1. This special appeal arises out of a suit for ejectment and damages. Shiv Nath brought the suit against Ram Bharosey Lal in the Court of the Munsif of Moradabad on these allegations.
2. The plaintiff is the owner of a certain shop situate in the city of Moradabad. Baldeo Das was the tenant of this shop on a monthly rait of Rs. 10. Baldev Das is dead. Ram Bharosey Lal, defendant is his son. He continued to occupy the shop after his father's death. Defendant's occupation is unlawful. The plaintiff served upon the defendant a notice to quit. But he did not vacate the shop. In fixing a certain machine in the shop, the defendant caused substantial damage to the building. The defendant has wilfully caused a nuisance by fixing this machine in the shop. The plaintiff, therefore, brought the suit for the defendant's ejectment from the shop and to recover a sum of Rs. 60 as damages for use and occupation of the shop.
3. The defendant admitted that he was in possession of the shop. But it was denied that the occupation was unlawful. The defendant pleaded that he was in possession as plaintiff's tenant. It was denied that the defendant received a valid notice to quit. It was denied that the defendant created any nuisance, or caused substantial damage to the building. It was denied that the defendant is liable to ejectment.
4. The learned Munsif held that the charges of nuisance and substantial damage to the building have not been proved. The Court held that the defendant received a valid notice to quit. The Court accepted the plaintiffs case that occupation of the shop by the defendant was unlawful. The Court, therefore, passed in plaintiffs favour a decree for ejectment from the shop, for the recovery of Rs. 60 for damages up to the date of the suit, and for future damages at the rate of Rs. 10 per mensem.
5. The defendant appealed. The appeal was disposed of by the Additional Civil Judge, Moradabad. He agreed with the trial Court that the notice to quit was valid, and that there was not sufficient evidence to prove that the defendant created nuisance or caused wilful damage to the building. The Court, however, disagreed with the trial Court as regards the defendant's status. The Court held that the defendant was plaintiffs tenant, and was entitled to protection under Section 3 of U. P. Act No. 3 of 1947. He was not liable to be ejected except as provided under Section 3 of the Act No. 3 of 1947. The appeal was, therefore, partly allowed. All that the Court granted to the plaintiff was a decree for Rs. 60 towards arrears of rent. Other reliefs were refused. A second appeal by the plaintiff was dismissed by a learned single Judge of this Court. The plaintiff has, therefore, filed this special appeal.
6. When the special appeal came up for hearing before a Division Bench, the learned Judges entertained some doubt as to the correctness of a previous decision by another Division Bench in a similar case. The special appeal has, therefore, been, referred to this Full Bench for decision.
7. The main question for decision in this Special appeal is whether the defendant is a trespasser as alleged by the plaintiff, or is plaintiffs tenant as pleaded by the defendant. This question in its turn depends upon the question whether the defendant's father, Baldeo Das was a tenant at will or a monthly tenant. It is, therefore, necessary to ascertain the status of Baldeo Das at the tune of his death. Initially, Baldeo Das obtained the shop in dispute from the plaintiff's predecessor-in-interest, Kedar Nath through lease (Ext 1) dated 22-3-1941. That lease was for a period of 11 months only, and expired in February 1942. But Baldeo Das continued to occupy the shop even after February 1942. It has been found that Baldeo Das died in July 1951. The question, therefore, arises whether occupation of the shop by Baldeo Das between February 1942 and July 1951 was as a tenant at will or as a tenant from month to month. These two expressions have not been defined in the Transler of Property Act. But the two expressions have been explained in text-books and in cases decided by different High Courts.
8. Nature of tenancy at will has been explained in Halsbury's Laws of England, 3rd Edn., Vol. 23 on p. 505 under para 1150. A tenancy at will is a tenancy under which the tenant is in possession, and which is detenninable at the will of either landlord or tenant. It is further stated in paragraph 1151 that a tenancy at will is implied when a person is in possession by the consent of the owner, and is not held in virtue of any tenancy for a certain term.
9. The expression 'tenancy from year to year' and 'tenancy at will' have been explained in Cheshire's Modern Law of Real Property, 9th Edn. on p. 354:--
'A tenancy from year to year differs from a tenancy for a fixed number of years, in that, unless terminated by a proper notice to quit, it may last indefinitely; and from a tenancy at will, in that the death of either party or the alienation of his interest by either party does not effect its determination ...... A tenancy from year to year will arise by operation or presumption of law whenever a person is in occupation of land with the permission of the owner, not as a licensee nor for an agreed period, and lie pays rent measured by reference to a year.'
