rs. 4,000/-. The decree also contains a clause that the pendente lite and future interest shall be payable in 21st instalment if the amount did not exceed Rs. 20,000/- or in two instalments of six months each if the amount exceeded Rs. 20,000/-. The first instalment was payable in November 1938 while the remaining instalments were payable on 31st July and 31st December in each subsequent year. The decree also contains a default clause inasmuch as the whole amount was to fall due if the judgment-debtor made a default in payment of three instalments. The decree also Created a charge on 18 villages mentioned in the decree.
4. The judgment-debtor paid the first 17 instalments. He also paid the 18 instalment, but this instalment was paid on 31st July, 1948, that is, on the date when the 20th instalment had fallen due. Since 19th and 20th instalments had not been paid nor the pendente lite and future interest had been paid the decree-holders made an execution application on 26th April, 1951, for recovery of Rs. 49,015/5/6 per account given in the execution application seeking sale of the Kothi and one Ahata of the judgment-debtor. The decree-holders further prayed that if the whole of the amount was not realised by the sale of these properties then Kamindari Property, over which a charge had been created, may be put to sale. Against this execution the judgment-debtor filed two objections under Section 47. He also made an application under Sections 4 and 8 of the Zamindars Debt Reduction Act on the miscellaneous side in the original suit itself.
5. The application moved under the Zamindars Debt Reduction Act was registered as Misc. Case No. 37 of 1953 and the judgment-debtor alleged that the decree under execution was a decree to which the provisions of the said Act applied and that the amount of the decree should be reduced under Section 4 of the said Act and if any amount is found due the same may be ordered to be realised from compensation and rehabilitation grant.
6. One of the objections under Section 47 had also been filed on the grounds that the amount claimed in execution was wrong, that the Kothi and the Ahata could not be attached and if the decree-holders had any remedy they had against the zamindari property on which a charge was created and so the decree-holders should realise die amount from compensation and rehabilitation grant after it had been reduced under Section 4 of the Zamindars Debt Reduction Act This cbjection and the miscellaneous application under Sections 4 and 8 of the Zamindars Debt Reduction Act were heard together by the learned Civil Judge who accepted the contention of the decree-holders and held that the decree did not relate to any secured debt and the mere creation of a charge in the decree could not attract the provisions of Section 4 of the Act. He also held that the Kothi was attachable. The application under Section 4 of the Zamindars Debt Reduction Act and this objection of the judgment-debtor were both dismissed with costs by the same order and it is against this order that Appeal No. 440 of 1953 and Civil Revision No. 1402 of 1953 have been instituted by the judgment-debtor.
7. The judgment-debtor filed the objection under Section 47, C. P. C., stating that the amount claimed by the decree-holders in execution was wrong, that on the own showing of the decree-holders the claim for recovery of 19th instalment was barred by time. Some other grounds were also taken but they need not be stated because they are not material for our present purposes. The learned Civil Judge on the statements of the counsel for the parties found that the amount claimed by the decree-holders was in excess of the amount really due by Rs. 19/- and so the sum of Rs, 19/-only was reduced from the amount under execution, He held that the claim for the recovery of the 19th instalment was beyond time. The other objections raised by the judgment-debtor were overruled. It is against this order of the Civil Judge that the decree-holders have filed Appeal No. 301 of 1953.
8. In the appeal and the revision filed by the judgment-debtor the only question which has been argued before us by the learned counsel for the judgment-debtor is, that the decree is one to which the provisions of the Zamindars Dsbt Reduction Act applied and it also being a decree creating a charge, the amount of such a decree should have been reduced under Section 4 of the said Act and the Civil Judge was wrong in holding that the provisions of that section were not applicable. The contention of the decree-holders' learned counsel is that the debt having been advanced on a promissory note was an unsecured debt, and so the provisions of Section 4 could not apply because that section is applicable only to decrees relating to secured debts. The only point which requires consideration in these two cases is whether the provisions of Section 4 of the Zamindars Debt Reduction Act are applicable to the decree and whether the amount of the decree is liable to bs reduced and the Civil Judge was wrong in holding otherwise.
