Bimal Chandra Basak, J.
1. This appeal is directed against an order and preliminary decree passed in a mortgage suit filed by the plaintiff appellant herein. The only grievance of the appellant is that the learned Judge has not granted any interest from the date of filing of the suit. It is submitted that so far as the question of interest between the date of the institution of the suit and the date of the decree is concerned, the learned Judge has to grant interest. He has only the discretion so far as the rate of interest is concerned. In this context reliance is placed on a Division Bench decision of this Court in the case of West Bengal Financial Corpn. v. Bertram Scott (I) Ltd. (in liquidation) which has been followed in another
Division Bench decision of this Court in the case of State Bank of India v. B. Gupta (Tea) Pvt. Ltd. . So far
as the rate is concerned it is submitted that the contractual rate was 7 1/2% and it should be granted at that rate.
2. In our opinion so far as the interim interest is concerned the learned Judge should have allowed such interest and there was no question of any discretion in the matter. On the question as to what rate of interest should be allowed, we are not bound by the contractual rate of interest and having regard to the number of years involved we direct that altogether 15 years' interest should be given. It should be pointed out this suit was instituted in June 1959 and preliminary decree was passed in the year 1969. This appeal was preferred in 1970 and it is pending for the last 17 years. In our opinion, the plaintiff should have been diligent in expeditious hearing of this appeal and we shall not accordingly allow more than 5% interest. So far as the Life Insurance Corporation is concerned it is public institution. It carries on the business of earning money by giving loans and the money which it invests is collected on account of premiums by the assured. However, having regard to the number of years involved, we shall grant interest on the principal sum for 15 years only. For the purpose of calculation of interest only, the principal sum would be deemed to be 4 lakhs. Accordingly such further interest subsequent to the institution of the suit shall be at the rate of 5% for a period of 15 years which makes a total sum of Rs. 3 lakhs so far as the interest is concerned.
3. The appeal is allowed to this extent and the preliminary decree is modified to that extent. We should point out in this context that there was part adjustment of this appeal whereby certain amounts were to be paid. If that amount has been paid then it would be dealt with in a manner specified in the order regarding the terms of settlement. Preliminary decree is to be drawn up in accordance with law and in accordance with this judgment and decree.
Satyabrata Mitra, J.
4. I agree.