10. The expression 'tenancy a will has been explained in Foa's Genera! Law of Landlord and Tenant, 10th Edn,., under Section 5:--
'Tenancies at will are tenancies which endure at the will of the parties only, i, e., at the will of both . . . This, however, is only where no term is fixed in tha demise between the parties, except the will of either or both'.
Tenancy from year to year and other periodic tenancies have been explained in Section 6:--
'Tenancies from year to year, like tenancies at will, may be created by express agreement, or may arise by implication of law. They belong to the class of 'periodic' tenancies, i. e., tenancies which, while the holding continues, repeat themselves from period to period. Other common instances of this are tenancie, from quarter to quarter, from month to month, and from week to week; and both in yearly tenancies (in which the tenant is regarded in law as having an interest for a year certain, with a growing interest during every year thereafter springing out of the original contract and parcel of it,) and in all others of a periodic nature, the holding, while the tenancy lasts, is continuous from period to period'.
Tenancy at will has been discussed in Woodfall's Law of Landlord and Tenant on pages 280 and 281 :--
'A tenancy at will is where lands or ten-emcnts are let by one man to another, to hold at the will of the lessor: in this casa the lessee is called tenant at will, because ho has no certain or sure estates: for the lessor may put him out at any time he plesses. Either party may at any time determine a strict tenancy at will, although expressed to be held at the will of the lessor only, and the landlord may determine it by demand of possession or otherwise without a previous formal notice.'
11. In Khavali v. Husain Baksh, (1886) ILR 8 All 198 a kabuliat contained this stipalation :-- -
'I do declare that I shall continue to pay the annual rent every year, and that if I should fail to pay the rent in any year, the owners of the house shall be at liberty to recover the rent through the Court.'
It was held that the defendant was a mere tenant at will. The judgment was very brief.
12. In Khuda Baksh v. Sheo Din, (1886) ILR 8 All 405 it was stated in the early part of two leases that the land was given for more than a year. But it wag mentioned later in those leases that at any time at the will and mere wish of the lessor the lessees were to give up the land only at 15 days' notice. It was held by Mah-mood, J. that the rights created by the two leases were those of tenants at will,
13. The decision by Mahmood, J. is entitled to great respect. But it may be pointed out that the principal question before the High Court in Khuda Baksh's case (1886) ILR 8 All 405 was as regards admissibility of the two documents. The District Judge held that the two documents were not admissible in evidence. The High Court disagreed. The Court held that the two documents were admissible in evidence. The District Judge was directed to admit the two documents in evidence and reconsider the whole case. It will be seen that the order passed by the High Court was merely an order of remand. The case was not finally disposed of by the High Court.
14. In Abdul Razak v. Nandlal Sheolal, AIR 1938 Nag 506 a rent note contained the following provision :--
'You have got these houses .... I have taken them on a rent of Rs. 12-8-0 per mensem. I will pay the amount regularly every month. If I make a default for 3 months, you may get your houses vacated immediately . . . .'
It was held that the rent note created a tenancy of indefinite term which, as soon as three months' rent was in arrears, reduced itself to tenancy at will, becausa on that event occurring, the landlord be came entitled to eject the tenant without notice.
15. In Babu Lall v. Gopi Lal : AIR1957Pat490 there was a stipulation in a lease that the lessees may remain in the house as long as they please. According to another clause in the lease, occupation was on monthly rental. It was held that as a matter of construction the tenancy was a tenancy at will, and not a monthly tenancy.
16. In Bansidhar v. Ram Charan it was held that a tenancy at will is determined at will either of the landlord or of the tenant.
17. In Deo Nandan Prasad v. Meghu Mahton, (1907) 11 Cal WN 225 it was observed on page 230 :--
'If on the other hand the status of the Defendants is that of a mere tenant-at-will, a demand for possession would be sufficient. Whether the Defendants are tenants-at-will or not, would depend upon the terms of the agreement between the parties. If the parlies intended that the tenancy should be terminable at the will of either party, the position of the Defendants would be that of tenants-at-will.'
18. In Ram Lal v. Bibi Zohra, AIR 1941 Pat 228 a lease was granted for the construction of a house. It was expressly stated that the lessee was free to give up the house and remove the materials thereof whenever he chose. It was held that the tenancy created under the lease was either a tenancy at will or a tenancy from month to month.