9. In Appeal No. 301 of 1953 it has been contended by Sri Krishna Shanker, learned counsel for the decree-holders, that the decree-holders had claimed the entire amount remaining due for 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd instalments (the last two being for pendente lite and future interest), the claim for 19th instalment was within time because the judgment-debtor had made a default in payment of three instalments and because the provisions of Section 20 of the Limitation Act applied. According to his contention the ease is covered by Article 181 and Section 20 of the Limitation Act and not by Article 182 (7) of the same Act.
10. Learned counsel for the respondents has on the other hand contended that the present execution application is to recover the instalments which had been directed to be paid on certain dates a'nd so the limitation for each instalment would start from the date of default in payment of that particular instalment. In this case the 19th instalment having fallen due on 31st December, 1947, the execution application for its recovery could only be made till 31st December, 1950 and this application made on 26th April, 195l was beyond time for the recovery of the 19th instalment. According to the contention of the learned counsel the case is covered by Article 182 (7) and not by Article 181 read with Section 20.
11. In this appeal the only point for consideration is whether the application for the execution of the 19th instalment was within time, in other words whether the case is governed by Article 181 and Section 20 of the Limitation Act or is the claim for 19th instalment beyond time because of the provisions of Article 182 (7).
12. Taking the appeal and the revision filed by the judgment-debtor first, we agree with the opinion given by the learned Civil Judge that the provisions of Section 4 of the Zamindars Debt Reduction Act are not at all applicable to the present application for execution. The Act was passed with the object of scaling down the debts of the zamindars whose estates had been acquired under the provisions of the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act and in order to reduce those debts certain provisions were made for the reduction of the secured debt at the time of the passing of the decree as given in Section 3 and after the passing of the decree as given in Section 4. In applying both the Sections 3 and 4 the amount has to be reduced according to the formula given in Schedule I. There is no provision in the whole of the Act for the reduction of an unsecured debt.
Even though the provisions of the Act have been made applicable to all debts whether secured or unsecured and to all suits relating to a debt whether secured or unsecured and to all decrees passed whether before or after the commencement of the Act yet the only provision which has been given in respect of an unsecured debt is in Section 9. The provisions of Section 9 would be attracted only when a simple money decree-holder, who has a decree for a debt other than a secured debt, seeks execution of the decree by attachment and sale of the bonds granted to the judgment-debtor on account of the compensation and rehabilitation grant for his estate. In case this is done satisfaction of the decree has to be entered according to the formula given in Schedule II. If a decree-holder does not so choose there is no provision in the Act which entitles the judgment-debtor to make an application to the Court for reduction of the amount or for compelling the decree-holder to realise his decree from the compensation or the rehabilitation grant.
13. The learned counsel for the judgment-debtor, however, contended that the provisions of Section 4 would be applicable even in case of simple money decree because according to his argument what is necessary is that the decree should be a secured decree and it is not necessary that the decree should have been passed on the basis of a secured debt. We are unable to agree with this contention. The scheme of the Act would show that Sections 3 and 4 were enacted for the purpose of reduction of secured debts either at the time of the passing of the decree or after a decree was passed. It is for this reason that a specific mention has been made of the secured debt in Section 3 because that section has been made applicable to a pending case. Sub-section (1) of Section 3 reads :-
"Notwithstanding anything in any law, 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...."
A corresponding provision has been made in Section 4 for cases in which a decree has been passed and the Legislature while enacting that section has stated:-
"Notwithstanding anything in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, or any other law, the Court, which passed a decree to which this Act applies relating to a secured debt shall on the application ....."
The expression used is "relating to a secured debt". The phrase 'secured debt' has been defined as 'a debt secured by mortgage of an estate and other immovable property'. In the present case the debt was not a secured debt and what was done at the time of the passing of the decree was only the creating of the charge on 18 villages. The decree, the amount of which has now been sought to be reduced under the provisions of Section 4 cannot by any stretch of imagination be treated to be a decree relating to a secured debt. The mere fact that a charge was created would not change the nature of the debt. In fact even if the argument of the learned counsel for the appellant would have been acceptable, the definition of the secured debt would have stood in this way because under that definition a secured debt means only a debt secured by a mortgage or an estate and not a debt for the payment of which a charge has been created on the property. Obviously Section 4 of the Zamindars Debt Reduction Act has no application to the present decree and the amount of debt could not be reduced under that section. The provisions of Section 8 would also be not applicable.
