top of page
  • Writer's pictureLLC


Supreme Court of India

Shaukat Hussain Alias Ali Akram & ... vs Smt. Bhuneshwari Devi (Dead)) By ... on 25 August, 1972

Order XXI, CPC deals generally with the execution of decrees and orders. That order is divided into several topics, each topic containing a number of rules. The first four topics cover rules 1 to 25 and the fifth topic, namely, stay of execution comprises 4 rules, namely, rules 26 to 29. A perusal of these rules will show that the first three rules i.e. rules 26 to 28 deal with the powers and duties of a court to which decree has been sent for execution. Under rule 26, that court can stay the execution of the decree transferred to it for execution for a reasonable time to enable the judgment-debtor to apply to the court by which the decree was passed or to any court having appellate jurisdiction over the former for an order to stay execution or for any other order relating to the decree or execution which might have been made by the court of first instance or the appellate court. It will be seen, therefore, that under rule 26 the transferee court has a limited power to stay execution before it. Moreover, under sub-rule (2) if any property is seized by it in the course of execution, it may even order the restitution of the property pending the result of the application made by the judgment-debtor to the court of the first instance or to the appellate court. Rule 27 says that any such restitution made under sub-rule (2) of rule 26 will not prevent the property of the judgment-debtor from being retaken in execution of the decree sent for execution. Rule 28 provides that any order of the court by which the decree was passed, in relation to the execution of such decree, shall be binding upon the court to which the decree was sent for execution. And then we have rule 29 which deals with a different situation. The rule is as follows :

" Where a suit is pending in any court against the holder of a decree of such court, on the part of the person against whom the decree was passed, the court may, on such terms as to security or otherwise, as it thinks fit, stay execution of the decree until the pending suit has been decided."

It is obvious from a mere perusal of the rule that there should be simultaneously two proceedings in one court. One is the proceeding in execution at the instance of the decree-holder against the judgment-debtor and the other a suit at the, instance of the judgment-debtor against the decree-holder. That is a condition under which the court in which the suit is pending may stay the execution before it. If that was the only condition, Mr. Chagla would be right in his contention, because admittedly there was a proceeding in execution by the decree-holder against the judgment-debtor in the court of Munsif 1st Gaya and there was also a suit at the instance of the judgment-debtor against the decreeholder in that court. But there is a snag in that rule. It is not enough that there is a suit pending by the judgment-debtor, it is further necessary that the suit must be against the holder of a decree of such court.The words "such court" are important. "Such court" means inthe context of that rule the court in which the suit is pending.In other words, the suit must be one not only pending in thatcourt but also one against the holder of a decree of that court.That appears to be the plain meaning of the rule. It is true that in appropriate cases a court may grant an injunction against a party not to prosecute a proceeding in some other court. But ordinarily courts, unless they exercise appellate or revisional jurisdiction, do not have the power to stop proceedings in other courts by an order directed to such courts. For this specific provisions of law are necessary. Rule 29 clearly shows that the power of the court to stay execution before it flows directly from the fact that the execution is at the instance of the decree- holder whose decree had been passed by that court only. If the decree in execution was not passed by it, it had no jurisdiction to stay the execution. In fact this is emphasised by rule 26 already referred to. In the case before us the decree sought to be executed was not the decree of Munsif 1st Court Gaya but the decree of the Subordinate Judge, Gaya passed by him in exercise of his Small Cause Court jurisdiction. It is, therefore, obvious that the Order staying execution passed by the Munsif, Gaya would be incompetent and without jurisdiction.

Supreme Court of India

Shyam Singh vs Collector, District Hamirpur, ... on 25 September, 1992

It has been said the difficulties of a litigant''begin when he has obtained a decree". It is a matter of common knowledge that far too many obstacles are placed in the way of a decree-holder who seeks to execute his decree against the property of the judgment-debtor. Perhaps because of that there is no statutory provision against a number of execution: proceedings continuing concurrently. Section 51 of the Code gives an option to the creditor, of enforcing the decree either against the person or the property of the debtor; and nowhere it has been laid down that execution against the person of the debtor shall not be allowed unless and until the decree-holder has exhausted his remedy against the property. Order 21, Rule 30 of the Code provides that "every decree for payment of money, including a decree for the payment of money as the alternative to some other relief, may be executed by the detention in the civil prison of the Judgment-debtor, or by the attachment and sale of his property, or by both."

in the case of A.K. Subramania Cheniar v.A Ponnuswami Chettiar , saying:

the Court has a discretion under Order XXI, Rule 21 C.P.C., to refuse simultaneous execution and to allow the decree-holder to avail himself of only one mode of execution at a time.

16. In the case of Uma Kama Banerjee v . Renwick and Co. Ltd. AIR 1953 Calcutta 717, also it was said:

power of the decree-holder is, however, subject to the exercise by the Court of a judicial discretion vested in it under Order 21, Rule 21 of the Code.

17. It is true that the proverbial laws delay is more frequently and strikingly exemplified in execution proceedings that even in the initial dispute, and as such, courts have to aid the creditor in realising the dues from the debtor. But at the same time in the special facts and circumstances of a particular case, the Court can direct the decree-holder or the creditor not to put any property on sale if by the mode already opted by the decree-holder or the creditor, the amount due has been realised or likely to be realised without any further delay.