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Babu Lal Vs. Bhawani Das and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in15Ind.Cas.32
AppellantBabu Lal
RespondentBhawani Das and ors.
Excerpt:
small cause suit - lease of immoveable property--suit by lessor to recover rent from lessee--provincial small cause court--provincial small cause courts act (ix of 1887), schedule ii, articles 8, 11. - interpretation of statutes definition clause: [markandey katju & h.l. dattu, jj] meaning given to an expression in one statute cannot be applied to another statute......of section 3 of the transfer of property act itself. the plaintiffs are not suing to recover the rent of shops received on their behalf by babu lal as their agent. they are suing to recover from babu lal the rent of immoveable property due from him under a special contract of lease; and the sum of rs. 24 a month which babu lal is alleged to have covenanted to pay to the plaintiffs under this contract of lease, is not itself house rent'. in my opinion, it was a distinct abuse of the small cause courts act that this suit was filed in a court exercising jurisdiction under that act. the real dispute is as to the plaintiffs' claim to be the mortgagees in possession of a portion of that bazar and they seem to have endeavoured to bring this matter to trial before a court of small causes in.....
Judgment:

Piggott, J.

1. The plaintiffs in this case say that they are mortgagees in possession of one half of a certain bazar and entitled as such to receive rents from the shop-keepers occupying shops and houses in one half of the same. They say that they leased out their right to receive these rents to the defendant, Babu Lal and they have sued him for arrears of lease money before the Judge of the Court of Small Causes at Agra. The question is, whether that Court had jurisdiction to entertain this suit. No written contract of lease was produced between the plaintiffs and Babu Lal, and I can only look at the evidence which has been believed by the Court below in order to ascertain the terms of that contract. What the plaintiff Bhawani Das says is,--I orally leased the rent of the said one half of the bazar to Babu Lal, defendant, at a rent of Rs. 24 per mensem about three or three-and-half years ago, and the water rate was to be paid by Babu Lal and he was also responsible for repairing the shops of the said one half of the bazar'. In my opinion, a suit to enforce that contract is a suit for the recovery of rent other than house rent within the meaning of Article 8 of Schedule II of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act (IX of 1887), or, failing this, it is a suit for enforcement of some other rights to or interest in immoveable property within Article 11 of the same Schedule. As a matter of fact, I have no doubt that it falls under the former of these two Articles. The plaintiffs, at any rate, are not prepared to contend that their contract was anything but a lease of immoveable property within the meaning of Section 105 of the Transfer of Property Act. The question, therefore, is,--What was the immoveable property leased?. It was certainly not the houses themselves, and the plaintiff Bhawani Das does not say that it was. It was a right to collect the rents of those shops or houses from the persons actually occupying them and such right is itself 'immoveable property' by virtue of the definition in Article 25, Section 3 of the General Clauses Act (I of 1897) which definition applies to the Transfer of Property Act (IV of 1882) by reason of Section 4 of the General Clauses Act, in so far as it is not inconsistent with the special provisions of Section 3 of the Transfer of Property Act itself. The plaintiffs are not suing to recover the rent of shops received on their behalf by Babu Lal as their agent. They are suing to recover from Babu Lal the rent of immoveable property due from him under a special contract of lease; and the sum of Rs. 24 a month which Babu Lal is alleged to have covenanted to pay to the plaintiffs under this contract of lease, is not itself house rent'. In my opinion, it was a distinct abuse of the Small Cause Courts Act that this suit was filed in a Court exercising jurisdiction under that Act. The real dispute is as to the plaintiffs' claim to be the mortgagees in possession of a portion of that bazar and they seem to have endeavoured to bring this matter to trial before a Court of Small Causes in order not to fight the question out by a regular suit. They could have done so no doubt if they were content simply to claim the rents of particular shops; but they seem to have thought it an even more effective way of creating evidence in their own behalf to bring a suit based upon an alleged lease in favour of the very man who was actually collecting the rents of the shops as agent for the rival claimants. In my opinion, the suit as brought is not a claim for house rent; it was entertained and decreed by a Court which had no jurisdiction to do so. I accept this application in revision, set aside the decree of the Court below and direct the Judge of the Court of Small Causes to return the plaint to the plaintiffs with directions to present the same in a Court having jurisdiction to entertain it. The defendant Babu Lal will get his costs in this Court.


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