19. In Bavasaheb v. West Patent Press Co. : AIR1954Bom257 it was explained that if a lease is expressed to be terminable at the option of the lessor or at the option o the lessee, it creates a tenancy at will, and such tenancy is determined at the option of either party to the contract.
20. We are now in a position to distinguish between a tenancy at will and a tenancy from month to month. In certain cases it has been held that a tenancy at will is not a lease at all; it is Just a licence. One need not go to that length. However, a tenancy at will is of precarious nature. Neither party can be certain about the duration of a tenancy at will. On the one hand the tenant may leave the premises at any time he likes, and put an end to the relationship of landlord and tenant. On the other hand, the landlord may call upon the tenant to quit at a moment's notice. A tenancy from month to month is not a tenancy for a fixed period. Yet parties can be certain about duration for a minimum period. A tenancy from month to month is tenancy for one month certain. There is a reasonable prospect of the tenancy being renewed beyond one month. But there is no certainty. Either party may terminate such a tenancy by giving the appropriate notice to the opposite party.
21. This special appeal has been referred to a Full Bench on account o a conflict between decisions by two Division Benches of this Court in two cases. Those two decisions may now be examined. In Raman Lal v. Bhagwan Das : AIR1950All583 the facts were these. Raman Lal let out a certain shop to Lallo Mal, who was the father of Bhagwan Das, defendant. The lease, dated 23-10-1942 ran thus :--
'I have taken the shop on rent of Rs. 15 per month for the period of eleven months. I shall pay the rent month by month; if I fail the landlord would have the right to eject me at once from the shop. After the expiry of eleven months the landlord can at his will whenever he likes give me a month's notice to vacate and I will vacate without any objection, or I can myself vacate at my will whenever I like after giving a month's notice to the landlord.'
The lease was in the first instance for a period of 11 months only. That period expired in September 1943. Lallo Mal continued to be in possession after September 1943. The question arose as regards Lallo Mal's status after September 1943. It was held that Lallo Mal was a tenant at will.
22. The learned Judges laid stress on the fact that the notice prescribed in Lallo Mal's lease need not have expired on the last date of the month of the tenancy. Reliance was apparently placed on the provision of Section 106, Transfer of Property Act. This is a Central Act. The first paragraph of Section 106, T. P. Act ends with the expression 'expiring with the end of month of the tenancy'. It may, however, be pointed out that Section 106, T. P. Act has been amended by U. P. Act No. XXIV of 1951. The amendment has introduced two changes in Section 106, T. P. Act. Firstly, the words 'thirty days' notice' have been substituted for the words 'fifteen days notice.' Secondly, the expression 'expiring with the end of a month of the tenancy has been omitted from Section 106, T. P. Act.
According to Section 106, T. P. Act in force in Uttar Pradesh, a notice to quit need not expire with the end of a month of the tenancy. It has never been suggested that a tenant governed by Section 106, T. P. Act (as in force in Uttar Pradesh) is not a tenant from year to year or a tenant from month to month, as the case may be. The provision that a notice should expire with the end of a month of the tenancy is not the essence of a monthly tenancy. That position is also clear from Section 106, T. P. Act itself. The presumption mentioned in that section arises only in the absence of a contract to the contrary. It is always open to parties to stipulate for a special form or period of notice. The fact that Lallo Mal or his landlord could give a month's notice at any time had little bearing on the nature of the tenancy. It is true that the word 'will' was repeatedly used in Lallo Mal's rent note. But the use of the expressions 'at his will' and 'at my will' were not decisive. It will be seen that there was a provision in the lease that each party had to give a month's notice to the other party in order to terminate the tenancy, A tease of this nature cannot be described as a tenancy at will. In my opinion, Raman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 was wrongly decided.
23. Raman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 came up for consideration before another Division Bench of this Court in Tarif Elahi v. Smt. Lal Dei, 1965 All LJ 1129. The learned Judges expressed their disapproval of the view taken in Ramaii Lal's case : AIR1950All583 B. Dayal, J. observed on page 1131.
'...............a person whose tenancy has to be determined by service of a formal notice for whatever period it may be is not a tenant at will. A tenant at will under the English law is nothing more than a licensee under the Indian law. It is a personal relationship between a landlord and the tenant and that relationship can be terminated either by the landlord or by the tenant by a mere expression of intention'.
