1. This appeal arises out of a suit for pre-emption in. respect of a sale of zamindari shares in Mauza Gobri in the Allahabad district. The plaintiff is a cosharer in the patti in which the property sold is situate. The defendant vendee, the appellant in this Court, is in receipt of a malikana allowance of 10 per cent. of the annual Revenue of the village. In his written statement he states himself as superior proprietor. His exact status has not been made the subject of enquiry. In the judgment of the Court below he is referred to as superior proprietor. This suit was brought upon the provisions of the Wajib-ul-arz under which first co-sharers ekjaddi and next co-sharers in the patti and mahal have been given a right of pre-emption in case of a sale to a stranger.
2. Both the Courts below have held that the plaintiff has a right of pre-emption and the defendant vendee must be considered a stranger. In second appeal to this Court it is contended that the vendee is not a stranger to the village. It is admitted that he does not possess a definite share in the village and that he is not responsible for the Government Revenue but it is contended that his interest is such that he cannot be completely ignored. It is not claimed on his behalf that he has a positive right of pre-emption. The position he takes up is that when a sale is made to him, it is a sale not to a stranger and, therefore, the co-sharers in the village have no right of pre-emption as against him.
3. I am not inclined to differ from the concurrent views of the Court below. Under Muhammadan law a stranger means a person who does not possess a right of pre-emption. The interpretation which the appellant would have me put upon the word 'stranger' is that he is a person who has no interest in the village. That interpretation is, in my opinion, too wide. It may be that it would not be right to apply the interpretation of the word 'stranger' under Muhammadan Law to transactions which give rise to a right of preemption under local custom. But it appears to me that a person, who is not a member of the proprietary body amongst whom a custom of pre-emption exists and who has no common rights and liabilities with the members of the proprietary body, is, for the purposes of preemption, a stranger The result is that I dismiss the appeal with costs including in this Court fees on the higher scale.