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Naipal Singh and ors. Vs. James R.R. Skinner and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1936All127; 159Ind.Cas.797
AppellantNaipal Singh and ors.
RespondentJames R.R. Skinner and ors.
Excerpt:
- - the position of the lambardar is as that of a co-sharer as well as an agent of the other co-sharers. the parties shall get and pay costs in proportion to their success and failure......(at p. 519 of 1935 a l j):in the case of a muafidar or assignee of revenue if there are several co-sharers liable to pay revenue, the right of the assignee to proceed against all is obvious and there was no necessity to make a provision that he could sue the co-sharers collectively.5. at another place it was observedit is true that they are jointly and severally liable to government but i can see no reason why they should not be burdened with he same liability in the case of an assignee of revenue.6. the lower court has rightly held that all the defendants, who are co-sharers, were liable. it has been urged by the learned counsel for the appellants that the lower court was not justified in saddling the contesting respondents with the costs of the appeal. i think, the contention is not.....
Judgment:

Ganga Nath, J.

1. This is a defendants appeal and arises out of a suit brought against them by the plaintiff-respondent to recover arrears of revenue. The plaintiff is an assignee of Government revenue, and as such, he brought this suit. The suit was brought against the lambardar and other co-sharers. The lambardar was also a co-sharer. The other defendants contended that they were not liable and only the lambardar (Balwanta) who used to make collections was liable. The trial Court decreed the suit against the lambardar alone and dismissed the suit against the other co-sharers. On appeal by the plaintiff the learned District Judge reversed the decree of the lower Court and decreed the suit against all the co-sharers holding that:

Each defendant shall be liable rateably to the extent of his share in the zamindari and no more to the plaintiff.

2. The learned Judge made the contesting (respondents liable for the costs of the appellants. It has been urged by the learned Counsel for the appellants that the appellants are not liable and the decree should be passed against the lambardar alone. Section 142, Land Revenue Act, lays down:

All the proprietors of a mahal are jointly and severally responsible to Government for the revenue and for the time being assessed thereon, and all persons succeeding to proprietary possession thereon, otherwise than by purchase under Section 160, shall be responsible for all arrears of revenue due at the time of their succession.

3. When all the proprietors are jointly and severally liable for the Government revenue, there is nothing to show as to how they do not remain liable to the Government's assignee. As regards the responsibility for revenue all the proprietors' position remains the same towards the assignee as it was towards the Government. The remedies of the Government and its assignee for recovery of arrears of revenue are different. The Government's remedies are provided in Section 146, Land Revenue Act, while the remedy of the assignee is provided in Section 223, Agra Tenancy Act, where it is laid down:

A muafidar or assignee of revenue may sue for arrears of revenue due to him as such.

4. An assignee gets the same rights as his assignor had and the assignment does not affect the liability of the persons who were liable to the assignor. The position of the lambardar is as that of a co-sharer as well as an agent of the other co-sharers. There is no reason as to why the assignee's remedy should be confined against the lambardar only, when he is as much liable as his other co-sharers are. In Mehrzia Begum v. Gulzar Singh 1935 ALJ 517, a similar point was considered. There the question in controversy was whether a joint decree should be passed against the co-sharers for the entire claim or whether the separate liability of the various defendants should be apportioned and a decree fixing the separate liability of the various co-sharers should be passed. There the Assistant Collector held that the suit could be filed against co-sharers collectively and the decree should be passed against them jointly. On appeal, the learned District Judge was of the opinion, that the liability of the defendants should be specified in the decree and he therefore remanded the case to the learned Assistant Collector. On appeal, it was held by a learned Judge of this Court that the plaintiff assignee was entitled to a decree against all the co-sharers. It was held (at p. 519 of 1935 A L J):

In the case of a muafidar or assignee of revenue if there are several co-sharers liable to pay revenue, the right of the assignee to proceed against all is obvious and there was no necessity to make a provision that he could sue the co-sharers collectively.

5. At another place it was observed

It is true that they are jointly and severally liable to Government but I can see no reason why they should not be burdened with he same liability in the case of an assignee of revenue.

6. The lower Court has rightly held that all the defendants, who are co-sharers, were liable. It has been urged by the learned Counsel for the appellants that the lower Court was not justified in saddling the contesting respondents with the costs of the appeal. I think, the contention is not without force because the appeal was filed by the appellants and whether any respondents contested or not, the appeal had to be decided, and when it was decided in favour of the appellants, all the respondents were equally liable for the costs. It is therefore ordered that the appeal be partly allowed inasmuch as the decree of the lower Court as regards the costs be modified to this extent that all the appellants (who were respondents in the lower Court) would be liable for costs. The parties shall get and pay costs in proportion to their success and failure. Permission to file a Letters Patent Appeal is granted.


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