I agree with the learned Judge that if, under a contract of tenancy, a party is required to serve on the other party a formal notice for a definite period, the relationship between the parties cannot be described as tenancy at will.
24. The lease (Ex. 1) in the instant case differs from the lease in : AIR1950All583 in one respect in Hainan Lal's case the lease itself provided for continuance of tenancy beyond the period of 11 months mentioned in the document. That is not the position in the instant case. The lease (Ex, 1) was for a period of 11 months. It was stated in the document that on the expiry of the period the second party would vacate the shop and hand over possession to the first party without notice.
25. It will be seen that the lease (Ex. 1) did not contain any provision for extension, of the lease beyond the period of 11 months. Yet, Baldeo Das remained in possession for several years after the expiry of that period of 11 months. Such a situation attracts the doctrine of holding over.
26. The effect of holding over has been described in Section 116, T. P. Act. Section 116, T. P. Act states:--
'If a lessee or under-lessee of property remains in possession thereof after the determination of the lease granted (o the lessee, and the lessor or his legal representative accepts rent from the lessee or under-lessee, or otherwise assents to his continuing in possession, the lease is, in the absence of an. agreement to the contrary, renewed from year to year, or from month to month, according to the purpose for which the property is leased, as specified in Section 106.'
27. Mr. K.C. Saksena appearing for the appellant urged that Section 116, T.P. Act applies only in the absence of an agreement to the contrary. He urged that in the present case there was an agreement to the contrary. Consequently, Section 116, T. P. Act cannot apply. Mr. K. G. Saksena pointed out that there was a condition in the lease (Ex 1) that in case of default in the payment of rent for any one month, the first party could require the second party to vacate the shop during the period of the lease without notice. Mr. K. C. Saksena urged that such a condition in the lease renders Section 116, T. P. Act inoperative.
28. In Suiti Devi v. Banarsidas : AIR1949All703 it was held that the words 'in the absence of an agreement to the contrary' occurring in Section 116, T, P. Act cannot be taken as referring only to the existence of an agreement as to the terms of the holding over. They also refer to the existence of an agreement to the contrary regarding the period of notice provided in Section 106, T. P. Act for a particular kind of notice. Where a lease for manufacturing purpose is held over on the terms of the original lease and the original lease provides for three months' notice for the termination of the lease under certain circumstances, the provision of six months' notice laid down in Section 106, T, P. Act cannot apply.
28a. In Radha Ballabh v. Ram Chand : AIR1955All679 it was held that renewal of a lease from year to year or from month to month according to the purpose for which the property is leased is to he presumed only when there is no agreement to the contrary. Where there is an agreement to the contrary, it cannot be said that by holding over the tenant acquires greater rights than what he possessed under the original lease.
29. In Lalman v. Mt. Mullo, AIR 1025 Oudh 173 it was held that where a new tenancy is created by reason of the land' lord allowing the tenant to hold over after the original lease terminates, then, in the absence of any terms in respect of the new tenancy, the terms governing the original lease will he deemed to have been accepted by the parties arid if there was a provision in the original tenancy dispensing with a notice to quit, (he same applies with regard to the new tenancy.
30. The lease (Ex. 1) was for a period of 11 months. The rate of rent was Rs. 5/-p. m. But it is stated in the plaint that Raldeo Das was a tenant of the shop on a monthly rent of Rs. 10/-. It, therefore, appears that rent was enhanced alter the expiry of the period of 11 months mentioned in Ex. 1. Enhancement of rent suggests a fresh contract of tenancy. We do not know the terms of the new contract between the, landlord and Baldeo Das. According to Section 106, T. P. Act, in the absence of a contract to the contrary, a lease of immovable property for a purpose other than agricultural and manufacturing purposes shall be deemed to be a lease from month to month. There is, therefore, a presumption that the relationship between the landlord and Baldeo Das was tenancy from month to month.
.31. According to the principle of holding over discussed in Section 116, T. P. Act, if a lessee remains in possession after the determination of the lease, and the lessor accepts rent from the lessee, the lease is, in the absence of the agreement to the contrary, renewed from month to month. It is common ground that the landlord accepted rent from Balded Das for several years after February 1942. The principle of holding over is, therefore, attracted. The expression 'in the absence of an agreement to the contrary' appearing in Section 116 does not imply that a special term in the original lease makes the doctrine of holding over inapplicable altogether. The only effect of such a special term in the original lease is that one has to read that special term in the renewed lease. According to Ex. 1, Baldeo Das was liable to ejectment in case of default in the payment of rent for any one month. We may read that very term in the renewed lease. Such a special term in the renewed lease does not alter the fact that the renewed lease was from month to month. The doctrine of holding over under Section 116, T. P. Act is applicable in spite of the special term in Ex. 1 pointed out by Mr. K.G. Saksena.
