Abdur Rahman, J.
1. The whole village of Bodinaikenpatti was granted to Devasthanams at Madura as a sarva inam by the Carnatic Rulers, This was a major inam; but at the time when this inam was brought into existence certain minor inams had already been granted in this village. One of these minor inams was purchased by the defendants' predecessors in title. A suit was instituted on behalf of the devasthanams against the defendants for the recovery of certain water charges, land cess, etc., the former of which were claimed on the ground that the water had been taken by the defendants for the second crop which they were not entitled to use without paying for it and the latter for what the plaintiff was alleged to have paid to the Government on behalf of the defendants. It is unnecessary to decide in this case whether the claim was made in respect of a tort committed by the defendants or as held by my learned brother Mr. Justice Somayya in Sree Mullapudi Venkatarayudu v. The President, District Board, East Godawari : AIR1939Mad689 , in regard to the breach of an implied engagement. It is however necessary to remember that the suit was not instituted by a landlord against his tenant which would have been cognisable by a revenue Court - but by a major inamdar in a Civil Court against a minor inamdar. The plaintiff's suit was decreed, although the decree was not satisfied before the Madras Agriculturists' Debt Relief Act (IV of 1938) came into operation. The judgment-debtors consequently made an application for stay of execution under Section 20 and under Rule 6(1) framed under the Act. The District Munsif of Madura granted the application and stayed execution. This has led the decree-holder to come up to this Court in revision.
2. The only question to decide in this revision is whether the amount decreed in favour of the devasthanams falls within the definition of rent. If it did, it would fall within the ambit of Rule 6(1) framed under the Act. This rule refers to Section 15 and the section lays down the conditions under which rent due to landholders is to be deemed to be discharged. Relying on the Full Bench decision of this Court in Kota Venkataraju Garu v. Maharaja of Pithapuram : AIR1938Mad342 . The District Munsif was of opinion that the amount decreed came within the purview of the definition of rent. But he apparently overlooked the most important fact that the Full Bench decision was given in a case where an action was brought by a landholder to recover rent from his ryot while the relationship between the major and minor inamdars could not be held to be that of a landlord and tenant, even if it was assumed that the grants were made to both the inamdars by the same personage or authority. Since the relationship of landlord and tenant did not subsist between the parties, the suit was instituted in a Civil Court and not before the Deputy Collector as in the case decided by the Full Bench. If the jural relationship between the parties is not that of the landlord and tenant Section 15 of the Madras Agriculturists' Debt Relief Act or Rule 6(1) would have no application.
3. Rent has been defined by the Madras Estates Land Act to include
whatever is lawfully payable in money or in kind or in both to a landholder for the use or occupation of land in his estate for the purpose of agriculture and includes whatever is payable on account of the use and enjoyment of waters supplied or taken for cultivation of land, where the charge for such water has not been consolidated with the rent payable for the land.
4. The above definition implies that the payment to the landholder must be by a person who is bound to pay rent for the land. The minor inamdar cannot be said to be under a liability to pay any rent to a major inamdar.
5. For the above reasons, Rule 6(1) could not be said to apply to the minor inamdars who made the application for stay and the application should not have been accepted by the Court below. The revision is, therefore, accepted and the order passed by the District Munsif set aside. The petitioner will have his costs in this Court.