1. This petition is against the judgment and decree of the Munsiff of Srirangapatna in S C. No. 29 of 50-51 on his file dismissing the suit, filed for the recovery of rent.
2. The case of the Plaintiff is that the first defendant took the schedule house on rent from the plaintiff and his brother the second defendant on monthly rent of Rs. 5/- and executed an agreement dated 2-12-47 in favour of both of them. The first defendant pleaded that he paid rents to the hands of the second defendant and handed over possession of the suit house on 16-12-18. The second defendant was ex parte, but was examined as a witness for the first defendant. In his evidence he supports the case of the first defendant.
3. The learned Munsiff has held that the discharge pleaded by the first defendant by payment of rent to the second defendant is binding on the plaintiff. This is a case in which the lease deed had been executed both in favour of the plaintiff and the second defendant. It has to be said that the learned Munsiff was wrong in thinking that payment of rent to one of the landlords discharged the liability to the other. I may here refer to the decision reported in 'ABDUL HAKIM v. ADYATA CHANDRA DAS', 22 Cal W N 1021; 'CHOCKA-LINGAM CHETTY v. PERIYA KARUPPAN CHET-TY', 28 Mad L J 197 & 'GENDAL RAJU v. MAGAN LAL CHHAGAN LAL', 113 Ind Cas 618. As against these decisions, there is no doubt a decision of the Madras High Court reported in 'ANNAPUR-NAMMA v. U. AKKAYYA', 36 Mad 544 & the different views of different High Courts have been traversed in the case reported in '7 Mys L J 379', and it was held, following '23 Mys H. C. R. 148.',
'Payment to one of two joint promisees is not a discharge of the entire debt. The payment in such cases will operate only as a valid discharge in respect of the payee's beneficial interest.'
It is however the former case ('23 Mys H. C. R. 148') that is on all fours with the present case. In that case it was held that
'in the absence of proof of agreement between the co-lessors that the rent paid shall be held by them jointly each being owner of the whole, or of a mutual grant of authority between them to receive the rent, the tenants, by payment to the third defendant, were not discharged from their liability to pay the rent to the plaintiff and that the plaintiff was entitled to one half of the rent, the shares being presumed to be equal in the absence of anything to show that they were unequal.'
4. In the case of the members of a joint family the effect of payment to one of them requires special consideration. If one of them happens to be the manager of the joint family payment to him, as manager, may bind the other members. It may be stated that even a junior member may sometimes be regarded as a person who as agent of others recovered money due to all of them as could be gathered from the fact that he was allowed to recover moneys due to the family of the creditors and was in effect treated as a joint-manager. I may here refer to the decision reported in 'BARBER MARAN v. RAMANA GOUNDEN', 20 Mad 461 and the decision of this Court in '28 Mys. HC R 155'. In this case it is neither pleaded nor proved that the second defendant who was a junior member of the family had any express or implied authority to collect rent on behalf of the Plaintiff. While payment by the first defendant to the second defendant is not binding on the plaintiff, the plaintiff cannot recover anything more than his share of the rent due by the first defendant. The judgment and decree of the lower Court dismissing the plaintiff's suit has therefore to be set aside.
5. Accordingly the Revision Petition is allowedwith costs the judgment and decree of the lowerCourt is set aside and there will be a decree againstthe first defendant for half the amount claimed inthe suit with proportionate costs.
6. Revision allowed.