Word “Entertain” – Means to “proceed to consider on Merits”

In Lakshmiratan Engineering Works Ltd. v. CST¸AIR 1968 SC 488 the meaning of the expression “entertain” in the context of a provision in Uttar Pradesh Sales Tax Act, 1948 wherein it was held that, the expression has the meaning of “admitting to consideration”. It was held thus:
“The word “entertain” is explained by a Division Bench Judgment Kundan Lal v. Jagan Nath Sharma, AIR 1962 All 547 of the Allahabad High Court as denoting the point of time at which an application to set aside the sale is heard by the Court. The expression “entertain”, it is stated, does not mean the same thing as the filing of the application or admission of the application by the court. A similar view was taken in Dhoom Chand Jain v. Chaman Lal Gupta, AIR 1962 All 543 in which it was observed that the word “entertain” in its application bears the meaning “admitting to consideration”, and therefore when the court cannot refuse to take an application which is backed by deposit or security, it cannot refuse judicially to consider it. In Bawan Ram v. Kunj Behari Lal, AIR 1962 All 42 the deposit had not been made within the period of limitation and the question had arisen whether the court could entertain the application or not. It was decided that the application could not be entertained because Proviso (b) debarred the court from entertaining an objection unless the requirement of depositing the amount or furnishing security was complied with within the time prescribed. In Haji Rahim Bux v. Firm Sanaullah & Sons, AIR 1963 All 320, a Division Bench interpreted the words of Order 21 Rule 90, CPC by saying that the word “entertain” meant not “receive” or “accept” but “proceed to consider on merits” or “adjudicate upon”. Axis Bank v. SBS Organics Private Limited, (2016) 12 SCC 18.

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