1. This is a plaintiff's appeal arising out of a suit for pre-emption. The principal defence raised by the vendee was that the purchase had been for the purpose of a manufacturing industry. The Court below held against the defendant and decreed the claim. On appeal the lower appellate Court has dismissed the suit in its entirety.
2. There was an express recital in the sale deed as to the purpose for which the property was being acquired. The lower appellate Court differing from the Court of first instance held that the omission of any recitals in the sale deed was not a fatal defect. In our opinion this view was correct. It is open to the vendee to show by other evidence, even though there may not be any such recital, what the real purpose of the purchase was, though of course an omission of such a purpose from the sale deed may be a strong piece of evidence against him.
3. The learned Judge does appear to have found that the purpose of the purchase was 'to start the sugar industry.' He has held:
the land in all is about seven bighas, on one bigha stand the plant, shed & c. and on the remaining six bighas, a model farm is set up-all go to work the industry.
4. There can be no doubt that he found that the purpose of the purchase of atleast some land was to set up a manufacturing industry and that one bigha of land out of the area purchased was actually utilized for that purpose within one year of the purchase. His finding, however, does not make it clear whether the remaining six bighas of land on which, according to him, a model farm exists was required for the same manufacturing purpose.
5. It has been laid down by this Court in the case of the Punjab Sugar Mills Co. Ltd. v. Lachhman Prasad A.I.R. All. 77 that sugar plantation or the cultivation of sugarcane crop is an agricultural pursuit quite different and distinct from the industry of manufacturing sugar. The setting up of even a model farm, the main |object of which may be to experiment on the quality of the sugarcane produced or to serve as an object lesson to the neighbouring cultivating classes would be to bring about an improvement in the cultivation of sugarcane, i.e., a promotion of agriculture. That object cannot be treated as the purpose of a manu-facturing industry itself. Improvement in the quality of sugarcane, which would ultimately serve as raw material for consumption of the factory is for the purpose of improving cultivation and agri-culture, and not manufacture. On the other hand it is possible that although only one bigha of land is actually occupied by the plant shed & c. more space is required for the purpose of the manufacturing factory itself.
6. It has been contended on behalf of the respondent that the land might have been actually acquired with the intention of utilizing it at the time when extensions are to be made for the factory which has been set up. We do not think that a vendee who takes up surplus land intending to hold it in reserve for future use when he can afford to extend his factory, would be protected under this section. The primary and main object of the purchase of the entire land should be the manufacturing purpose and the land so purchased should in good faith be substantially utilized for that purpose within one year. The burden of showing that the case falls within the exception contained in Section 8 undoubtedly lies on the vendee.
7. In our opinion the findings of the lower appellate Court are insufficient in themselves for a complete disposal of this appeal. We accordingly send down the following issue for determination:
Whether the whole or any part of the remaining, six bighas, on which it is stated that a model farm exists, can be inferred to have been reasonably required for the purposes of the manufacturing industry?
8. As the case has not been approached in the Courts from this standpoint, we direct that the parties should be at liberty to produce fresh evidence if they consider necessary. The finding should be returned within three months, if practicable, and on return of the finding the usual ten days will be allowed for objections.