14. It has already been stated earlier that there is no provision in the Act for reduction of a simple debt; the Act will only apply when a decree-holder chooses to execute a simple money decree by attachment of bonds granted to the judgment-debtor on account of compensation or rehabilitation grant. In that case also the debt is not reduced but satisfaction of the debt is entered in the manner given in Schedule II.
It is not necessary to show in this case that the formula given in Schedule II appears to be a composite formula relating to reduction of debt and the satisfaction of the balance as contained in sections 3, 4 and 7 of the Act. In cases of secured debts the debt is reduced first and then to the extent of the reduction satisfaction of the balance of the decree is entered while in the case of an unsecured debt, if the decree-holder applies for realisation of the decree by attachment and sale of the compensation and rehabilitation bonds, satisfaction is entered for every one rupee of the face value of the bond to the extent of ME/8 times i. e,, if ME is maximum multiple of 40, then satisfaction of Rs. 5/- for every one rupee is entered. But if ME is minimum of 20 then satisfaction of Rs. 2/8/- for every one rupee is entered. This-has been done to put the secured and unsecured creditor (who chooses to proceed against the compensation and rehabilitation grants) at par, because according to mathematical calculations (which need not be made in the case) almost the same amount is recoverable by both. The secured debt is first reduced and then satisfaction is entered to the extent of reduction, while in the case of unsecured debt a higher amount is deemed to be paid up. Obviously the decree in suit is not one relating to a secured debt and so the provisions of sections 4 and 8 have no application. The learned Civil Judge was right in. dismissing the miscellaneous application as well as the connected objection under Section 47, C. P. C. We find no force in Execution First Appeal No. 440 of 1953 and Civil Revision No. 1402 of 1953.
15. So far as Execution First Appeal No. 301 of 1953 is concerned, the only point which requires consideration is whether having regard to the terms of the decree as well as the prayer made by the decree-holders in the execution application, it is a case which is governed by the provisions of Article 182 (7) or Article 181 read with Section 20 of the Limitation Act. Before we go into the question we may note the prayer made by the decree-holders in the case. The decree-holders claimed Rs. 49,015/5/6 stating that :-
"Madyun decree se 18 aqsat vasul ho chuki hain. Madyun decree ne do aqsat yani January 1948 va akhir July 1948 ada nahin Ki hai, is liye degreedar mushtahaq ijrai 31 July 1948 yom vada Khilafi se hai aur akhir men madyun ne 31 July 1948 ko atharveen qist dakhil kj hai us se bhi andar meyad hai."
Obviously the decree-holders claimed limitation for the 20th instalment, which fell due on 31st July 1948, from the date of default of payment of that instalment while for 19th instalment, which fell due on 31st December, 1947, (wrongly stated January 1948), from payment of the 18th instalment on 31st July, 1948; that is, under Section 20 of the Limitation Act. There is no allegation in this execution application that further two instalments, that is, 21st & 22nd for payment of interest had also become due and that the decree-holders were seeking the entire amount because of the default in payment of three instalments. Perhaps this could not be done because no further instalment remained dua and all the four instalments had become over due on the date this execution application had been filed in April 1951.
16. It is to be seen whether in the instant case, where the decree directed the payment of the decretal amount by six monthly instalments falling due on 31st July and 31st December each year and it further authorised the decree-holders to recover the whole amount in case of default in payment of three instalments and the decree-holders sought execution for the recovery of the last four instalments, that is, 19th and 20th (for the balance of the decretal amount) and 21st and 22nd (for pendente lite and future interest) without mentioning anything about the default, can it be said that the limitation in the case is governed by Article 181 or, whether having regard to the fact that all the four instalments had fallen due prior to the execution application, the case is governed by Article 182 (7) of the Limitation Act, and the recovery of 19th instalment is barred by time. A further question, on which the limitation was sought to be saved is whether the payment of the 18th instalment on 31st July 1948 can be taken to be a payment within the meaning of Section 20 of the Limitation Act so as to save limitation for the recovery of the 19th instalment which fell due on 31st December 1947.