32. On any view of the matter, Baldeo Das was not a tenant at will at the time of his death. Either he was a tenant under a specific renewed lease, or he was a tenant holding over. In either case ha was a tenant from month to month.
33. The question now arises whether the rights of Baldeo Das were heritable. In Woodfall's Law of Landlord and Tenant it is stated on page 464 that a tenancy does not determine by the death of the lessee, but will vest in his legal personal representatives, who are entitled to give or receive the usual notice to quit. In : AIR1950All583 it was pointed out on page 586 that the interest of a tenant from year to year is heritable. A tenant from mouth to month is in the same position. Mr. K.C. Saksena conceded that the interest of a tenant from month to month is heritable. Consequently, upon the death of Baldeo Das, his son, Ram Bharosey Lal became a tenant from month to month.
34. Although the defendant's possession was described in the plaint as unlawful occupation, the plaintiff did not pay court-fee on the plaint as in a suit against a trespasser for his ejectment. Court-fee was paid on the basis of rent for one year. The plaintiff raised the pleas of nuisance and substantial damage to the building. These are some of the grounds recognised in Section 3 of U. P. Act No. III of 1947. The frame of the suit suggests that the plaintiff had no serious objection if the defendant was treated as a tenant of the shop.
35. The shop is situate at Moradabad. It was not disputed for the appellant that U. P. Act No. III of 1947 applies to Moradabad. It was not suggested for the plaintiff that he obtained permission from the District Magistrate for filing a suit for ejectment of the defendant. The plaintiff failed to establish any ground for ejectment mentioned hi Section 3 of the Act. The learned single Judge, therefore rightly held that the defendant is not liable to eviction from the shop.
36. In my opinion, the special appeal should be dismissed with costs.
S.N. Singh, J.
37. I have read the judgment prepared by my learned brother Mr. Justice Oak and I agree that tile Special Appeal should be dismissed with costs. I agree that the lease Ex. 1 in the present case differs from the lease in : AIR1950All583 and for the reasons given In the judgment of my learned brother I hold that the status of Baldeo Das and after him of his son Ram Bharose Lal was that of a tenant from month to month and that the defendant Ram Bharose Lal was not liable to ejectment in absence of any ground as contemplated by Section 3 of the Rent Control and Eviction Act.
38. Since we are of the opinion that the terms of the lease in the present case differ from the lease which was interpreted in Raman Lal's case, AIR 1950 All 588 it is not necessary to express any opinion about that case for any expression of opinion will Only he, an obiter. However, in view of the referring order UK it has been considered necessary to examine that case I also propose to examine it.
39. Before examining the lease in Raman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 it is necessary to notice relevant portions of some of the paragraphs in Halsbury's Laws of England, 3rd Edition, Vol. 23 on pages 505, 507 and 508 under paras. 1150, 1153 and 1354 and Foa's 'The Relationship of Landlord and Tenant' pages 579 and 580.
40. 1150. Nature of tenancy at will: A tenancy at will is a tenancy under which the tenant is in possession, and which is determinable at the will of either landlord or tenant; and although upon its creation it is expressed to be at the will of the landlord only or at the will of the tenant only, yet the law implies that it shall be at the will of the other party also; for every lease at will must in law be at the will of both the parties. As in other tenancies, a tenancy at will arises by contract binding both landlord and tenant, and the contract may be express or implied.
41. A tenancy expressed to be at will takes effect according to its tenor, notwithstanding that a rent at an annual rate is reserved.
42. 1153. Possession after expiry of lease; A tenant, who, with the consent of the landlord, remains in possession alter his lease has expired, is tenant at will until some other interest is created; until, for instance, the tenancy is turned into a yearly tenancy by payment of rent; thus, where a lease of war damaged premises was disclaimed and so deemed to have been surrendered and the landlord and the tenant were willing that the tenant should remain in occupation as a trespasser, in law the tenant continued in possession as tenant at will .. .. .. .. ..
