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Chanbasayya Padadaya Vs. Chennapgavda Ramchandragavda Patil - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case Number First Appeal No. 254 of 1917
Judge
Reported in(1920)22BOMLR44
AppellantChanbasayya Padadaya
RespondentChennapgavda Ramchandragavda Patil
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....not agriculturists as defined by section 2 of the act, the act not having been extended to the dharwar district in 1903, when the liability came into existence. - - clearly the object of that extension was to enable agriculturists to obtain the benefit of section 20 which enacts that the court may at any time direct that the amount of any decree passed, whether before or after the act comes into force, against an agriculturist, or the portion of the same which it. it may have been the intention of the local government to enable a person resident in dharwar to prove that he was an agriculturist in order to take advantage of section 20. clearly such a person could only prove that he was an agriculturist if he was earning his livelihood wholly or principally by agriculture carried on,..........the act extended only to the districts of poona, satara, sholapur and ahmednagar, but might, from time to time, be extended wholly or in part by the local government to other districts. in 1903 sections 2 and 20 of the act were extended to dharwar. clearly the object of that extension was to enable agriculturists to obtain the benefit of section 20 which enacts that the court may at any time direct that the amount of any decree passed, whether before or after the act comes into force, against an agriculturist, or the portion of the same which it. directs under section 19 to be paid, shall be paid by instalments with or without interest. section 19 had been repealed, and section 20 ought to have been amended accordingly.3. it has been argued then that the defendant can prove that he was.....
Judgment:

Norman Macleod, Kt., C.J.

1. The plaintiff sued to recover possession of the plaint land and Rs. 900 as mesne profits for three years before suit from the defendants. The suit was filed in the Court of the Assistant Judge of Dharwar. The defendant sought to prove by parole evidence that the sale-deed which he had admitted having executed should be construed as a mortgage. This was a defence which he could set up if he was an agriculturist at the time of the transaction which was in 1903.

2. It is argued that the defendant could prove he was an agriculturist within the meaning of Section 2 of the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Belief Act because the Act had been extended to the District of Dharwar before the execution of the sale-deed. When the Act was passed, Sections 1, 11, 56, 60 and 62 only were extended to the whole of British India. The rest of the Act extended only to the Districts of Poona, Satara, Sholapur and Ahmednagar, but might, from time to time, be extended wholly or in part by the Local Government to other Districts. In 1903 sections 2 and 20 of the Act were extended to Dharwar. Clearly the object of that extension was to enable agriculturists to obtain the benefit of Section 20 which enacts that the Court may at any time direct that the amount of any decree passed, whether before or after the Act comes into force, against an agriculturist, or the portion of the same which it. directs under Section 19 to be paid, shall be paid by instalments with or without interest. Section 19 had been repealed, and Section 20 ought to have been amended accordingly.

3. It has been argued then that the defendant can prove that he was an agriculturist at the date of the execution of the sale-deed, but that argument depends upon the definition of 'agriculturist,' which expression under Section 2 must be taken to mean 'a person who by himself or by his servants or by his tenants earns his livelihood wholly or principally by agriculture carried on within the limits of a district or part of a district to which this Act may for the time being extend, or who ordinarily engages personally in agricultural labour within those limits.'

4. But I do not think it can be said that the Act has been extended by the Notification of 1903 to the Dharwar District, and that, therefore, the defendant can now prove that he was an agriculturist at the date of the transaction, so that he can be allowed to prove by parole evidence under 3. 10A that the sale-deed should be construed as a mortgage. It may have been the intention of the Local Government to enable a person resident in Dharwar to prove that he was an agriculturist in order to take advantage of Section 20. Clearly such a person could only prove that he was an agriculturist if he was earning his livelihood wholly or principally by agriculture carried on, if he was a resident of Dharwar, in the Dharwar District, provided the Act had been extended to that District, and, therefore, it may be said that the Local Government considered that the Act had been extended to Dharwar. But we have to consider what is the plain meaning of Section 2. In my opinion it cannot be said that in 1903 the Act was extended to Dharwar merely because Sections 2 and 20 were extended. What is meant by the extension of an Act to a District is the extension of the substantial portion of the Act and not merely the extension of a particular section or one or more sections. Otherwise the Act would extend to the whole of British India because Sections 1, 11, 56, 60 and 62 extend thereto. The plaintiff could only Succeed if Section 2 had contained the words 'district to which this Act may for the time being either wholly or in part extend.' In my opinion, therefore, the decision of the learned Assistant Judge was correct and the appeal must be dismissed with costs.

Heaton, J.

5. We have in this case, as has happened so often before, to consider the meaning of the word 'agriculturist.' Broadly speaking, at any rate for the purposes of this Court, there are two ways of ascertaining the meaning of that word : one way is to turn to the Dictionary, the other way is to turn to the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act. But the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act only provides you with an 'agriculturist' if that person (broadly speaking) is residing within the limits to which the Act has been extended. The word as used in the Act has no application whatever to cultivators and others who live outside those limits. In this particular case the person claiming to be an agriculturist lived and carried on his work in the Dharwar District, and the transaction we are concerned with was of the year 1903. So we have to consider whether the Act extended to the Dharwar District in 1903. There can be no doubt that the Act cannot extend to a District because a few sections only extend. I think the Act itself provides us with good reason for saying this, because it provides that Section 1 and four other sections extend to the whole of British India, and that the rest of the Act extends only to the four named Districts. I do not think that would have occurred in the Act itself if the Legislature bad intended that the extention of these five sections would have to be regarded as an extension of the Act. I think the very contrary appears.

6. Then it may be said that the Act cannot extend to a District unless every single word of it extends. I do not think that applies either. I think what is meant is that there must be an extension of the Act sufficient to provide that its main purpose applies to the District, or a really substantial part of the main purpose. That happened in the Dharwar District in 1905, not in the year 1903. We have the effect of Section 10A dealt with in the Full Bench case of Sawantrawa v. Giriappa Fakirappa : AIR1914Bom273 . The result is rather curious because Section 10A is held to apply to transactions which were entered into after the Act is extended in a particular region, and not to apply to transactions before that time, and this has been described as very arbitrary. But for all that, there is a very good reason for it, and the reason is this Section 10A was enacted to meet an evil which had arisen by reason of the operation of the Dekkhan Agriculturists' Relief Act in the four Districts to which for many years it had been applied, and it was feared that when the Act came to be applied to other Districts the same evil might arise there also. But it did not appear that the evil which was prevalent in the four Districts had at that time become at all common elsewhere. That I believe to be a correct statement of facts so far as they were then known, and I believe so far as they are now known, and, therefore, it would be natural and it would exactly fulfil the intention of those who suggested Section 10 A that it should result precisely as laid down in the Full Bench decision in Sawantrawa v. Giriappa Fakirappa. The remedy for the evil is only to be applied after the evil comes into existence, and the evil is not likely to come into existence until the Act is extended. The result that we have arrived at in this case is absolutely in accordance with what I believe to be the intention of & 10 A. We find that it does not apply to the transaction in this case because that transaction happened at a period before there was any reason to suppose that the evil which a 10 A was intended to thwart had arisen in the Dharwar District. I agree, therefore, that the appeal should be dismissed with costs.


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