17. Section 20 of the Limitation Act relates to the effect of payment on account ot a debt or of interest in respect of a legacy and the requirement is that the payment must be made before the expiry of the period of limitation by the person liable to pay the debt or legacy or his duly authorised agent. Articles 181 and 182(7) do not relate to the question of extending limitation at all. They really prescribe the period of limitation for the applications mentioned therein. Section 182 (7) provides a three years' period of limitation for applications for execution in respect of decrees making amounts payable on specific dates and the period is to be counted from the date of each default. Article 18l is a residuary article which applies when no other article applies and the period of limitation is three years to be counted from the date when the right to apply accrues. Thus the basic difference between Section 20 of Limitation Act on the one hand and Articles 181 and 182 (7) on the other appears to be that while limitation is saved under the former from the date of payment under the latter what is material is the accrual of the right or the default in payment on the due date. The advantage of Section 20 can only be taken when payment has been made within the prescribed period of limitation in the manner stated in the section. In the case of a decree payable by instalments the question whether the different instalments were intended to be treated as different debts or whether all of them constituted part of a single debt is essentially a question o interpretation to be put on the terms of the decree in the circumstances of each case.
Where specified amounts are to be paid on specified dates (whether they are called instalments or not) each amount is a separate item of debt. If a part payment is made in respect of any particular-item tile limitation for the recovery of the item may get extended under Section 20 on account of the part payment. If the whole of that particular item is paid either before or after the date specified for its payment there can be no question of extending limitation for the recovery of that item. That item will in that case have been paid. Nor can there be any question on account of that payment of extending limitation for the other itemspayable on other dates because the payment made will not in that case be a Part payment of the other items. If the decree contains a clause making the entire balance due on the default of payment of one or more items or instalments, any payment made after the whole balance has become due may have the effect of extending limitation for the recovery of that balance. But where payment is made only in respect of a specified instalment before the whole amount has become due on account of the default clause no extension of limitation for the other instalments or for the balance can be claimed on account of that payment under Section 20.
18. In the view expressed above Section 20 of the Limitation Act will have no application in the case because as shown by the copy of tender the judgment-debtor paid Rs. 13,780/- and odd on 31st July 1948, specifically towards the 18th instalment which had fallen due on 31st December 1947. on the date this instalment was paid only 19th and 20th instalments had fallen due and not the whole amount because there was neither any default in payment of three instalments nor the dates for the payment of 21st and 22nd instalments had reached. For this reason the decree-holders could not treat this payment of 18th instalment as a payment towards the debt within the meaning of Section 20.
Further, the amount having been paid towards a specific instalment the decree-holders could not appropriate it otherwise than in the payment of the 18th instalment. For both these reasons the payment made by the judgment-debtor could not save limitation under Section 20 of the Limitation Act. The stand taken by the decree-holders in the court below that limitation was saved by Section 20 was wrong; neither Section 20 has any application nor the payment of the 18th instalment as such on 31st July 1948, could save limitation for any other instalment which had fallen due or which was to fall due.
19. The next, question is as to which of the two Articles 181 or 182 (7) applied to the case. The operation of Article 181 is limited to applications for which no period of limitation is provided elsewhere- in the Schedules to the Limitation Act or by Section 48 of the C. P. C. Article 182 applies to the execution of a decree or order of any civil court not provided for by Article 183 or by Section 48 of the C. P. C. The starting point of limitation has been differently given m different clauses but the limitation for instalment decree is covered by Clause (7) while Article 181 prescribes limitation for the snaking of an application for which no limitation has been prescribed. Article 182 prescribss limitation for execution of a decree or an order in cases where a decree is made payable by instalments, with a further provision that in default of payment of one or more instalments the whole of the money shall become due which means that the decree directs the payment of the whole of the balance amount to be made at a certain date and consequently the date of default if it is certain will be the starting time for limitation and the execution application must be made within three years of such default.
