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Bhajanlal Ganga Nath Vs. Jagdish Prasad - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 3342 of 1967
Judge
Reported inAIR1977All196
ActsRegistration Act, 1908 - Sections 49; Transfer of Property Act - Sections 107
AppellantBhajanlal Ganga Nath
RespondentJagdish Prasad
Appellant AdvocateGyan Prakash, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateRajesh Ji Verma, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....that the shop was taken on rent on that very day, that is, on 9th of july, 1958. 8. as already stated above, all the terms of the tenancy have been proved by the oral evidence adduced in this case......lower courts are correct.5. i may now consider the question of the admissibility of this document. oral evidence has been led on behalf of the plaintiff regarding the tenancy and also about the rent settled, it is the monthly tenancy for less than one year. delivery of possession was given to the defendant immediately after the terms were settled. such a lease could be created by means of oral agreement under section 107 of the transfer of pro-perty act. no doubt, the terms of the tenancy were also incorporated in the written lease deed (ext. 7) which may be considered just as a memorandum. in my opinion, it was possible to make use of this deed as a corroborative piece of evidence. it would have been a different matter if the nature of the lease was such that the same could not have.....
Judgment:

H.N. Kapoor, J.

1.This is a defendant's appeal against the decree and judgment dated 16-9-1967 of the Addl. Civil Judge, Etah in civil appeal No. 112 of 1966 confirming the decree and judgment dated 14-5-1966 of the Munsif, Kasganj in original suit No. 312 of 19&5 by which the plaintiff's suit for recovery of Rs. 1286.90 and ejectment of the defendant from the shop in dispute was decreed. The plaintiff was also allowed pendente lite and future damages at the rate of Rs. 33.33 P.M.

2. The plaintiff brought the suit for ejectment from the shop in dispute and also for recovery of arrears of rent amounting to Rs. 1,286.00 np. on the allegations that the shop was let out to the defendant on the 9th of July, 19:58 at the rate of Rs. 33.33 np. The defendant had not paid rent since September, 1962 and as such a combined notice under Section 3 of the U. P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act as well as under Section 106 Transfer of Property Act was served on him and his tenancy was terminated. He did not pay the arrears of rent within the stipulated time, hence he became liable to be ejected. The suit was contested on the ground that the rent was settled at the rate of eight annas per day only and that there were no arrears.

3. On the pleadings of the parties the trial court framed several issues and decided them in favour of the plaintiff holding that the rent settled was Rupees 33.33 np. and not eight annas per day and the defendant had committed the default and was liable to be ejected. In appeal, it was agreed on behalf of the parties that in case the settled rent was found to be at the rate of eight annas per day, there would be no default. The only point that arose for decision before the lower appellate court was as to what was the monthly rent settled between the parties. It also concurred with the findings of the trial court that the settlement of the rent per month was Rs. 33.33 np. and dismissed the appeal.

4. Feeling aggrieved, the defendant has filed this appeal. Learned counsel for the appellant has argued that the lower courts have wrongly relied on the lease deed (Ext. 7) with regard to the term about the rent as that document was not registered and was not admissible in evidence. It appears that before the lower courts, that document was mainly challenged on the ground that it was a forged deed and that the signatures and the thumb-impressions of the defendant on this document were not genuine. Both the courts below have found it as a fact that the deed was not a forged document and that it bore the signature and the thumb-impression of the defendant. It is clear from the judgment of the lower appellate court that the admissibility of this document for corroborative purposes or collateral purposes was not challenged. Even in the grounds of appeal no ground was taken about the admissibility of this document in evidence. So far the genuineness of the deed is concerned, the defendant had admitted his signatures on the back of the stamp papers below the endorsement made by the stamp-vendor. His admitted signatures are also on the written statement. I have myself compared the admitted signatures with the signatures on the front pages of the document and I am not, in the least, in doubt that these signatures tally and the findings arrived at by the lower courts are correct.

