L. Mohapatra, J.
1. Civil Revision No. 261 of 1998 has been filed against the order dated 4.8.1998 by the learned Civil Judge (Senior Division), Sambalpur in Title Suit No. 154 of 1994 and Civil Revision No. 262 of 1998 has been filed against the order dated 4.8.1998 passed by the Civil Judge (Senior Division), Sambalpur in Title Suit No. 66 of 1995. Since the question involved is same, both the cases are taken up for hearing and covered by this judgment.
2. In T.S.No. 154/98 (Civil Revision No. 261/98) an application was filed under Order 22, Rule 4-A of the Civil Procedure Code by the plaintiff-petitioner stating that the defendant No. 1 died on 2.8.1997 and that the legal heirs of defendant No.1 are not living in India and they have left India since long deserting the defendant No. 1 and whereabout of the legal heirs are not available or known to the plaintiff. As the defendant No. 1 has ot no legal representative, the estate left by the deceased defendant No.1 should be represented by an officer of the Court.
3. Objection was filed by the defendant No. 2 - opposite party No.1 contending therein that since the plaintiff has admitted that the deceased-defendant No.1 has got his legal heirs to represent him in the suit after his death, Order 22, Rule 4-A of the C.P.C. is not applicable. Having admitted that the defendant No.1 has left legal heirs the plaintiff cannot again say that the defendant No. 1 has got no legal heirs and seeks relief under the said provision.
4. Shri. S.P.Mishra, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that Order 24, Rule 4-A of the C.P.C. is not confined to the cases where a party who dies during the pendency of the suit leaving no legal representative, but also applies to the cases where the legal representatives of the deceased party are not traceable. Learned counsel has referred to the objects and reasons behind the enactment of Order 22, Rule 4-A which was brought to the Statute by way of amendment in the Civil Procedure Code in Year 1976. Shree Mishra submits that the Bill which was submitted before the Parliament with regard to the said amendment speaks of a case not only where the deceased - defendant has no legal representative, but also where legal reprehensive is not traceable. He further subther submits provision has been introduced by way of amendment so that the plaintiff may proceed with the suit. Therefore, trial Court was not justified in rejecting the prayer on the ground that the application is not maintainable in the facts of the case.
5. Shri. N.C.Pati, learned counsel that the provision is so clear and unambiguous that it is not necessary to refer to the objects and reasons or to the preamble. Court can only look into the objects and reasons when it is not possible to arrive at a clear meaning of a particular provision.
It is worthwhile to refer to the said provision which was brought into the Statute by way of amendment in 1976. The relevant portion of Order
22. Rule 4(A) of the C.P.C. runs as follows:
"(1) If, any suit, it shall appear to the Court that any party who has died during the pendency of the suit has no legal representative , the Court may, on the application of any party to the suit, proceed in the absence of a person representing the estate of the deceased person, or represent the estate of the Court or such other person as it thinks fit to represent the estate of the deceased person for the purpose of th auit, and any judgment or order subsequently given of made in the suit shall bind the estate of the deceased person to the same extent as he would have been bound it a personal representative of the deceased person has been a party to the suit.
(2). Before making an order under rule the Court (a) may require notice of the application for the order to be given effect to such (if any) of the persons having an interest in the estate of the deceased person as it thinks fit; and (b) shall ascertain that the person proposed to be appointed to represent the estate of the deceased is willing to be so appointed and has no interest adverse to that of the deceased person."
The apex Court in the decision reported in AIR 1996 S.C. 710 (Rashtriya Mill Mazdoor Sangh) v. National Textile Corporation (South Maharashtra ) Ltd. and Ors.) has observer that one of the cardinal principles of the statutory construction is that where the language of an Act is clear, the Preamble cannot be invoked to curtail or restrict the scope of the enactment and only where the object or meaning of an enactment is not clear the Preamble may be resorted to explain it.
In another decision reported in AIR 1998 S.C. 750 (Devadoss (dead) by L. Rs. and Anr. v. Veera Makali Amman Koli Athalur) the apex Court has laid down the guidelines as to when the Court can look into the statements of objects and reasons. In para-20-A the apex Court has held as follows:
"Question arises naturally whether the Court can refer to the statement of Objects and Reasons mentioned in a Bill when it is placed before the Legislature and even if it is permissible, to what extent the Court can make use of the same. On this aspect, the law is well settled. In Narain Khamnan v. Parguman Kumar Jail (1985) 1 SCC.1 (8) : A.I.R. 1985 S.C. 4, it was stated that though the Statement of Objects and Reasons accompanying a legislative Bill could not be used to determine the true meaning and effect of the substantive provisions of a statute, it was permissible to refer to the same for the purpose of understanding the background, the antecedent state of affairs, the surrounding circumstances in relation to the Statute, and the evil which the statute sought to remedy (See also Kumar Jagdish Chandra sinha v. Ellen K. Patricia D' Sozarie (1995) 1 S.C.C. 164: 1994 A.R.R. S.C.W. 47770."
6.In view of, the aforesaid two decisions, question that arises for determination is as to whether provision as contained in Order 22, Rule 4(A) of the C.P.C. is clear, unambiguous or reference is required to he made to objects and reasons behind such enactment. The section clearly mentions that in any suit if it appears to the Court that any party who has died during the pendency of the suit has no legal representative, the Court may on the application of any party to the suit, proceed in the absence of a person representing the estate of the deceased person or may by order appoint the Administrator-General, or an officer of the Court or such other person as it thinks fit to represent the estate of the deceased person for the purpose of the suit. This provision is so clear and unambiguous that no second meaning can be made out of the same. In clear terms, it speaks of applicability of the section only where the party dies during the pendency of the suit leaving no legal representative. In view of such clear and unambiguous provision, I am of the view that it is not necessary to either refer to the Bill or the Preamble or to the Objects and Reasons behind the enactment of the said provision. The petitioner in its application under Order 22, Rule 4(A) of the C.P.C. has clearly admitted that the defendant No. I has left legal heirs and therefore the application under Order 22, Rule 4(A) is not maintainable.
7. In view of discussions made above and the decisions referred to above, in do not find any merit in the revisions. Accordingly, both the revisions are dismissed.