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2003 C L C 1661

 

[Lahore]

 

Before Mrs. Fakhar-un-Nisa Khokhar, J

 

GHULAM MUSTAFA KHAN—Petitioner

 

Versus

 

ASHIQ HUSSAIN and others—Respondents

 

Writ Petition No. 16498 of 2002, decided on 20th June, 2003.

Hamid Ali Mirza for Petitioner.

 

Mian Maqsood Ahmad for Respondent No. 1.

 

Nemo for Respondents Nos.2 and 3.

 

Date of hearing: 16th June, 2003.

 

 

JUDGMENT

 

The brief facts giving rise to the instant writ petition are that the petitioner through oral mutation sanctioned on 28-2-2002 purchased land measuring 10 Marlas, 10 Sarsahis in consideration of Rs.30,000 situated in Chak No.67/J.B., Tehsil Saddar, District Faisalabad. The respondent No.1 filed a suit for possession through pre-emption against this sale on 15-3-2002. On 15-3-2002 as the Court time was over the case was fixes before the learned trial Court on 16-3-2002 and the learned trial Court passed the following order:–

 

“Present: counsel for the plaintiff.

 

It is a fresh suit. Be registered. Summons to the defendants be issued for 16-4-2002 in lieu of due process fee and Registered A.D. Envelope. Due process fee and A.D. Envelope be filed within 2 days.

 

2. The Plaintiff is hereby directed to deposit Rs.10,000 as ‘Zar-e -Soim within 30 days.”

 

2. The respondent No. 1 deposited the said amount on 15-4-2002 after getting permission from the Court on the same day. The petitioner filed an application for rejection of the suit that the deposit of Zar-e-Soim on 15-4-2002 is in contravention of the provision of section 24(1) of the l Punjab Pre-emption Act, 1991 which provides that:–

 

“Such period shall not extend beyond 30 days of the filing of the suit. “

 

And the 30th day fell on 13-4-2002 of the filing of the suit as such the deposit on 15-4-2002 was patently beyond limitation prescribed by law. The reply was filed by the respondent. The learned trial Court dismisses the application vide order, dated 6-6-2002. A revision petition was filed against the order of the learned Civil Judge which too was dismissed by the learned Additional District Judge vide judgment, dated 23-7-2002. Hence, the instant writ petition.

 

3. The arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioner are that the learned Courts below have wrongly dealt with the matter on the analogy of section 12 of the Limitation Act which provides that the day from which such period is to be reckoned shall be excluded and in this way both the learned Courts below have fallen in apparent error of law in misinterpreting the provisions of section 24(1) of the Punjab Pre emption Act, 1991 read with the provisions of Limitation Act. Therefore, both the judgments and decrees of the learned Courts below are liable to be set aside.

 

4. The learned counsel for the respondent submitted that the provisions of Order 7, Rule 11, C.P.C. are not attracted to the present case as Zar-e-Soim is deposited within time as per direction of the Honourable Court on 16-3-2002. In the application filed by the petitioner, the period was computed from 15-3-2002 instead of 16-3-2002 while the period was to be computed from the said date i.e. 16-3-2002. The Zar-e-Soim was deposited within time as the next day i.e. 14-3-2002 was Sunday and section 12 of the Limitation Act provides that the day from which such period is to be reckoned shall be excluded. Therefore, the day when the suit is filed will be computed. As far as the provisions of section 24(1) of the Pre-emption Act are concerned only 30 days’ time for the deposit of Zar-e-Soim from the date of filing the suit is given. The time of computation is not prescribed under the provisions of section 24(1) of the Pre-emption Act but when there is no provision to the statute then it is governed by the general law and by the law which is relevant to the section 24(1) of the Punjab Pre-emption Act is Law of Limitation. Section 4 of the Limitation Act excludes the day of holiday from expiry of limitation when Courts are closed. The computation of period will be following day.

 

5. I have heard the learned counsel for the parties and have perused the impugned judgments.

 

6. The provisions of section 24 of the Pre-emption Act are reproduced below:–

 

“(1) In every suit for pre-emption, the Court shall require the plaintiff to deposit in such Court one-third of the sale price of the property in. cash within such period as the Court may fix, provided that such period shall not extend beyond thirty days of the filing of the suit…

 

(2) Where the plaintiff fails to deposit one-third of the sale price or the probable value of the property within the period fixed by the Court, his suit shall be dismissed.”

7. Both the learned Courts below observed that while computing the period of 30 days, the first date on which the time is to be reckoned shall be excluded and 30 days expired on 14-4-2002. On 14-4-2002 it was Sunday and the Zar-e-Soim was deposited on the next day i.e. 15-3-2002, the date of which the limitation is to start, is to be excluded. Similarly, if the date of 15-3-2002 is to be excluded while computing the period of 30 days and if 30 days expire on any holiday when the Courts are closed, according to section 4 of the Limitation Act the period expires on the following day when the Court reopens and held that the deposit was within time.

 

8. The question whether section 5 of the Limitation Act is a specific bar to the present case within the purview of section 24(1) of the Punjab Pre-emption Act. The answer to this question is that the object of law of limitation is to regulate the Courts and manners for providing relief or remedy within a certain regulated period by the statute which governs the suit. If in that statute there is a legal vacuum not providing the manner as to how the statutory period will be computed in fulfilling a statutory legal formality or obligation with the specific time, then it is always the wisdom under law to meet the legal requirements under the general law which is co-related with the statute. In the present case it is the law of limitation which applies to the provisions of section 24(1) of the Punjab Pre-emption Act. As the question of limitation is always a mixed question of law and facts, in the present case the Courts did not order the deposit of Zar-e-Soim after the expiry of period of 30 days from the institution of the suit. Admittedly the order of deposit of Zar-e-Soim was made on 16-3-2002 but the suit was instituted on 15-3-2002. On that day the Court time was over, therefore, no order was made. If the date of institution of the suit is excluded then the limitation of 30 days expires on 14-4-2002. On 14-4-2002 it was Sunday and the Courts were closed. According to section 4 of the Limitation Act whenever a limitation expires on the day when the Courts are closed then the period expires on the day when the Courts re-opens and the learned Courts below computed the period of deposit of Zar-e-Soim within 30 days to be in time. Their computation of the period of 30 days from the date of institution of the suit in the light of the provisions of Limitation Act is lawful. Therefore, the concurrent findings of both the learned Courts being unexceptionable are not interfered in the instant writ petition which is dismissed.

 

9. No order as to costs.

 

H.B.T./G-281/L Petition dismissed.

 

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