5. I may now consider the question of the admissibility of this document. Oral evidence has been led on behalf of the plaintiff regarding the tenancy and also about the rent settled, it is the monthly tenancy for less than one year. Delivery of possession was given to the defendant immediately after the terms were settled. Such a lease could be created by means of oral agreement under Section 107 of the Transfer of Pro-perty Act. No doubt, the terms of the tenancy were also incorporated in the written lease deed (Ext. 7) which may be considered just as a memorandum. In my opinion, it was possible to make use of this deed as a corroborative piece of evidence. It would have been a different matter if the nature of the lease was such that the same could not have been proved by oral evidence and it could have been proved by a lease deed only which required registration. Learned counsel for the appellant has, however, argued that the deed executed is a bilateral document which is a lease deed and it was required to be registered under Section 107 of the Transfer of Property Act. In the absence of registration, it could not be looked into under Section 49 of the Registration Act. He has drawn distinction in the case of qa-buliat and has argued that no lease is created on the basis of qabuliat itself and es such qabu-liat may be used as corroborative piece of evidence but not the lease deed which is a bilateral document. He has placed reliance on the case of Sitaram Maharani v. Chhedi Mahto : AIR1955SC328 . In that case, the settlement of Raiyati interest depended solely on the Hukamnama executed by the landlord that required registration. It was, therefore, held that no oral evidence could be given about the terms of this Hukamnama which was inadmissible in evidence. That Hukamnama and the rights in respect of the same too were found to be not genuine. He has placed reliance on the case of (Seth) Ramjiwan v. Mt. Maharani (AIR 1936 Nag 295) decided by Vivian J. as he then was. That was a case of a perpetual lease which was unregistered. Certain observations which were obiter were made to the effect that such a document cannot be used in evidence for proving the amount of rent settled as that was a term of the lease and not merely for collateral purposes. He has also placed reliance on the case of Haladhar Pathak v. Madan Mohan Sinha Choudhury (AIR 1937 Cal 498) which was also a case in which the lease could not have been created by an oral document. It was held that in case the lease could not be created by oral agreement, the unregistered document (which was a sulehnama forming part of an earlier decree) could not be considered for collateral purposes.

On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondent has placed reliance on various authorities of our High Court in which it was held that evidence can be led about the oral lease when such a lease could be created by oral agreement under Section 107 Transfer of Property Act and in case the terms of the same have been reduced in writing that document (which was qabuliat in those cases) could be used as corroborative piece of evidence. It w,as so held in the case of Ramnath v. Neta : AIR1962All604 by Dhavan J. who decided that appeal and distinguished the case of the lease which could be executed by oral agreement and the case of the lease which could be created by a written lease deed only and made the following observations:

'If a qabuliat is rejected as a document creating a lease, the whole purpose of Section 107 of the Transfer of Property Act would be frustrated if the same document is admitted as evidence of an oral lease exceeding a year or from year to year or reserving a yearly rent But I do not find anything in any of the decisions cited by learned counsel for the respondent to suggest that a qabuliat cannot be looked into as corroborative evidence of a lease for a period of less than a year. Such a lease is permitted by Section 107 to be made by oral agreement, and it does not violate the principles of the Transfer of Property Act or the Evidence Act to look into a qabuliat as corroborative evidence of an oral lease which is otherwise in accordance with law.'

Gurtu, J. in the case of L. Fatehchand v. Mt. Radha Rani (1968 All LJ 625) went to the extent of observing that even an unregistered lease which is for one year and the total amount of rent reserved was more than Re. 50/- which lease can be created by means of a registered document only, can, however, be looked into for collateral purposes with regard to the various terms and for finding out what rent was reserved. A Division Bench of this Court held in the case of Sheo Dulare Lal Shah v. Anant Ram : AIR1954All475 that even when the lease was for a period exceeding one year and the same was evidenced by an unregistered qabuliat only, it can be presumed under Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act that the lessee got possession of the property on the basis of some oral agreement as tenant. That case may not be exactly on the point but tile other two cases referred to above definitely apply on all fours to the facts of this case. I do not agree with the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant that it would make the entire difference if the written deed is a qabuliat and not a bilateral lease. The unregistered deed which is executed by the lessee and the lessor may be used in the same manner for corroborative purposes as the qabuliat as it contains an admission of the lessee.

7. Moreover in the present case, the lease is dated 9th of July, 1958 and it is stipulated that the rent payable was from 8th of each month which clearly shows that the oral agreement had already been arrived at between the parties before this deed was executed, even though the delivery of possession of the shop might have 'been given on 9th of July, 1958, as it is stated that the shop was taken on rent on that very day, that is, on 9th of July, 1958.

8. As already stated above, all the terms of the tenancy have been proved by the oral evidence adduced in this case. The lease deed was used only as corroborative piece of evidence and not as the solitary deed creating rights and liabilities of the parties. Under the circumstances of this case, the lower courts were fully justified in holding that the monthly rent settled was Rs. 33.33 np. and that the defendant had made a default in the payment of rent.

9. In the result, there is no force in this appeal. It is dismissed with costs.


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