In the case of Joti Prasad v. Srichand, AIR 1928 All 629 a Full Bench of this Court laid down that where a decree (1) directed payment of the decretal amount by instalments on particular dates and (2) further directed that the decree-holder shall be entitled to recover the whole of the balance of the decretal amount if there was a default in payment of any two successive instalments, an execution application for recovery of instalments already overdue would be governed by Article 182 (7), but if the execution application was for the recovery of the entire amount because of the default in payment, Article 181 would apply. The reason given by the Full Bench for the application of the latter Article was that there was no certainty about the date of default in payment of two successive instalments and so it was not possible to say that the decree had fixed any particular date for payment of the whole of the amount in a lump sum.
In the present case though the whole of the amount has been claimed yet the decree-holders made no allegations about their taking advantage of any default clause and they in fact could not do so because on the date they Had made the application for execution all the instalmants had fallen due and there was no question of default. It can be treated only to be an execution application for the recovery of the 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd instalments, the total amount of which was Rs. 49000/-and odd. The present case is fully covered by the aforesaid authority and the claim of the decree-holders for the recovery of the 19th instalment which fell due on 31st December, 1947, was barred by time.
20. The aforementioned case was followed in Ram Prasad Rani v. Jadunandan Upadhia, AIR 1934 All 534. In that case there was a compromise decree fixing payment by instalments on certain dates with a direction that the decree-holder would be entitled to realise the whole of the amount in case of default of two successive instalments. It was held by the Division Bench, which decided that case, that the decree-holder had two distinct rights: (1) to receive the instalments as and when they fell due and (2) to enforce the payment of all the instalments that might remain unpaid, in the case of two successive instalments remaining unpaid. It was also held that the right would become time barred to execute the decree if the default occurred prior to three years of the date of the execution application. It was further held that this could not debar the decree-holder to receive the future instalments as and when they were to fall due. This view has been followed in Hari Ram v. Himman Lal, AIR 1935 All 259. A similar View was taken in the case of Latafat Ali Khan v. Kalyan Mal, AIR 1938 All 210, and it was held by a Division Bench that the remedy of the decree-holder to receive instalments as and when they fe.ll due will be covered by Article 182(7) and Article 181 will not apply.
21. There is also a Full Bench authority of Calcutta High Court in the case of Ranglal Agarwalla v. Shyamlal Tamuli, AIR 1946 Cal 500. In that case an instalment decree had been passed by the Court fixing yearly instalments and further directing that in case of default in payment of any instalment the whole amount shall be payable at once. The judgment-debtor paid no instalments and the decree-holder made an application for realising the last three instalments'. The Full Bench took the same view as taken by this Ccurt in the Full Bench case of AIR 1928 All 629, though that case does not appear to have been brought to the notice of their Lordships. The Full Bench held that the decree providing payment by instalments was for the benefit of the judgment-debtor while the further direction that the whole amount shall become due in case of default was for the benefit of the decree-holder whose right to get immediate payment of the amount had been interfered with by the order of instalment and that it was at the option of the decree-Bolder either to claftrf the whole of the amount because of the default or to claim the instalments which had fallen due.
It was further laid down that as the provision for default was for a the benefit of the decree-holder he had an option which he may or may not exercise. If he does not exercise that option, which must be evidenced by the facts and circumstances of the case, he will be entitled to recover the instalments wMch'fell due within three years of the date of the execution application and the case would be governed by Article 182(7) of the Limitation Act. The learned Judge put the same interpretation on the expression 'certain date' under Article 182 (7) as was placed by the Full Bench of this Court in 1928. In view of all these cases the limitation in the instant case would be governed by Article 182 (7) of the Limitation Act.
