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Debi Sahai Vs. Daulat - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1927All346
AppellantDebi Sahai
RespondentDaulat
Excerpt:
.....act as not to be inconsistent with the provisions of section 273 of the act is to hold that all that was intended by section 44 of the act was to give an option to the land-holder to file a suit for ejectment against a trespasser either in the civil or in the revenue court......by that section it is provided that if a defendant pleads that he is in occupation of the land in suit not as a trespasser but as a tenant on behalf of the plaintiff, the civil court is bound to refer the question of tenancy go raised for the decision of the revenue court. if suits for the ejectment of tenants and of trespassers of agricultural land are all to be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the revenue, courts, it is impossible to conceive what class of cases are contemplated by section 273 of the new act. it is a well-settled canon of construction that the various sections of an enactment should be so construed as not to render a particular provision in the enactment inconsistent with another provision of the same enactment, and the only possible way to so interpret.....
Judgment:

Iqbal Ahmad, J.

1. This is a Reference by the learned Munsif of Meerut under Section 267 of the Agra Tenancy Act (Local Act III of 1926) and arises out of a suit filed in the Civil Court for possession of, and damages with respect to an agricultural holding.

2. It appears that the defendant was a tenant of the plaintiff and a suit for his ejectment was brought in the Revenue Court (under Section 58 of Act II of 1901) by the plaintiff and was decreed. The plaintiff's case was that notwithstanding his ejectment by the Revenue Court, the defendant forcibly took possession of the land in dispute and as such was liable to ejectment and to pay the damages claimed. The defence to the suit was that the defendant, after his ejectment from the Revenue Court, was again readmitted as a tenant of the holding in dispute by the plaintiff and was not in possession as a trespasser, and as such the suit was not cognizable by the civil Court.

3. The suit was admittedly filed after the new Tenancy Act came into force and the point on which the learned Munsif entertained doubt was as to whether the suit was one the cognizance of which by the civil Courts was barred by Section 44 of the new Act. The learned Munsif seems to have appreciated the difficulty that if cases against persons who take forcible possession of an agricultural holding are to be held to be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Revenue Courts, it is not conceivable to what cases Section 273 of the new Act will apply. I have had the assistance of hearing Mr. A.P. Pandey and Mr. Panna Lal, who at my request have kindly acted as amicus curiae. After giving the case my anxious consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the suit as framed by the plaintiff is cognizable by the civil Court.

4. By Section 34 of Act 2 of 1901 a person occupying land without the consent of the landholder was made liable for the rent of the land held by him at a certain rate, but there was no provision in that section which in terms empowered a land-holder, who elected to treat the trespasser as a tenant, to eject him from the land by a suit for ejectment filed in the Revenue Court. Notwithstanding the omission in Section 34 of the old Act to make provision for ejectment of trespassers in possession of land used for agricultural purposes by suits for ejectment filed in the Revenue Court, it was held by this Court in the cases of Balli v. Naubat Singh [1912] 9 A.L.J. 771 and Jagardeo Singh v. Ali Hammad [1918] 40 All. 300 that

a person who, because of the provisions of Section 34 is liable for the rent of the land is also liable to the consequences which follow his nonpayment of the rent and also to such consequences as would enure in the case of non-occupancy tenants holding on under similar circumstances.

5. It appears to me by a comparison of the wordings of Section 34 of the old Act with the wordings of Section 44 of the new Act that all that has been intended by the slight amendment in the new section has been to give statutory recognition to the decisions noted above. In short the Legislature by enacting Section 44 of the new Act has in terms provided for the ejectment of a person taking possession of an agricultural holding as a trespasser by a suit filed in the Revenue Court, and has thus made good the omission in Section 34 of the old Act that led to the contention that it was not open to a land-holder to treat a trespasser as a tenant and file a suit for his ejectment in the Revenue Court. Notwithstanding the fact that it was provided by Section 34 that a trespasser occupying land shall be liable for the rent of that land, it was consistently held by Courts that the landholder was not bound to treat such a person as a tenant and to sue him for rent in the Revenue Court and could treat him as a trespasser and sue him for damages in the civil Court. It was open to a landholder to treat the trespasser as a tenant and to sue for ejectment in the Revenue Court under the old Act and this is, as I have said above, what has been recognized by the Legislature by enacting Section 44 of the present Act. A landholder has two ways of dealing with a trespasser. He may treat him as a tenant and sue for his ejectment in the Revenue Court or he may treat him as a trespasser and file a suit for his ejectment in the civil Court.

6. The necessary consequence of taking the view that all suits for ejectment of persons in possession of an agricultural holding as trespassers are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Revenue Court will be to render the provisions of Section 273 of the Tenancy Act wholly superfluous. By that section it is provided that if a defendant pleads that he is in occupation of the land in suit not as a trespasser but as a tenant on behalf of the plaintiff, the civil Court is bound to refer the question of tenancy go raised for the decision of the Revenue Court. If suits for the ejectment of tenants and of trespassers of agricultural land are all to be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Revenue, Courts, it is impossible to conceive what class of cases are contemplated by Section 273 of the new Act. It is a well-settled canon of construction that the various sections of an enactment should be so construed as not to render a particular provision in the enactment inconsistent with another provision of the same enactment, and the only possible way to so interpret the provision of Section 44 of the Act as not to be inconsistent with the provisions of Section 273 of the Act is to hold that all that was intended by Section 44 of the Act was to give an option to the land-holder to file a suit for ejectment against a trespasser either in the civil or in the Revenue Court.

7. My answer to the Reference is that the suit as brought is cognizable by the civil Court and that the learned Munsif should, in view of the plea taken by the defendant, follow the procedure laid down by Section 273 of the Act.


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