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The Maharaja of Benares Vs. Daljit Singh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1897)ILR19All352
AppellantThe Maharaja of Benares
RespondentDaljit Singh and ors.
Excerpt:
land-holder and tenant - suit to recover arrears of rent from representatives of deceased tenant at fixed rates--liability of representatives. - - this view is clearly erroneous, and is not borne out by the ruling of the full bench referred to by the learned judge......of the lower appellate court. the facts which gave rise to the suit were these. one thakur dayal singh was a tenant at fixed rates of the plaintiff appellant. his rights as such were sold by auction, and purchased by the plaintiff in 1892. thakur dayal was in arrears for the period prior to the date of the auction sale. he died in 1893 leaving those arrears unpaid; thereupon the present suit was brought against his sons as his legal representatives for recovery of the arrears. the courts below have dismissed the suit as against the legal representatives of thakur dayal singh, and the learned judge of the lower appellate court has based his judgment on what he conceived to be the result of the ruling of the full bench in lekhraj singh v. rai singh i.l.r. 14 all. 381. he thinks.....
Judgment:

Banerji, J.

1. This appeal must prevail, and the learned vakil for the respondent has frankly conceded that he cannot support the judgment of the Lower Appellate Court. The facts which gave rise to the suit were these. One Thakur Dayal Singh was a tenant at fixed rates of the plaintiff appellant. His rights as such were sold by auction, and purchased by the plaintiff in 1892. Thakur Dayal was in arrears for the period prior to the date of the auction sale. He died in 1893 leaving those arrears unpaid; thereupon the present suit was brought against his sons as his legal representatives for recovery of the arrears. The Courts below have dismissed the suit as against the legal representatives of Thakur Dayal Singh, and the learned Judge of the Lower Appellate Court has based his judgment on what he conceived to be the result of the ruling of the Full Bench in Lekhraj Singh v. Rai Singh I.L.R. 14 All. 381. He thinks that since the tenancy did not devolve on the defendants, they were not liable in any capacity for the arrears due by their father Thakur Dayal Singh. This view is clearly erroneous, and is not borne out by the ruling of the Full Bench referred to by the learned Judge. The question which arose in that case was whether a suit for arrears of rent due by a deceased tenant brought against the legal representatives of that tenant, who had succeeded him in his holding was cognizable by the Revenue Court or the Civil Court. It was held by the majority of the Judges constituting the Full Bench, that such a suit was cognizable by a Court of Revenue. It was not held in that case, that if the legal representative of the deceased tenant did not choose Co take possession of the holding he would not be liable for the arrears due by the deceased tenant, although he might be in possession of the assets of the deceased. It is impossible that such a view could be entertained by the Full Bench. It may happen that a tenant, who has died leaving his rent in arrear, has left assets of large value which have passed to his legal representative. Surely it cannot be said that if the legal representative did not elect to take the holding of the deceased, he would not be liable for the arrears, although he might have taken possession of the assets of the deceased. In the judgment on which the learned Judge has relied it was observed by the learned Chief Justice that 'the person upon whom the right of occupancy devolves is not bound to accept the tenancy, hut, if he does accept, it, he in my opinion, must accept it subject to its burdens, and one of those, burdens is the legal liability to pay the rent which is in arrear and a suit for which, is not barred by limitation. If such a person elects not to accept the right of occupancy, his liability would be limited to that of a legal representative to whom assets had come.' The learned Judge was therefore in error in thinking that the mere fact of the holding of Thakur Dayal Singh not being in the possession of the defendants relieved them of liability to pay the rent due by the Thakur Dayal Singh. They as legal representatives of Thakur Dayal Singh would be liable to the extent of the assets which have come into their hands. It was not asserted on behalf of the defendants that they had not received any assets. It was admitted, as is indeed the fact, that they were the legal representatives of Thakur Dayal Singh. The existence of the arrears is also not denied. The plaintiff was therefore entitled to a decree against the defendants, their liability being limited to the extent of the assets of Thakur Dayal which have come into their hands. I make such a decree in favour of the appellant, and vary the decree of the Lower Appellate Court to that extent with costs here and in the Courts below.


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