43. 1154. Determination of tenancy at will: A tenancy at will is determinable by either party on his expressly or impliedly intimating to the other his wish that the tenancy should be at an end. Until the intimation is thus given the tenant is lawfully in possession, and accordingly the landlord cannot recover the premises in an action for recovery of land without a previous demand of possession or other determination of the tenancy. Where rent is payable under a tenancy at will, and the tenancy is determined between the rent days, the rent is apportioned.
44. Foa, in his book 'The Relationship of Landlord and Tenant', Fifth Edition at pages 579 and 580 has dealt with as follows as to how tenancies at will are determined:
A tenancy at will may be determined at any time arid by either party during the tenancy. The right, however, is subject to this limitation, that such determination by one party will not be allowed to operate to the prejudice of the other. Thus, if the tenancy be determined by (he lessor, the lessee, being possessed only of an uncertain interest, will be entitled to emblements (whilst if determined by the lessee it is otherwise), and may claim to have a reasonable time allowed to him to remove his goods from the premises, though not to retain exclusive possession for that purpose, So, on the other hand, if under a tenancy at will rent were made payable periodically, the lessee could not by determining the tenancy deprive the lessor of his right to rent for the current period whilst if the tenancy were determined by the lessor the rent would be lost; but cases of this kind would now fall within the Apportionment Act.
By the lessor:-- A demand of possession, or anything equivalent thereto, made on the land by the lessor is sufficient; . . . .... So an agreement between the lessor and lessee that the latter shall purchase the reversion also operates as a determination of the will. And the tenancy is likewise determined by the death of the lessor.
By the lessee:-- A notice by the lessee, followed by his giving up possession, is a valid determination or the tenancy by him. And so is any act done by him which is inconsistent with his will that the tenancy should continue: assigning or under letting the promises, for instance, is a determination of his estate, although in order to bind the lessor notice thereof must have been given to him. If the lessee die, or commit voluntary waste, the tenancy is also determined.
45. The above quotations along with the provisions of other text books and the case law cited at the bar and noticed by my learned brother in his judgment would show that a tenancy at will is a tenancy under which the tenant is in possession is determinable at the will of the landlord or the tenant. Merely because there is a period given in the lease for vacating the demised land it will not-cease to be a tenancy at will. The guiding principle for determination of the nature of tenancy is the tenor of the document. If on a fair reading of the document the intention, of the parties can be gathered that they intended to terminate the tenancy at the sweet will of anyone of them the tenancy should be held to be tenancy at will, words expressing such infection cannot be ignored and should be held to be decisive of the nature of tenancy. The terms of the lease in : AIR1950All583 have been given in the judgment of my learned brother, the lease at the first instance was for a period of 11 months only and after that period it was stipulated that the continuance of the tenancy would be at the will of the landlord or the tenant. A further stipulation was incorporated that on the termination of the tenancy one month's notice was to be given by the landlord or the tenant as the case may be for the benefit of the other.
This stipulation does not mean that the tenancy would be determined after a month. The stipulation about one month's notice should not be confused with a notice to quit which is necessary for the determination of a monthly or yearly tenancy. On the terms of the lease in Raman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 , the tenancy would be deemed to be terminable at the will of the lessor or the lessee. On the determination of a tenancy at will some reasonable time has to be given to the tenant to vacate. He cannot be thrown out as soon as the tenancy is determined This reasonable time may be a few days, a week, a fortnight or a month as agreed to between the landlord and the tenant. In Raman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 , this reasonable time was considered to be a month. Similarly in the case of ILR 8 All 405, 15 days was considered to be the reasonable time.
In my opinion in neither of the two cases giving of notice was considered to be a condition precedent to the determination of the lease. As I interpret the lease in Raman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 I find that formal notice to quit was not considered necessary for the determination of the, tenancy, on the other hand it was determinable at the will of the lessor and the lessee. For the reasons given above and in view of paragraph 1153 of the Halsbury's Laws of England quoted above and in view of the passages quoted from Foa's 'The Relationship of Landlord and Tenant' I am of opinion that the leases in Raman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 as well as in that of ILR 8 All 405 conferred rights of a tenant at will on the respective lessees, as such it cannot be said that any of the two cases was wrongly decided.
46. I agree with the observation of B. Dayal, J. in 1965 All LJ 1129 when he observed at page 1131:--
'....... a person whose tenancy has to be determined by service of a formal notice for whatever period it may be is not a tenant at will. A tenant at will under the English Law is nothing more than a licensee under the Indian Law. It is a personal relationship between a landlord and the tenant and that relationship can lie terminated either by the landlord or by the tenant by a mere expression of intention.'
