1. The sole point for determination in this Revision Petition is whether the suit laid on the Small Cause side is cognizable. The answer to the question depends on the construction of Art. 8 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act. Schedule II relates to suits excepted from the cognizance of the Court of Small Causes. Article (8) states inter alia that a suit for the recovery of rent, other than house rent, is excluded from the Cognizance of Courts functioning under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act.
2. The claim in the present case relates to the use of the water drawn from the plaintiff's well by the defendants. The defence put forward by the defendants is that the claim is not cognizable by the Court under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act.
3. Learned Counsel for the petitioner states that suits for recovery of rent are barred from the cognizance of Small Cause Courts and that the claim in the present case relates to rent and so the court has no competence to try the suit on the small cause side. This objection was negatived by the Court below.
4. The expression 'rent' is clearly suggestive of the payment as consideration for the use of demised premises. In some decided cases the expression had been given a wider connotation. The right to extract minerals or the right to extract gravel was, in some cases, deemed to give rise to a claim for rent but the principle underlying those cases seems to be that the person under an obligation to make the payment had access to the property in question for excavation or for ascertaining some other rights with reference to the corpus of the property in question. In the present case the defendants are entitled to draw water from the well and I do not think the expression 'rent' is apt to describe the payment which the defendants have to make to the plaintiff.
5. The primary meaning of 'rent' is the sum which a tenant pays his landlord for the right of occupying or cultivating the demised premises. It is in that sense that the word has been used in Art. (8). The context makes it clear that it is the amount payable as quid pro quo for occupation or use of the demised premises that is to be regarded as rent. The language used in the Article is significant and what is excepted from the scope of the Article is house rent. The sense in which the Legislature has used the expression is borne out by the reference to rents of houses and I find no reason to hold that the expression 'rent' occurring in Article (8) has to be construed in a manner different from its primary meaning. I think the lower court was right in holding that the claim for recovery of money for the use of the water is not a suit for recovery of rent coming within the purview of Art. (8).
The Revision Petition, therefore, fails and is dismissed with costs.
6. Revision dismissed.