22. There is, however, a Bombay case of Kantilal Jesingbliai v. Amvatlal Mansukhram, AIR 1943 Bom 260, which expressed a somewhat contrary view. In that case a consent decree had been passed on 29th of March, 1930, directing the payment of the decretal amount in 76 monthly instalments. There was no default clause in the decree giving the decree-holder a right to recover the whole amount on non-payment of any one or more instalments. The penalty provided for non-payment was that the decree-holder was to get interest. His Lordship Beaumont, C. J-, who decided that case, held that as the decree created a single debt payable by instalments the payment of one instalment would be a part payment of the whole debt and it would start a fresh period of limitation for the whole amount of the debt remaining unpaid. The view taken by the learned Chief Justice was taken on the peculiar facts of that case as therd was no default clause.
The whole of that Judgment is based upon the view that the decree constituted one single debt and payment of any instalment would give a fresh start of limitation from the date of payment. His Lordship also expressed the view that where a decree directed the payment to be made at a certain date, the period of limitation would run from that date and Section 20 would have no application. The learned Chief Justice, however, did not take into consideration as to what would happen when payment had been made specifically towards a particular instalment or as to what would be the effect when the full amount was to fall due in case of default. As the case reported in AIR 1943 Bombay 260 is based on different facts it has no application to the present case and even if it thought that it laid down a different proposition of law we are with great respect unable to share the view taken by the learned Chief Justice.
23. Looking at the case from another point of view when an instalment decree provides for payment on certain dates and also gives the decree-holder a right to recover the whole amount in case of default in payment of one or more instalments the decree-holder will have two rights, (1) to recover the instalments as and when they fall due and (2) to realise the entire amount if he takes advantage of the default clause. These two rights of the decree-holder are in a way inconsistent with each other because if he exercises one right he cannot exercise the other Simultaneously. The corresponding obligation of the judgment-debtor would also be different in the two cases because in the former case he will be liable for payment of instalment as and when they fall due and in the latter case he will be liable to pay the whole amount. It is also necessary that if the decree-holder exercises the option of taking advantage of the default clause that right must be available to him on the date the option is exercised and further he must purport to exercise that option.
In a case where all the instalments had become overdue on the date of the execution application strictly speaking the decree-holder would have no light left to exercise the option of claiming the whole amount because of the default. In such a case his right would be limited only to the recovery of the over-due instalments. The present case is one of that type. on 26th April 1951 when the. decree-holders made the application for execution all the four instalments had fallen due as follows :
19th instalment on 31st December 1947.
20th instalment on 31st July 1948.
21st instalment on 31st December 1948.
22nd instalment on Slsf July 1949.
24. In this case the advantage of the default clause could be said to have been taken only if after three instalments had fallen due the decree-holders had applied for execution between 31st December 1948 and 31st July 1949, that is, before the last instalment fell due. There, thus, being no subsisting right for the decree-holders to exercise the option to claim the whole amount on the date of die execution application they could not take advantage of the default clause and that appears to be the reason why in the execution application the decree-holders did not say anything about the exercise of their option of claiming the whole amount because of the default clause. They had to claim the last four instalments because they had become over-due. That also appears to be the reason why it was never argued in the court below that advantage had been taken of the default clause and why the decree-holders wanted to take advantage of the provisions of Section 20 of the Limitation Act. As stated earlier it is a case to which the provisions of Section 20 do not apply and the case is fully covered by the provisions of Article 182 (7). In this view of tile matter the execution application tor the recovery of the 19th instalment was beyond time as 19th instalment had fallen due on 31st December 1947 and the execution application was made more than three years after on 29th April 1951. The learned Civil Judge was, therefore, right in upholding the judgment-debtor's objection in this behalf.
25. The judgment-debtor had also questioned the correctness of the account fit the decree-holders as also the total amount claimed by them in the execution application. The decree-holders were, therefore, asked to tile a statement of accounts. They filed it in the court and the learned counsel for the respondents admitted that the account given by the decree-holders' counsel, who are the appellants in this case, is correct. This appeal too therefore has no force.
26. Execution First Appeal No. 440 of 1953 and Civil Revision No. 1402 of 1953, both filed by the judgment-debtor, are hereby dismissed with costs.
27. Execution First Appeal No. 301 of 1953, filed by the decree-holders, is also dismissed with costs. The orders passed by the learned Civil Judge are hereby confirmed.