Cut with great respect I am of opinion that on the terms of the lease in Raman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 no formal notice was necessary to determine the lease, it was terminable at the will of the landlord or the tenant.
47. I regret my inability to concur in holding that : AIR1950All583 was wrongly decided; at the same time for the reasons already given above I concur in dismissing the Special Appeal with costs.
A.K. Kirty, J.
48. I have had the benefit of reading the judgments of my learned brothers Oak, J. and S.N. Singh, J. I agree that the special appeal should be dismissed with costs. I further agree with Oak, J., that Raman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 was wrongly decided.
49. The facts have been set out in detail in the judgment of Oak, J. The original lease in favour of Baldeo Prasad was for a period of 11 months and it was stipulated in, the deed that he would hand over possession on the expiry of the specified period. The fact, however, remains and is also admitted that Baldeo Prasad throughout remained in undisturbed possession right upto the lime of his death which occurred in July, 1951. The original rent agreed upon was Rs. 5 per mensem. In the plaint, however, it was mentioned that Baldeo Prasad was the tenant of the shop on a monthly rent of Rs. 10. The point of time at which the rent was enhanced from Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 is not known. The contention of the plaintiff-appellant was that Baldeo Prasad was a tenant at will and, therefore, on his death his son did not acquire any interest in the tenancy which was not heritable. On the other hand, it was contended on behalf of the defendant-respondent that Baldeo Prasad was a month-to-mouth tenant and, therefore, the tenancy was heritable and on Baldeo Prasad's death his son became a tenant by right of, inheritance.
50. It has been held by Oak, J,, that Baldeo Prasad was a month-to-month tenant and that on his death the tenancy was inherited by his son. With this view S.N. Singh, J., has concurred. The basis of the decision of Oak, J., is that on the expiry of the period of eleven months stipulated in the original lease deed, the status of Baldeo Prasad was that of a tenant holding over under Section 116 of the Transfer of Property Act. It was also observed by his Lordship that enhancement of rent from Rs. 5 per month to Rs. 10 per month suggested a fresh contract of tenancy and that, in the absence of a contract to the contrary, under Section 108 of the Transfer of Property Act, a presumption would arise that Baldeo Prasad was a tenant from month to month. The contention of Mr. K.C. Saxena that the doctrine of holding over under Section 116 of the Transfer of Property Act could not be applicable, inasmuch as there was a contract to the contrary in Ext. 1, has not been accepted as correct by Mr. justice Oak and, if I may say so with respect, rightly.
I am further of the view that, even if it be assumed that Section 116 of the Transfer of Property Act was not applicable to the case, the fact that Baldeo Prasad was throughout in possession and had been paying rent either at the rate of Rs. 5 per month or at the rate of Rs. 10 per month would be sufficient to raise a legal presumption that Baldeo Prasad was not a tenant at will but was a tenant from month to month. Under the lease deed itself the status of Baldeo Prasad was that of a lessee as defined under Section 105 of the Transfer of Property Act and under Section 106 of that Act the lease was a lease from month to month. It is true that on the expiry of the period of 11 months the landlord might have immediately required him to hand over possession. This evidently the landlord did not do. The old contract had come to an end and, in my opinion, even, if Section 110 of the Transfer of Property Act did not apply, by necessary implication a fresh contract of tenancy can and should be presumed to have come into being.
Since there it nothing to show as to what were the terms of the fresh contract, a presumption under Section 109 of the Evidence Act would also arise that Baldeo Prasad continued to remain a month-to-month tenant as he had been before. This implied fresh contract of tenancy would further be strengthened by the fact that the rent at some period, after the expiry of the period specified in the original lease deed, had been agreed upon to be paid at the enhanced rate of Rs. 10. It is almost impossible to believe that Baldeo Prasad would have agreed to the enhancement in rent if he was merely a tenant at will and was to continue to remain so. In the circumstances, I respectfully agree with Oak, J., that under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act in the absence of any contract to the contrary, a presumption would arise that the tenancy of Baldeo Prasad was from month to mouth. This being so, it must also follow, as held by Oak, j. and conceded to by Mr. K.C. Saxena, that the tenancy of Baldeo Prasad was heritable. The legal character and incidents or tenancies at will have been elaborately considered by my learned brother Oak, J. and I respectfully agree with his Lordship's view. There is nothing which I can usefully add.
