Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.
1. This, reference arises out of a small cause suit filed in the Court of the District Munsif of Srivaikuntam in which the plaintiff seeks to recover Rs. 35 as arrears of house and shop rent for a period of seven months. The terms of the tenancy are embodied in a document which is stamped with a stamp of the value of twelve annas, the appropriate amount if the document falls under Clause (a)(i) of Article 30 of Schedule 1-A of the Stamp Act.
2. Schedule 1-A was added to the Stamp Act by the Madras Stamp (Amendment) Act, 1922. The question is whether it should be stamped under the provisions of Article 30(a)(viii) of the amended Act. Article 30(a)(viii) requires the same duty to be paid as on a conveyance for a consideration equal to three times the amount or value of the average annual rent which would be paid or delivered for the first ten years if the lease continued so long. If Article 30(a)(viii) applies the appropriate stamp will be Rs. 3, not twelve annas.
3. The material portion of the instrument reads as follows:
As I reside in the scheduled properties (house, shop and site) in your possession (as usufructuary mortgagee) from to-day agreeing to pay rent at Rs. 5 per mensem, I shall pay the said rent of Rs. 5 by the 30th of each month and obtain your receipt. In default of payment as aforesaid, I shall pay the arrear of a month's rent with interest at 4 pies per rupee per mensem together with the next month's rent. Any plea of payment without receipt shall not prevail. In case of default of even this, you shall evict me from the house at your pleasure and let in other persons as tenants.
4. In our opinion this is clearly a lease for an indefinite term and not one for a term of less than one year. The matter has, however, been referred to this Court as the result of the decision of the Calcutta High Court in Amolia v. Ibrahim Ishak, In re I.L.R.(1919) 46 Cal. 804, where it was held that a lease of this description is a lease which purports to be for a term, of less than one year and is therefore stampable under the article which now corresponds to Article 30(a)(i). The judgment in the Calcutta case is a short one and no reason is given for the decision. It is directly opposed to the decision of a Full Bench of this Court in r Reference under Stamp Act, Section 61(1) I.L.R.(1902) 26 Mad. 473 , where it was held that an instrument of much the same nature should be stamped under Article 35(a)(iv), the article corresponding to Article 30(a)(viii) of the amended Stamp Act. The Calcutta decision is also in conflict with two decisions of the Allahabad High Court : In the matter of Burmah Shell Oil Storage and Distributing Co. of India, Ltd. I.L.R.(1933) All. 874 and in Mangal Puri v. Baldeo Puri I.L.R. (1938) All. 481 In the latter case the Court considered the Calcutta decision, sand gave its reasons for disagreeing with it. It was pointed out that it did not follow that because a document was a monthly tenancy within the meaning of Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act it was a lease for less than one year. A lease for less than one year meant a lease for some specified period which was less than twelve months. With these observations we are in entire agreement. Consequently we hold that the lease now under consideration was improperly stamped and should have been stamped under Article 30(a)(viii) with a stamp of the value of Rs. 3.