1. This civil revision petition raises a somewhat curious point under Act IV of 1938. It arises out of a small cause suit brought by the present 'petitioner as assignee from a Zamindar of the right to collect jodi on inam lands within the Zamindari. The defendant pleaded that he was entitled to the benefits of the Madras Agriculturists' Relief Act and sought to scale down the arrears under Section 15 of that Act. This plea was met by a contention that the plaintiff was not a landholder under the Madras Estates Land Act and that therefore the jodi could not be scaled down. A landholder under the definition in the Madras Estates Land Act includes a person entitled to collect the rents of the whole or any portion of an estate by virtue of any transfer from the owner. The term 'rent' under the Madras Estates Land Act does not include jodi, although the same term when used in the Madras Agriculturists' Relief Act does include jodi. The lower Court has held' that because 'rent' as defined in Act IV of 1938, includes jodi, the tenant who pays that rent to an assignee from a landholder is entitled to the benefit of Section 15 of the Act. A similar contention with reference to rent payable to an assignee from a jenmi under the Malabar Tenancy Act was rejected by a Bench of which I was a member in the case of Ahmad Koya v. Appu : AIR1941Mad201 . In that decision it was pointed out that the terms 'Jenmi' and 'intermediary' as defined in the Malabar Tenancy Act, do not include an assignee of the right to collect rents and although the omission of any provision for the scaling down of rent due in Malabar to an assignee from the Jenmi may well be a lacuna under the Act, the Act being an expropriatory measure, its language could not be extended so as to expropriate more persons than those actually affected by its terms. It seems to me that the position is exactly the same with reference to an assignee of the right to collect jodi. 'Jodi' is rent according to the definition in the Agriculturists' Relief Act, but an assignee of the right to collect jodi is not a landholder according to the definition in the Madras Estates Land Act and since that which can be scaled down under Section 15 of Act IV of 1938 is rent payable to a landholder under the Madras Estates Land Act, this section will not cover that which is rent under Act IV of 1938, but is not payable to a landholder as defined in the Madras Estates Land Act. No doubt the result is anomalous, for the payment being in the nature of rent will not be a debt and therefore it cannot be scaled down under any provision of the Act. But as remarked in the case already cited, it is the function of the Legislature to fill up the gaps in the Act and this is especially so in so far as they relate to substantive relief and not to mere matters of procedure. In this view I allow the revision petition and give the plaintiff a decree as prayed with costs here and in the Court below.
2. The connected civil revision petition No. 868 of 1940, arises out of a suit by the Zamindar himself and it is dismissed with costs.