51. In holding that Raman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 , was not correctly decided, Oak, J. has referred to the amendment made in Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act under U. P. Act No. 24 of 1954. Since at the time when Raman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 was decided there was no amendment in Section 106, the case had to be deckled on the basis of the provisions of Section 106 as it stood at that time. I am, however, of the view that even under the provisions of Section 106, as it obtained at the time when Raman Lal's case was decided, it was not legally correct to hold that the status of Lalloomal was that of a tenant at will. In fact, under the Transfer of Property Act a tenant at will, as known to English law docs not appear to have been contemplated or provided for at all. I think the legal position was correctly expressed by B. Dayal J. in the case of 1965 All LJ 1129 in which he had observed: 'a tenant at will under the English Law is nothing more than the licensee under the Indian Law. It is a personal relationship between a landlord and the tenant and the relationship can be terminated either by the landlord or by the tenant by mere expression of intention.'
52. It may, however, be said that the Transfer of Property Act is not exhaustive and that, although there is no specific pro-Vision therein for creation of a tenancy at will, such tenancy may still be created by act of parties. This may be so, but then the nature of such tenancy in that event would be, in my opinion, akin to that of a licence as observed by Dayal J. In Raman Lal's ease : AIR1950All583 , there war; a lease for a period of 11 months and it was provided in the lease deed that after the expiry of the period of 11 months the landlord would be entitled, at his will whenever he liked to give a month's notice to the tenant to vacate and similarly the tenant was given a right to vacate whenever he liked after giving a month's notice to the landlord. The lease clearly indicated that at least during the period of 11 months there neither was nor could there be any tenancy at will at all.
It was held by the learned Judges who decided Kaman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 , that alter the expiry of the stipulated period the tenant Lalloo Mal who continued to remain in possession had become a tenant at will. The learned Judges laid Stress on the fact that the notice provided for in the lease deed need not have expired on the last date of the month of tenancy. The matter was dealt with by the learned Judges in para 4 of their Judgment as follows:--
'A year-to-year tenancy arises by implication of law; if the contract does not contain anything to the contrary, a lease is deemed to be a lease from year to year (or a month to month, as the case may be); gee Section 106. In the present case, it is expressly stated in the rent note that the appellant could' give at his will a month's notice at any time when he wanted the shop to be vacated; the words 'at his will and 'at any time when he wanted the shop to be vacated' are important; the notice to be given by the landlord was not required to expire on the last day of a month but could expire on any day. And if it could expire on any day, it follows that the tenancy was not a month-to-month tenancy. When there was a special contract about the termination of the lease, a month-to-month tenancy could not be implied under the law.'
53. Under the definition of lease under Section 105 of the Transfer of Property Act, it is not necessary that a lease should be from year to year or from month to month. All that is necessary is that a lease should be for a certain time, express or implied, or in perpetuity. From the definition it will appear that a lease must be for a certain time and, therefore, tenancy at will dues not appear to have been contemplated or provided for by the definition. Under 1 ho Transfer of Property Act, ordinarily leases are either from year to year or month to month. This position is further clarified by the opening words of Section 106 of the Act, which are 'in the absence of a contract or local law or usage to the contrary .....,'. I think, therefore from Section 105 and the opening words of Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act, it may be reasonably inferred that leases, whether from year to year or from month to month or otherwise, could be created by act of parties and that even in cases of leases from year to year or from month to month, by agreement, the parties could provide for termination of the lease by notice different from the notice provided for in Section 106. That is to say, even in cases of a lease from year to year or of a lease from month to month, the parties concerned by agreement would be entitled to stipulate that the lease would be terminable by giving notice of a particular duration and that such notice need not expire with the end of the year or the month of tenancy.
What could, in my opinion, be done by express acts of parties has been made a general provision by amendment in Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act made under the Uttar Pradesh Civil Laws Reforms and Amendment Act of 1954. Therefore, in my opinion, the learned Judges who decided Kaman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 , were not correct in holding that Lalloomal was a tenant at will because the notice, which it was stipulated, could be given by either party, was not to expire with the end of the month of tenancy.
54. I, therefore, concur with Oak, J., that Raman Lal's case : AIR1950All583 , was not correctly decided, although my reasons are somewhat different from those adopted by his Lordship.
BY THE COURT
55. The special appeal is dismissed with costs.