What is “the first hearing of the suit”?

“the first hearing of the suit” can never be earlier than the date fixed for the preliminary examination of the parties (0. X, R. 1) and the settlement of issues (0. XIV, R. 1 (5)).The question of law raised before us may perhaps be pronounced upon as it is of general importance. S. 20 (4) of., the Act which we have excerpted above fixes the crucial date for deposit of rent as “at the first hearing of the suit,” What is “the first hearing of the suit”? Certain decisions have been cited before us of the Allahabad High Court which indicate that “the first hearing of the suit” is when, after the framing of issues, the suit is posted for trial, that is, production of evidence. In the matters of State statutes where procedure has to be pronounced upon, the practice of the Court is the best guide to interpretation and the Allahabad High Court having pronounced upon the question we think we ordinarily accept such interpretation unless there is something revoltingly wrong about the construction. We see none here and, therefore, adopt as correct the decision of the High Court regarding the meaning of the expression “at the first hearing of the suit”. We may however add that the expression “at the first hearing of the suit” is also to be found in 0. X, R. 1; 0. XIV, R. 1 (5) and 0. XV R. I of the Code of Civil Procedure. These provisions indicate that “the first hearing of the suit” can never be earlier than the date fixed for the preliminary examination of the parties (0. X, R. 1) and the settlement of issues (0. XIV, R. 1 (5)). [ Ved Prakash Wadhwa Versus Vishwa Mohan AIR 1982 SC 816 : (1981) 3 SCC 667 ]