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Hari Mohan Vs. Bishwanath and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy;Civil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1949All563
AppellantHari Mohan
RespondentBishwanath and anr.
Excerpt:
- - 4,880. the plaintiff claimed redemption without payment of any sum on the ground that the mortgage money had been paid up by the usufruct enjoyed by the defendants-mortgagees. the other provisions include sub-section (8) of section 2 of the debt redemption act defining 'land' which clearly excludes land situated within the limits of any, municipality, cantonment or notified area......application arises out of a suit for redemption under the agriculturists' relief act and the debt redemption act,2. the plaintiff's father executed the mortgage in suit for a sum of rs. 4,880. the plaintiff claimed redemption without payment of any sum on the ground that the mortgage money had been paid up by the usufruct enjoyed by the defendants-mortgagees. the plaintiff claimed that the benefits of the debt redemption act should be given to him.3. the defence, inter alia, was that the plaintiff was not entitled to the benefits of the debt redemption act as he was not an agriculturist within the meaning of section 2 of that act.4. the learned munsif held that the plaintiff was not entitled to the benefits of the debt redemption act, and decreed the plaintiff's suit for redemption.....
Judgment:

Agarwala, J.

1. This revision application arises out of a suit for redemption under the Agriculturists' Relief Act and the Debt Redemption Act,

2. The plaintiff's father executed the mortgage in suit for a sum of Rs. 4,880. The plaintiff claimed redemption without payment of any sum on the ground that the mortgage money had been paid up by the usufruct enjoyed by the defendants-mortgagees. The plaintiff claimed that the benefits of the Debt Redemption Act should be given to him.

3. The defence, inter alia, was that the plaintiff was not entitled to the benefits of the Debt Redemption Act as he was not an agriculturist within the meaning of Section 2 of that Act.

4. The learned Munsif held that the plaintiff was not entitled to the benefits of the Debt Redemption Act, and decreed the plaintiff's suit for redemption subject to payment of Rs. 4,880, the mortgage consideration.

5. Both parties appealed against the order of the learned Munsif. These appeals were decided by one judgment. The lower appellate Court held that the plaintiff was not an agriculturist within the meaning of Section 2, Debt Redemption Act and was therefore not entitled to have the benefits of that Act. In the result, he dismissed the plaintiff's appeal. He allowed the mortgagees' appeal in part.

6. The plaintiff has now come up in revision to this Court, and the sole point for decision is, whether he was an agriculturist within the meaning of Section 2, Debt Redemption Act. Now, the plaintiff claims to be an agriculturist by virtue of his being a fixed-rate tenant of the mortgaged plots; these plots wholly lie within the limits of Banaras Municipality. The Debt Redemption Act will apply to the case only if the plaintiff is an agriculturist within the meaning of Section 2, Sub-section (8) of that Act. Sub-section (8) is:

(3) 'agriculturist' means a proprietor of a mahal or of a share in or portion of a mahal or a tenant.

Since the plaintiff i$ not a proprietor of a mahal or of a share in or a portion of a mahal, the only question is whether he is a tenant. The word 'tenant' is defined in Sub-section (l8), Section 2 as follows:

(18) 'Tenant' includes a person entered in the register maintained under the provisions of clause (b) or clause (b) of section 32 of the United Provinces Land Revenue Act, 1901, a rent-free grantee, a grantee at a favourable rate of rent and a sub-tenant but does not include a grove-holder or a thekadar :

7. It is clear from this definition that it is not an exhaustive definition as the word 'includes' would indicate. The definition merely includes those persons within the meaning of the definition of a tenant who may not ordinarily have been considered as tenants. Along with this definition, therefore, we have to read Sub-clause (1) of Section (2) which runs as follows:

(1) Subject to the provisions of the following subsections all words and expressions which are defined or explained in the United Provinces Land Revenue Act, 1901, or the United Provinces Tenancy Act, 1939, shall have the meanings assigned to them therein;

Now, looking at the United Provinces Tenancy Act we find that a 'tenant' is defined in 3, Sub-section (23) as meaning,

the person by whom rent is, or but for a contract express or implied would be, payable....

'Rent' is defined in Sub-section (13) of Section 3 of that Act as meaning:

Whatever is, in cash or bind, or partly in cash and partly in kind, payable on account of the use or occupation of land or on account of any right in land.

8. The question is whether the holding of which the plaintiff is a fixed-rate tenant can be said to be 'land', because if it is not land, the amount which he pays on account of its use will not be 'rent'; and if it will not be 'rent' he will not be a 'tenant'. Now, if we were to look at the definition of 'land' in the Tenancy Act, there would be no objection to the plaintiff's fixed-rate holding being considered as 'land' because under that Act any agricultural land is classed as 'land' and the mere fact that the land is situated within the limits of a municipality is immaterial. But if we look at the definition of 'land' in the Debt Redemption Act, we find that it is said to mean (in clause (8) of Section 2):

land in a mahal in the United Provinces but does not include land occupied by buildings or appurtenant thereto or land within the limits of any municipality, cantonment or notified area;

Thus, according to the definition of 'land' in the Debt Redemption Act, the plaintiff's fixed rate-holding would not be 'land'. Therefore we have to consider whether we should rely on the definition of 'land' as given in the Debt Redemption Act or on the definition of 'land' as given in the U.P. Tenancy Act. It seems to us that we have to consider the definition of 'land' as provided in Debt Redemption Act and not as provided in the U.P. Tenancy Act. If we look to Sub-section (1) of Section 2 of the Debt Redemption Act quoted above, we find that the words and expressions defined and explained in the United Provinces Tenancy Act are to have the same meanings under the Debt Redemption Act as are assigned to them in the U.P. Tenancy Act subject to the provisions of the other provisions of the Debt Redemption Act. The other provisions include Sub-section (8) of Section 2 of the Debt Redemption Act defining 'land' which clearly excludes land situated within the limits of any, municipality, cantonment or notified area. The definitions of 'tenant' 'rent' and 'land', therefore, contained in the U.P. Tenancy Act must be read subject to the limitation that land situated within the limits of a municipality, cantonment or notified area will not be considered to be 'land'.

9. In this view of the matter, the plaintiff was not holding any land and therefore was not paying any rent and was, therefore, not an agriculturist within the meaning of the Debt Redemption Act. It appears to us that the policy underlying the Debt Redemption Act is not to extend the benefits of the Act to persons who claim to be tenants only because they were cultivating lands situated within the limits of municipality, cantonment or notified area. The view taken by the Court below was, therefore, right.

10. There is no force in this application. It is dismissed with costs.


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