1. The petitioner is the plaintiff in S.C. No. 33 of 1969 on the file of the Additional Distract Munsif's Court, Chodavaram. The suit was filed for recovery of rent of Rs. 400 due to the petitioner as per the lease deed dated 8-4-1968. The respondents contended that the lease deed in question is not admissible in evidence as it is not registered as required under Section 17, Cl.,(d) of the Indian Registration Act. The trial Court after going through the lease deed in question came to the conclusion that the document in question is a lease of immovable property reserving a yearly rent. As such it falls within the scope of Sec. 17(1)(d) of the Indian Registration Act and therefore, inadmissible in evidence.
2. In this revision Mr. C. Poornaiah, the learned counsel for the petitioner, contends that the trial court erred in coming to the conclusion that the document in question is a lease of immovable property reserving yearly rent and therefore falls within the scope of Sec. 17(d). He contends that a perusal of the document would show that the document was for a vernacular year and the least amount mentioned therein was for the vernacular year. According to the General Clauses Act the word 'year' referred to in Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act would mean 'British Calendar' year. Therefore, the document in question cannot be considered as a lease of immovable property reserving yearly rent. Hence this document is inadmissible in evidence in spite of the fact that it has not been registered. I am of the opinion that the contention advanced by Mr. Poornaiah has some force. Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act provides that 'leases of immovable property from year to year, or for any term exceeding one year, or reserving a yearly rent' should be registered. The word 'year' has been interpreted in the Indian General Clauses Act. Section 3, Cl., (66) reads 'year' shall mean a year reckoned according to the British Calendar. In those circumstances the words 'year to year' in Section 17(d) of the Indian Registration Act would mean that it relates to a year according to the 'British Calendar' and not according to vernacular calendar. If this position is accepted the lease deed of immovable property from year to year would become compulsorily registerable if it is for a British Calendar year and not for a vernacular calendar year.
Mr. Bhagiratha Rao, learned counsel for the respondents, contends that the words 'reserving yearly rent' should be interpreted to mean a yearly rent for the vernacular year. I regret I cannot accede to this contention, because it would be rather contradictory to interpret the words 'year to year' under Section 17, cl., (d) of the Indian Registration Act as a year according to the British calendar and to interpret yearly rent according to the vernacular calendar. The words 'yearly rent' surely will have to be interpreted in the same manner as the words 'year to year' are interpreted viz., the yearly rent according to the British calendar and not according to the vernacular calendar.
Hence I am of the opinion that the order of court below has to be set aside and the revision allowed. Accordingly the revision is allowed. The lower court will take the suit on file and dispose it of according to law. Having regard to the circumstances of the case there will be no order as to costs.
3. Revision allowed.