1. The plaintiff Chunni Lal obtained a simple money decree in 1921 against Debi Singh, Defendant No. 2 and in execution of that decree attached certain crops growing on the occupancy holding of Debi Singh. The attachment was made on the 5th October 1921. One Manik Chand raised an objection in the execution Court in respect of this attachment, alleging that the crops which had been attached belonged to him and not to Debi Singh. His case was that Debi Singh, the occupancy tenant, had sublet the land to Ram Saroop, and that Ram Saroop in his turn had sub-let the land to Manik Chand who in fact had cultivated it and had sown the crops. This objection was accepted by the execution Court and the attachment was accordingly set aside.
2. In the meantime Ram Saroop, on the allegation that a sum of Rs. 150 was due to him as rent from Manik Chand, his sub-tenant made a distraint of the very some crops. The 21st of November 1921 was fixed by the revenue Court for the sale of these crops.
3. The plaintiff, whose attachment was still subsisting up till that date paid the sum of Rs. 150 due from Manik Chand to Ram Saroop in order to save the property from sale in the distraint proceedings.
4. The plaintiff then brought a suit against Debi Singh and Manik Chand both for a declaration that the crops attached did in fact belong to Debi Singh and were liable to sale in execution of the plaintiff's decree, and also for recovery of the sum of Rs. 150, which he paid on behalf of Manik Chand to save the attached property from sale. The Courts below have found as a matter of fact that the crops in suit belonged to Manik Chand. So the plaintiff's case as regards his first claim is concluded by that finding of fact.
5. The only question now before us is whether the plaintiff is not entitled to recover the Rs. 150 from Manik Chand. There is no doubt that at the time when the plaintiff paid this sum, on behalf of Manik Chand, he was 'interested' in the payment, since the crop had been attached in execution of his decree. He was obviously interested in saving the property from sale in the distraint proceedings. It is also an undeniable fact that Manik Chand was bound in law to pay the sum in question. If he denied his liability to pay the sum claimed by Ram Saroop as rent, it would have been necessary for him to institute a suit to contest the distraint within 15 days from the receipt of the notice served upon him under Section 131 of the Agra Tenancy Act. As he did not institute any such suit, right up to the date upon which the property was to be sold he was undoubtedly under a legal liability to pay the above claim. It appears to us impossible therefore to deny that the provisions of Section 69 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, are applicable to the present case. The plaintiff was interested in the payment of the money, which Manik Chand was bound by law to pay, and the plaintiff did therefore pay the money. So under Section 69 he is entitled to be reimbursed by Manik Chand.
6. The learned Counsel for the appellant has drawn our attention to the ruling in Jhanku Lal v. Rewati (1921) 19 ALJ 73 and others. The facts of that case are very similar and in that case it was held that the provisions of Section 69 were applicable.
7. The learned District Judge, while referring to that ruling does not give any reason why he thought that it did not apply to the present case, except that the appellant 'did not act as a reasonable prudent man' and that he paid the sum 'voluntarily.' We do not agree with the view that the plaintiff acted unreasonably in paying up the sum in question in order to save his attached property from sale under the distraint proceedings. He was compelled to pay the sum in order to protect his own interests.
8. We accordingly allow the appeal and give the plaintiff a decree against manik Chand for Rs. 150 with interest at 6 per cent, per annum from the date on which the plaintiff deposited that sum in the revenue Court up to the date of realization. The appellant will also receive from Manik Chand proportionate costs in all Courts including in this Court fees on the higher scale.