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Taqi HusaIn Vs. Hafizullah and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1941All92
AppellantTaqi Husain
RespondentHafizullah and anr.
Excerpt:
.....dongre, 1993 mah.lj 74; 1993 lab ic 1858 overruled]. - this the defendants have admittedly made no attempt to do, and i am therefore of opinion that they have failed to establish that they are 'agriculturists' and that the suit should therefore have been brought in the district of bulandshahr......promissory note was for consideration, but that the defendants are tailors and are servants of the village community in that respect' and so under section 7, agriculturists' belief act, the suit ought to have been instituted at bulandshahr where the defendants live. the learned judge accordingly directed that the plaint be returned for presentation to the proper court. the plea taken before me is that the court below has erred in holding that it had no jurisdiction to try the suit. section 2(2), agriculturists' belief act, enacts thata person ordinarily living outside the limits of any municipality who belongs to any of the classes o persons mentioned in schedule 1is an agriculturist for the purposes of the act. the persons enumerated in schedule 1 are as follows:agricultural labourers,.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Collister, J.

1. This is a plaintiff's application in revision under Section 25, Small Cause Courts Act. The applicant sued the defendants upon a promissory note. The defence was inter alia that the promissory note was without consideration and that the Court at Ghaziabad had no jurisdiction. The learned Judge finds that the promissory note was for consideration, but that the defendants are tailors and are servants of the village community in that respect' and so under Section 7, Agriculturists' Belief Act, the suit ought to have been instituted at Bulandshahr where the defendants live. The learned Judge accordingly directed that the plaint be returned for presentation to the proper Court. The plea taken before me is that the Court below has erred in holding that it had no jurisdiction to try the suit. Section 2(2), Agriculturists' Belief Act, enacts that

a person ordinarily living outside the limits of any Municipality who belongs to any of the classes o persons mentioned in Schedule 1

is an agriculturist for the purposes of the Act. The persons enumerated in Schedule 1 are as follows:

Agricultural labourers, general laboureres, cowherds, goatherds, dairymen, blacksmiths, carpenters, fishers, hunters, boatmen, barbers, tanners and leatherworkers, scavengers, basket-makers, potters, midwives, watchmen, washermen, weavers or other servants of the village community or any similar class of persons whom the Local Government may, by notification in the Gazette, from time to time include in this Schedule.

2. Thus, tailors find no place in this list and it is not suggested that they have been included by any subsequent notification. The only question which has been agitated in this Court is whether a tailor properly falls within the category of 'other servants of the village community.' There is apparently no authority on the subject, but I think it will be generally accepted that a 'servant of the village community' is a person who is not paid separately for the individual work he does, but receives periodical remuneration from the community, whether at the time of harvest or otherwise. In Baden Powell's Land System of British India, Vol. I, p. 150 the learned author, after setting out what he calls the 'staff' of the village (in which there is no mention of tailors, though, of course, the enumeration is not exhaustive), says:

In England such artisans in a village would casually settle where the prospects of trade invited, and would indifferently accept work from any comer, being paid by the job. But in India.. the village community invites or attracts to itself the requisite bands of artisans, finds them almost exclusive employment, and does not pay by the job for services rendered, but establishes a regular income or customary mode of annual payment, on receipt of which every village resident is entitled to have his work done without farther (individual) payment.

3. It is argued that a tailor must be regarded as a servant of the community because he supplies the needs of the villagers. But so does a bania and a sonar. It seems to me that the defendants cannot be regarded as agriculturists unless they can show that they are not paid by the job but are recompensed by some customary mode of periodical payment. This the defendants have admittedly made no attempt to do, and I am therefore of opinion that they have failed to establish that they are 'agriculturists' and that the suit should therefore have been brought in the district of Bulandshahr. I accordingly allow this application with costs and set aside the decree of the Court below, which will proceed to determine the other points in issue and decide the suit according to law.


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